Kaleena Westaby Sun Prairie, Wisconsin Research Technician ABS Global
Please describe your agricultural background.
I grew up on an 80-cow registered Holstein family dairy that has been certified organic for the past eight years. My responsibilities included milking, calf care, reproductive management, and anything else that needed to be done!
What education are you bringing with you to this position?
I graduated from Iowa State University in May 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Dairy Science. While at Iowa State, I was extremely involved in numerous activities including the Dairy Science Club, the Dairy Cattle Judging team, Dairy Challenge, and the Student Affiliate Division (SAD) of the American Dairy Science Association.
What previous positions have you held?
This is my first full-time job, but I have previously served as both a Research Intern (summer 2008) and GMS Intern (summer 2009) for ABS.
What are your new responsibilities?
My main responsibilities will be to assist in data acquisition and analysis of product fertility and reporting of these results to the field. In addition, I will also be assisting with the development of educational pieces related to fertility and product performance.
What territory will you cover?
I am based in DeForest, WI, but I work with data from all across the U.S. as well as internationally.
What excites you most about working in your new role?
My position at ABS gives me the opportunity to join a dynamic team of great people who all have a passion for the dairy industry. I am excited to use the skills and knowledge I gained from school and my internships to work on innovative projects that will continue to move ABS and the A.I. industry forward.
How will you be of most help to producers in your region or area of expertise?
High fertility and sound reproductive management are vital to any dairy operation. My role will assist in providing producers with the tools and information to improve their reproductive programs.
What’s your best story from the first day on the job?
When I first started as an intern in 2008, I was living in downtown Madison which was quite the adjustment for someone who grew up on a gravel road. On my drive home the first day, I discovered that a major one-way street that I needed had been closed that day for construction. I then had the chance to explore the many one-way streets of Madison in rush-hour traffic, finally arriving home 1.5 hours later. Needless to say, the next day I had a map and directions for an alternate route!
Why did you choose this company?
My family farm is a longtime ABS customer and I have wanted to work here since the age of fifteen, when I visited for a high school career project. After meeting with several people and learning about the company, I decided that this is where I wanted to be, and now, here I am! Having spent the last couple summers here as an intern only reaffirmed my decision as I was able to work with great people and work on some fun projects.
What goals would you like to accomplish while in this position?
My first goal is to learn. Although I have worked with Research in some capacity for the last two years, I still feel that I have much to learn and understand. Beyond that, I want to be able to work to develop the tools that will allow both ABS and its customers to be successful. PD