Progressive Publishing is pleased to announce the addition of two fresh faces to its Progressive Dairy team this spring. Kimmi Devaney joined the editorial team in April. At the same time, Matti McBride (formerly Leak), a 2021 editorial intern, began a full-time editor position.
Devaney is responsible for coverage of the following topics: management, mental health, farm safety; cow comfort; facilities; and organics, agritourism and niche markets. She will also co-host the Progressive Dairy Podcast.
Her name may look familiar, as she regularly freelanced for the publication since 2015 and was an active contributor to the Proud to Dairy site in 2010 and 2011. In addition to writing, Devaney comes to Progressive Dairy with more than a decade of experience in public relations, crisis and issues management, industry relations and member communications, working for several state and regional dairy checkoff organizations, a major milk cooperative and a state department of agriculture. Most recently, she served as the senior director of communications for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council working on behalf of Oregon dairy farmers.
Devaney graduated from Washington State University (WSU) with a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences – dairy production management and a minor in agricultural communications. At WSU, she served as Dairy Club president, national president of the American Dairy Science Association – Student Affiliate Division, an ambassador for the College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS), and a member of Cooperative University Dairy Students (CUDS) and the Dairy Challenge team. She later received the WSU Dairy Programs Alumni of the Year award in 2013.
“Kimmi brings a wealth of experience to our team, and we’re delighted to have her with us,” says Karen Lee, associate publisher – dairy at Progressive Publishing. “Her passion for dairy will shine through as she hosts podcasts and gathers content for topics that really resonate with her.”
Her grandparents were retired dairy farmers in Enumclaw, Washington, and she says growing up on their farm, showing dairy cattle in 4-H and serving as a dairy princess greatly influenced her decision to work in the dairy industry.
“My brother and I spent a lot of our childhood with our grandparents on the farm, and we both wouldn’t be involved in agriculture today without them,” Devaney says. “My mission since the beginning of my career has been to make a positive difference in the lives and operations of dairy farmers like my grandpa. I’m proud of the impact I’ve had so far and look forward to continuing to create value as an editor.”
In her full-time role, McBride will be responsible for covering the topics of genetics, reproduction, beef-on-dairy, dairy youth, peak production and milk quality, as well as coordination of Progressive Dairy’s weekly newsletter.
“We’re grateful to have Matti join our staff on a permanent basis,” Lee says. “She excelled during her internship and will use her education to maximize the way we share information with the dairy industry. We look forward to sharing her love and knowledge of dairy genetics with our readers.”
A recent graduate of Utah State University (USU) with bachelor’s degrees in agricultural communication and journalism with an emphasis in social media, McBride brings experience as a marketing intern with USU’s College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences (CAAS) to the Progressive Dairy team. She also served as an ambassador for CAAS, recruiting potential students to the school.
Having grown up on Whey-Mat Holsteins, a small dairy in northern Utah, McBride is no stranger to the dairy industry. Her passion for the industry grew as she became heavily involved in exhibiting her family’s registered cattle at the local, state and national levels. At home, McBride was involved in the care and management of calves and the show string, often assisting in mating decisions.
Through her involvement in 4-H, FFA and Holstein Association events and the opportunities to serve in leadership positions in these various organizations, McBride found a love for communicating to consumers and decided to pursue a career in agricultural communication.
“I absolutely loved my time as an intern with Progressive Dairy,” McBride says. “Progressive Publishing is an amazing company, and I feel extremely fortunate to be starting my career here. I’m excited to continue contributing to the dairy industry and look forward to learning alongside our readers.”