I probably don’t even have to introduce you to Caiti Hladky. With over 16,000 followers on Instagram this #agbabe is a combination of beauty, brains, and talent.
Caiti grew up in Northeastern Colorado on her parents small farm, but it wasn’t until she moved away to attend college in Iowa, play volleyball and study Kinesiology that she realized her love for agriculture. She missed her family farm ended up transferring back to Colorado State University, a college closer to home, and graduated with her bachelors degree in Ag. Business.
As part of her education, Caiti spent time in Kansas completing an internship at a feedlot. This experience opened her eyes to a different sector of the livestock industry and helped her gain a deep understanding of the cattle feeding industry. Since her graduation from CSU, Caiti has worked in many different segments of the agriculture industry. She has done everything from accounting for JBS to working for an ag-lending and crop insurance bank, to completing regulatory compliance consultations.
Today, Caiti wears many hats. She not only works for DV Auctions, but she also helps out at her parents farm, rides pens at a feedlot, starts and trains colts and horses, and manages her own cow herd. Oh yeah— if that wasn’t enough, she keeps bees AND keeps up with all of her followers on Instagram!
Caiti uses Instagram as a platform to promote agriculture. Caiti is such a strong voice for the agriculture community and to Caiti, agvocating is:
“…Actively promoting agriculture in respectful and meaningful ways. It is
standing up for the tradition and values that tend to follow those involved in the agriculture sector and helping to shape people’s relationship with agriculture in a positive way. It is having those difficult yet so important discussions about the necessity of agriculture, food production, animal welfare, and the innovation needed to keep feeding a hungry, growing world.”
I could not agree with her more! Caiti is also very encouraging of young people getting involved in agriculture. She knows that it might not be the easiest job around but she says, “We need as many hard working, passionate people involved in agriculture as we can get! All ages and experience levels welcome!!” She encourages young people to take a look at all aspects of agriculture and get exposure to the different industry segments. She recommends asking questions, being open minded, and completing internships and/or seasonal work to help get your feet wet.
Caiti’s encouragement of youth involvement in agriculture ties back to what she feels is one of the struggles farmers and ranchers are facing. She says that she knows many farmers and ranchers that are stressed about the number of available workers to help them in their operations.
She also worries about the lack of exposure of the general public to agriculture. Caiti explains:
“I would venture to say that one of our biggest challenges in agriculture today is the changing demographic. Many Americans are several generations removed from the farm, meaning that it is now our job to figure out how to bridge the gap between the consumer and the farm: communication and relationship. People used to trust and respect farmers, but as we as a society have become more and more removed from the farm, it is easy to turn to other, often times not reliable sources for information on agriculture. We need to stand up for agriculture. It is not only a job for us, but a lifestyle, part of who we are. We need to be authentic storytellers and find connections with our end consumers, be more transparent and share our passion and knowledge about what we do in the agriculture industry. We need to meet them on a personal level and show them how relateable we actually are.”
As I mentioned before Caiti promotes her lifestyle via her Instagram account. With 16k+ followers, it is safe to say that this cowgirl is making an impact on the world aground her. I owe Caiti a huge thank you for helping me out. Please show Caiti some support by following her Instagram page.