I grew up as a ranch-hand on my family’s farm in Michigan where we managed Herford steers, chickens, goats, sheep, horses, and 4-H pigs. My parents, and later one of my sisters, also practiced veterinary medicine. With a background of walking barefoot through cow-pies, ridding horses through the woods, showing pigs at the county fair, and vet talk around the dinner table, my passion for animals and their welfare started at a young age. My interests led me to obtain a B.S. from Michigan State University, majoring in Animal Science, and a M.S. from the University of California, Davis, where my research focused on assessing cow-calf welfare. I currently live in the Bay Area with my cat Kevin, but I always keep an eye out for opportunities like to fly home to Michigan to get back in the saddle.
I enjoy working with a variety of individuals throughout the livestock industries to gain insight into their diverse perspectives about animal welfare. For this reason, I particularly like working with GAP because we welcome input from many stakeholders and the program allows for various levels of producer and consumer participation.