Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives
Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives

Jessica Tekippe-Schmitt
Farmer and Ruminant Project Manager for Ajinomoto Heartland

Fort Atkinson, Iowa
Farm Credit Affiliation
Farm Credit Services of America
Jessica's Perspective

Passion and vision are essential for a beginning farmer to establish a successful enterprise, and Jessica Tekippe has both in abundance.

Looking at a 102-year-old barn and 40 dairy cows, Jessica saw an opportunity where others said it was impossible to improve. Through three years of hard work and determination, she and her husband have built a significant land base, a milk quality award-winning dairy herd, and significant financial assets that enabled them to recently purchase additional land to expand their operation. As a young entrepreneur, Jessica works hard every day to be ”better” before being “bigger,” and the strategies she follows allow her to be competitive against larger and more established farmers.

“Agriculture is truly one of the noblest professions and one where perseverance, hard work and honesty are still valued,” says Jessica. “The price volatility coupled with the complexity of the ruminate animal make this one of the most economically, emotionally, and mentally challenging prospects, and for that reason, the greatest path I could ever pick.”

Jessica also works to improve agriculture for others. Locally she serves on the county dairy promoters and is currently president-elect of the county Farm Bureau board. Last year, she was appointed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to serve on the national dairy research and promotion board.

“Every day I work to be a better animal care taker, grain marketer and business manager for my farming operation so I know that it will continue to grow and provide for my husband and myself regardless of the market conditions,” she says. “Off the farm, I hope I can continue to improve the feeding technologies and opportunities dairy producers have to increase their productivity and profitability while having less environmental impact.”

To accomplish this, she works as the ruminant product manager for Ajinomoto Heartland, striving to develop new feeding technologies to reduce the environmental impact from beef and dairy, and increased productivity and profitability through amino acid technology.

“The future of agriculture is bright. Through technology, we are creating food that is more sustainable and leaving a smaller impact on the environment,” Jessica says. “We will need to be more connected with our consumer and political leaders to help them understand the complexity and benefits of how modern agriculture feeds our growing population. The achievements of past and present will continue to be built upon as we face the toils of tomorrow.”

Explore Top 100 Honorees Back to Honorees