Carey Brown UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment student, grad of 2001

College students are encouraged to not let opportunities pass by. Carey Brown, ’01, certainly did not.

A Bourbon County native, Brown fell in love with agriculture growing up on her family’s farm. From an early age, she wanted a career in the industry but didn’t know what that job might look like or where it would lead.

In her college senior seminar class, Brown, an agricultural economics major, learned of an internship with the newly formed Kentucky Beef Network. She got the position, and it opened doors to a career in agricultural communications. Brown has been with the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association ever since and is now its publication coordinator. Her duties include managing every aspect of the popular Cow Country News and communications for the association and its 10,600 producers.

“I absolutely loved agricultural economics and a lot of what I do with Cow Country News is on the business side, from making sure the advertising to editorial ratio is in balance, to selling and building ads, to making sure the publication is financially strong,” she said.

Her job also allows her to regularly interact with UK extension specialists and agents.

“I didn’t realize the scope of what extension agents and specialists do, when I started this job,” she said. “We couldn’t do what we do at the association without extension agents, because they help us pass on our information. I also learned a lot from Garry Lacefield and Roy Burris. They were two specialists I could always call if I needed anything.”

Throughout her career, Brown has continued to seize every opportunity. While still a new employee, she asked Dave Maples, the association’s executive vice president, if she could attend a conference for the Livestock Publications Council. He told her yes but only if she would become its president one day. This past year, she fulfilled her promise as she served as the organization’s president.

“Dave really encourages us to dream and get active in professional organizations,” Brown said. “A lot of the growth I’ve made here is due to connections I’ve made through the council and at Ag Media Summit.”

Brown offers internships and serves as a mentor to students. She encourages them not to let opportunities slip away.

“I tell them to not get so set in your major that you don’t ever try anything else,” she said. “Internships are a great way to get out into the world, to learn about a particular career, and see if it would be something you would enjoy doing."

-- Katie Pratt