Alumni Spotlight: Shayne Wiese

Shayne Wiese stands in front of building in Washington, D.C.When Shayne Wiese graduated from Iowa State University in 2017 with his B.S. in Animal Science, he never expected to find himself flying out to Washington, D.C. to go before the House Agriculture Committee on behalf of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and Iowa Cattlemen's Association (ICA). Testifying the value of conservation programs for cattle producers might have come as a surprise to Wiese but made it no less of an honor.  

Wiese started his journey at Iowa State University as an Agricultural Studies major but quickly realized his passion within animal science. He went through his classes knowing his end goal was to return to his family's operation and use what he learned to improve and better manage their herd. Wiese pointed out that classes like ANS 331: Domestic Animal Reproduction and ANS 426: Beef Cattle Systems Management may not have been the easiest classes he took but were two of the most beneficial, and that he is still applying his knowledge from these classes daily. 

It is hard to believe he had a free moment during college since he was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, the Livestock Judging Team, the Meat Animal Evaluation Team, CALS Council, an active CALS ambassador, and the Block & Bridle Beef Interest Group. It is safe to say Wiese took getting involved to a high level, but he attributed that to his mentality, "You get as much as you put in."   

Today, Wiese is the Head of Operations at Wiese and Sons: Good Doin' Bulls, his family's fifth-generation Herford seed stock operation in Manning, Iowa. There he manages over 400 Hereford cows and 2,400 acres of pasture with his father and brother. Wiese & Sons expresses a commitment to environmental stewardship by employing various practices, including cover crops, CRP, and water filtration buffers. Wiese has continued his vast involvement even past college as a member of the American Hereford Association, Iowa Beef Industry Council, Iowa Beef Breed's Council, ICA, and NCBA.

As an active member of ICA, Wiese sits on the Cow-Calf Council. During one of their meetings, the group discussed some of the daily struggles producers face with grazing and conservation programs. When NCBA reached out looking for someone with experience to represent these issues in D.C., Wiese was one of many that volunteered.  

After an interview with NCBA, he was selected as their sole producer representative. Less than a week after being selected, Wiese found himself submitting a written testimony on behalf of the ICA and NCBA and flying out to Washington, D.C. Wiese shared his experiences with the USDA's voluntary conservation programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQUIP) as well as his desire for the continued implementation of the programs in a practical, producer friendly, and voluntary manner for years to come.

When reflecting on his experience in D.C., Wiese explained how blessed he considers himself to be, saying, "A lot of people in my age group don't have the opportunity to come back to a family established system as I did, and even fewer producers have the opportunity to leave their operation to speak in D.C." Wiese continued by explaining that he was honored to speak on behalf of the hundreds of producers that could not be there. "It was truly a humbling experience," he said. 


Shayne's advice for students in the Department of Animal Science:  

"I did not hear enough of the phrase - supplement your learning. Don't just do the book work, get out and get an internship, join a club, and participate in competitions; because at the end of the day, you get as much as you put in."