Dairy Staff

Mariah Schmitt

Mariah Schmitt, Dairy Center Coordinator

Fort Atkinson, IA

Mariah grew up on her family's dairy farm outside of Fort Atkinson where her family milks 50 Holstein cows in addition to her small herd of Guernseys. Mariah graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in dairy science and agriculture & society. At Iowa State, she was a member of the ISU Dairy Science Club, ISU Dairy Judging and Dairy Challenge teams. Additionally, she was active in 4-H and FFA and served as the 2013-2014 Iowa Dairy Princess.

Jon Meyer

Jon Meyer, Dairy Herdsperson

Ossian, IA

Jon comes to the Dairy Center after many years of dairy industry experience. Through networking he worked for Genex Cooperative for 20 years and Accelerated Genetics for five years as an AI technician. He oversees herd reproduction, including breeding and synchronization programs, as well as the vaccinating of cattle and the management of the newly-acquired beef cows for the Beef Science program at Northeast Iowa Community College. In addition, Jon manages his own 35 head cow/calf operation.

Margaret Quaassdorff

Margaret Quaassdorff, Dairy Herdsperson

Decorah, IA

Margaret brings experience from Vita Plus where she was a dairy nutrition specialist and consultant. She earned her master's degree in dairy science from UW-Madison and bachelor's degree in animal science from the University of Vermont. Some of the highlights from her dairy career include interning at the Miner Agricultural Research Institute, serving as the chairperson of the grilled cheese stand at World Dairy Expo as well as spreading her passion for dairy as a mentor for the Midwest Dairy Challenge.

Gary Lien

Gary Lien, Dairy Herdsperson

Calmar, IA

Gary joined the dairy team after over 35 years of owning and managing Velkommen-Valley Farms with his wife, Patti, and four children, Kari, Aaron, Megan and Mikayla. He is a graduate from Iowa State University earning his degree in dairy science. Previously, Gary has served as a member of the Winneshiek County Extension Council, Winneshiek County Dairy Promoters, was a Foremost Farms and Accelerated Genetics delegate.

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