My name is Hannah Neuenschwander (New-inch-wander); I’m a born and raised Texan living in the Midwest. I grew up in a small town in the beautiful Texas Hill Country where I spent most of my time outdoors, riding horses, and playing in the mud.

After high school, I attended Texas A&M University where I pursued a degree in Animal Science and a minor in Business Administration. If you’d asked me back then what I thought I’d be doing after graduation, I wouldn’t have had a good answer. If you told me I’d move to the Midwest in the dead of winter to work in seed production, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Texan Meets Midwest

Yet in October 2014, three months before graduation, I accepted a job offer that took me 1,300 miles from everything and everyone I’d ever known. Being a Texan is a huge part of who I am (as is true of most Texans, if you know many), but leaving Texas has turned into a big part of who I’ve become. My career with Monsanto began as an entry-level manager overseeing quality control at a soybean production facility in northern Illinois. Two years later I relocated again to Iowa where I now reside as a Production Manager in pre-commercial seed corn production.

Growing up and all through college I was a quiet, shy person who lacked confidence. However, the leap of faith that took me so far from home sent me soaring on a path of self-discovery. Since becoming a part of the agriculture industry I’ve found my voice and started to bloom. Over the past few years I’ve had the opportunity to Skype with classrooms and teachers all over the US, be a guest-host on Dr. Kevin Folta’s popular Talking Biotech Podcast, master presentations, and even give a keynote to 100 Louisiana Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers. All of these are things I never would have believed I’d do if you’d asked me just three years ago. Now I realize I just needed something worth speaking up for.