Danyel Hosto is a consumer-focused food producer and marketer from a small town in Wisconsin, USA. Growing up on her family’s dairy farm, she fell in love with the animals and the notion that her family was producing food for others. Much of her youth was spent around the farm showing pedigree Holsteins, judging dairy cattle and developing her own cow families.

Showing gave Danyel the opportunity to begin interacting with consumers at local fairs by answering questions and letting urban consumers get up close and personal with cows. As she grew up, dairy promotion became second nature. One event she is particularly proud of is the annual Cows on the Concourse event in downtown Madison where they would bring cows to the regional farmer’s market.

“As a member of the committee, we brought farming to the city; connecting dairy’s story with thousands of consumers, which are on average three generations removed from agriculture in the states.”

Following her interests, she attended University of Wisconsin – Madison, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Dairy Science and Life Sciences Communications. Little did she know that the humble dairy cow would take her around the world after graduation. She pursued a marketing career with CRV, a global dairy herd improvement organisation. On her travels, Danyel was exposed to farming on four continents and lived in the Netherlands before finally moving to Hamilton, New Zealand.

Danyel has called New Zealand home for the past four years. Outside of her 9-5 marketing roles in the dairy industry for CRV Ambreed and Fonterra; she reconnected with the farming community. Through her involvement with the Dairy Women’s Network conference committee, as a TOP inspector and cattle judge for Holstein New Zealand. Settling into her new home country, she has been able to pursue connecting with the consumer from a different perspective. She is currently completing the Kellogg Rural Leadership programme where her research project strives to understand the consumer perceptions and motivations around synthetic meat and milk.

“I believe this is an important issue for our future in the primary industries. We need to stay relevant to the consumer and their needs as more diverse food options are available, what is our competitive edge?”

Additionally, she is a budding food entrepreneur. Danyel is part of the team starting up the Waikato Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), as well as exploring ways to connect consumers and producers through the bond of food.

Connecting consumers with food producers is so important Danyel and we are right behind you on wanting to share the stories behind where our food comes from. You are right, we need to stay competitive in such a changing market. Great story!