By Anna Genasci
Stanislaus County Farm Bureau
Rebekah Mast grew up on a dairy in Denair, Calori-D Holsteins, that her grandparents purchased in the 1980s. She is the oldest of four siblings and showed dairy cattle in 4-H since she was 10 years old. It was no surprise when she went onto Modesto Junior College to study Dairy Science.
“At MJC I was on the judging team and participated in the Dairy Club,” shared Mast.
Following MJC she graduated from California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo, where she majored in Dairy Science and minored in Agriculture Business. During here time there, she was on the winning 2004 Cal Poly Dairy Judging Team at World Dairy Expo, where she ranked second overall individual.
And with a tenacity for looking to the next challenge, in 2016, she earned a Master’s of Advanced Studies in International Affairs from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California in San Diego.
Just this June, Mast accepted the newly formed position of Associate Vice President of Genetic Dairy Solutions and Talent Development for World Wide Sires and Select Sires Inc. In this role, she will work closely with the Global Dairy Solutions and Select Dairy Solutions teams to develop and deliver genetic tools and training for the global network.
World Wide Sires, Ltd. provides genetic and management solutions to address the needs of global dairy producers and ensure the long-term profitability of their businesses. Based in Visalia, WWS represents the largest global A.I. cooperative, Select Sires, Inc., and its product lines, Accelerated Genetics, GenerVations and Select Sires.
Mast is no stranger to WWS, Select Sires Inc. or the world of cattle genetics. Most recently, she served as the director of training and genetic programs for World Wide Sires. In that role, she conducted training in dairy cattle genetics and dairy farm management in more than 30 countries throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Previously, she was an area director of marketing for WWS, serving territories in Africa and Eastern Europe. Prior to joining WWS in 2012, Mast served as a sire analyst and marketing manager for a genetics company.
“We are very pleased that Rebekah has accepted this opportunity to expand the support and development of our teams,” said Wayne Conrad, Vice President of International Global Dairy Solutions. “Rebekah brings tremendous experience having worked with breeders as well as our sales teams in over 40 countries around the globe. She brings a fresh perspective and deep understanding of our business.”
Mast’s tenure with WWS has included extensive international travel.
“I have always enjoyed other cultures, learning about people across the world. It is interesting how our basic goals are the same, no matter where we are from,” she said.
Mast did consider going back to the family dairy after college, but her dad told her to work somewhere else for two years, to get a taste of what else is out there. Right after graduation she worked as a Regional Sire Analyst with ABS Global for five years, a provider of bovine genetics, reproduction services, technologies and udder care products. It was during this time that she discovered she enjoyed working with people and sharing her knowledge about dairy cows and genetics. However, Mast still spends every Christmas morning working alongside her dad at the dairy.
When she is not traveling abroad or training, she enjoys time with her 12 nieces and nephews. It seems she may have secured the title of “favorite auntie,” each of her 12 nieces and nephews get homemade, decorated, themed, sugar cookies for their birthday.
While work keeps Mast on the move, when she is home, she loves being outside, running, hiking, and riding her motorcycle. And now, she is off to her next adventure. This summer Mast will be moving to Ohio, WWS headquarters. This is a big change for her. Living in Turlock, near her folks, three brothers, three sisters-in-law, and 12 nieces and nephews, Mast enjoys time with her family. She shared that she and her mom may share some tears before her move.
Women in Agriculture:
By Anna Genasci