By Patti Wilson Contributing Editor
Calhan, Colo. native Danielle Kasselder has traded the Rocky Mountains for a new home in Nebraska.
Her youth was spent on the family ranch, showing cattle and small animals. She ran her own cows, going to AI school at the age of 15 to supply a source of home-raised steers and heifers for 4-H.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) senior said she chose UNL because of the quality of education offered and because agriculture “gets more respect” than Colorado residents can muster. She’s impressed that Nebraska has more cattle than people and reports that Nebraskans are what she loves most about the state.
Majoring in animal science, Kasselder has done two internships, one at Rooney Angus Ranch at Chippewa Falls, Wisc., and another at the JBS Beef Plant in Grand Island, Neb. The JBS stint included a rotation through five plant departments and gave her “a good feel for how the facility works.” She was consequently offered a job with the packer in the management trainee program.
She is especially interested in the company’s “zero-tolerance failures with carcasses at the final rail” policy. In other words, contamination. Kasselder hopes her position will be on the harvest floor in quality assurance and elimination of contamination.
For now, she is a board member of Young Nebraska Cattlemen and is fortunate to have relatives who show livestock in the area. Kasselder is always ready to ride along to jackpot shows and fit cattle; she prefers to stay in the barn and leave the show stick work to someone else. Like so many growing up showing, she gives full credit to the 4-H program for her work ethic and good attitude.
Readying for her permanent switch to become a Cornhusker, she says she is ready to “get out of Lincoln so I can bring my cattle to Nebraska.” Her guilty pleasure is baking, admitting her latest hill to climb is making an acceptable loaf of sourdough bread.
Danielle Kasselder will make a mighty fine addition to Nebraska’s rural community.