Jodi Wright’s career has been centered around Holsteins
Jodi Wright has been instrumental in influencing agricultural leaders of today and tomorrow. For as long as she can remember, agriculture has been a part of her life.
Jodi was born and raised in Colorado, helping her family on their own dairy farm, which produced world milk production Holsteins at one time.
After immersing herself in the agriculture industry at a young age – joining 4-H and FFA – she went on to get a degree in agricultural business at Colorado State University.
After receiving her master’s, Jodi worked for Harvest States Cooperative in St. Paul, Minn., then went on to work for Holstein Association USA as a field representative, bridging the gap between Holstein breeders and the state association, covering Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Missouri and Illinois.
It was around this time Jodi met her husband, Larry “Leroy” Wright, a registered Holstein dairy producer from Clever, Mo.
After assisting his family on their dairy farm, Leroy and Jodi purchased their own dairy near Monett, Mo., called Wrightvale Holsteins, with 70 head of registered Holsteins.
Jodi said her family – including her two kids Lora and Blake – have worked hard to grow their production.
“We are a true family farm and have never hired much outside labor,” Jodi said. “We focus on highly-profitable cow families with exceptional type.”
Their farm’s BAA (Breed Age Average) score for type is 108.6, the second highest in the state.
Away from the family farm, Jodi is still very involved in furthering the agricultural industry. She is the state executive secretary for the Missouri Holstein Association, which she has been a part of for 22 years.
“This position keeps me connected with breeders across the state, working on meetings, sales, field days, conventions, shows and other events,” Jodi said. She also works as a freelance website developer and agriculture ad designer.
“I have led a 4-H Club for nearly 10 years, and both my husband and I have been active contributors to the Missouri State 4-H Dairy Cow Camp and Dairy Judging Camp, providing cattle and instruction.”
Through this, Jodi said a proud accomplishment is to have been a part of coaching the Monett FFA Dairy Judging team, leading them to the state and national competition, and helping two individuals place in the international competition in Luxembourg.
Similarly, Jodi helped at the 2012 National Holstein Convention in Springfield, Mo., which hosted more than 1,800 adults and youth from around the world.
“I have absolutely loved working with the youth and adults of the Missouri dairy industry,” Jodi said. “They are inspiring, and innovative and always striving to improve. Missouri can be proud of their agriculture history and future.”
In 2016, the Missouri Dairy Hall of Fame recognized her with its Dairy Leadership Award.
If her dedication isn’t evident enough, Jodi is also a charter member of the Missouri University Extension Women in Dairy program, which is an educational and social support and outreach group of women in the dairy industry that meets monthly in Southwest Missouri.
To encourage women, and anyone else who’s passionate about agriculture, Jodi encourages them to follow their passion with integrity and character.
“If you don’t know the answer, then be honest and research it. You will be respected more for your honesty and integrity. Don’t forget to smile and be friendly,” Jodi said.
Her dad taught her to “never quite and give up” and “take advantage of every opportunity.”
Jodi said you can learn a lot about yourself if you just step outside of your comfort zone.
According to Jodi, the agricultural industry means “a sense of family and shared values,” which is something she enjoys most.
“Stewardship of the land and exceptional animal care are primary goals of the agricultural community and aspects that I am proud to be an integral part of,” Jodi said. “I have also enjoyed inspiring and fostering a love of agriculture.”