We are honored to recognize Lisa Buckentine this month for the Females in Food member spotlight. In this short Q&A Lisa opens up about her career journey in the dairy industry, greatest achievements, and advice she has for others.
Q. Tell us about your current role.
A. I am a Senior Merchandiser with Dairy Products, Inc. My focus is on butterfat markets and I spend my days supporting our customers and suppliers by helping them execute on sales, purchasing and risk management strategies.
Q. How did you decide on a career in the food industry? What has your career path entailed?
A. When I started out at Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!) as an Ag Business major I wanted to be a grain trader and applied for an internship with Gavilon (at the time ConAgra Trading Group). Through that internship I was exposed to the dairy products trading group. I really enjoyed it and the exposure it gave me to the food industry and was fortunate to be offered a full-time job as a Dairy Products Trader Trainee once I graduated. I have continued to build depth and expertise in dairy ingredients over the last 10 years and am now a Senior Merchandiser for Dairy Products Inc, the dairy industries unrivaled leader in supplying premium dairy ingredients, specialty services and peace-of-mind risk management programs.
Q. What accomplishments are you the most proud of?
A. I am proud of the outstanding team of traders that I have been able to work with and build a strong business and reputation with over the years. I’m also proud of completing my Masters in Economics and Masters in Business from the MSMBA in Agribusiness at Purdue and Indiana program.
Q. What are your areas of expertise for Females in Food members to connect with you on?
A. Reach out to me with questions on commodity dairy markets, procurement, sales, risk management and logistics. I get to touch a lot of pieces of the commodity dairy industry and would love to visit about markets or discuss a unique challenge you are facing in your business that we may be able to help with.
Q. What do you enjoy doing most in your free time?
A. My husband and I moved to a new home in the country in February and I have really enjoyed gardening this summer (both flowers and vegetables). We also live near a beautiful trail where I enjoy walking our dog and biking in the evenings.
Q. What advice would you give your younger self? Or What advice do you have for those who are just coming into the food industry?
A. Remember that no one has all the answers! It can be intimidating starting out in an industry where you have little to no experience, but remember no one, no matter how many years they have been in the business, has all the answers. We are all just doing the best we can with the information we have, and sometimes the information YOU have can be just as valuable, regardless of your experience level.
*Learn more about the Females in Food Community and become a member by clicking here.