Alumni Spotlight: Doris Mold

 B.S. Ag & Applied Economics, Animal Science, and Agricultural Education '85; M.S. Agricultural & Applied Economics '94

Advisor: B.S. Ag & Applied Econ - Welsch; Animal Science - Rempel; Ag Ed. - Peterson; M.S. Ag & Applied Econ - Dale Dahl

Current Employer: Sunrise Agricultural Associates, LLC and Sunrise Farm primary; Teach one day a week for MAST International U of MN; Minnesota State Fair

Favorite memory of campus: Difficult question! So many terrific memories... my favorite memories are related to all of the wonderful activities that I was able to participate in and all of the wonderful people that I was able to connect with. I am happy to say that those wonderful connections have continued to this day.

Why did you choose CFANS as a college? My connection to CFANS (College of Agriculture) started when I was a 4-H and FFA member. I always felt at home and welcomed when I came for activities on campus. That welcome and also knowing I would receive a quality education with the college made it a natural choice.

Why do you think the University of Minnesota is so great? Land Grant University - teaching, research and outreach that brings together the critical components that can move us forward. Terrific and challenging coursework; Intelligent, caring CFANS educators who connect with their students. A wide range of meaningful student activities that enriches the student University experience.

Career information/professional achievements: I serve as President of Sunrise Agricultural Associates, an agricultural consulting business that I own and operate; and work as an agricultural economist and educator; as well as a farm co-owner/operator. I have taught for U of MN MAST International Program for the past 27 years. Previously, I worked as an Agricultural Economist at the U of MN in the College of Veterinary Medicine and I continue to work on research/education projects with the U of MN on a project basis. Initially following my graduation I worked for Cargill. My professional work covers a wide range of areas and activities including, among other things: farming; business, marketing and transition plan development; serving as a consulting and testifying economist; business/industry analysis; economic analysis; risk management analysis and evaluation; marketing; agricultural/business/leadership curriculum development and delivery; program evaluation; organizational, program, leadership, and volunteer development, among other things. I received a Masters of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics, and a Bachelors of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics, Animal Science and Agricultural Education, all from the U of MN. 

Currently I am the President of American Agri-Women (AAW). AAW is the nation's largest coalition of women in agriculture. In early 2015 I was one of twelve people appointed to be on the USDA Expert Panel charged with looking at how we can get a better understanding of women in agriculture and how we more accurately count women and beginning farmers in agricultural statistics. In late 2014 I was appointed to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Agricultural Advisory Committee. I served six years on the Agricultural Statistics Advisory Committee for NASS and chaired the committee for three years. I currently serve on the National Board of Annie's Project - Farm Management Education for Women. I am the past AAW First Vice- President, Vice-President of Education and a past President of the AAW Foundation and have chaired several committees for AAW. Mold is a Past President of Minnesota Agri-Women, currently serves as District 11 President and is the co-founder of the Annual Women's Agricultural Leadership Conference which just celebrated its 18th year.

A good portion of my life has been spent enthusiastically advocating for agriculture and educating people about agriculture. In my youth I was active in educating others through the 4-H and FFA programs and I continue this work as an adult volunteer in both of these programs. I also served many years as a CFANS mentor. I served as the chair of the Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation and completed six years on its board of directors. I founded the highly regarded Minnesota State Fair Moo Booth and helped found and worked on the development of the Oink and Baa Booths which are animal educational areas at the Fair. Annually these exhibits educate over three quarters of a million Fair visitors about animal agriculture. I was part of a $1.4 million capital renovation was completed to update and expand the work of the Moo Booth. Additionally, I am a member of, serve or have served with a number of other agricultural organizations on a local, state, national and international basis.

• Omicron Delta Kappa
• Gamma Sigma Delta
• Mortar Board Society
• Alpha Tau Alpha
• MAST International Award
• Meritorious Service to 4-H Award - Chisago County
• Minnesota Outstanding 4-H Livestock Leader Award
• University of Minnesota - Dean Freeman Award
• University of Minnesota - St. Paul Little Red Oil Can Award
• University of Minnesota - CFANS Alumni Service Award
• Minnesota Rural Futures Award
• 30 Year 4-H Leader Clover
• American Agri-Women Leaven Award
• AFSA FFA Honorary Chapter Farmer
• Novartis/American Agri-Women Leadership At Its Best Graduate
• Minnesota District 11 Agri-Women Outstanding Agricultural Mentor
• University of Minnesota 2004-2005 Outstanding Advisor Award, College of Agricultural, Food & Environmental Sciences, for outstanding teaching and service as both a mentor and academic advisor to students.
• Sigma Alpha 2006 Agricultural Advocate Award
• American Agri-Women President’s Award 2010
United States Department of Agriculture – Advisory Committee on Agricultural Statistics – Board Recognition 2012
• Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers - Friend of the Industry Award
• American Agri-Women President’s Award 2015 and Officer Recognition Award
• CFANS Distinguished Alumni Award 2016

What's your passion? What do you love about your work or field? Agriculture is life and my life is agriculture. Every day is different and I love the variety, scope and detail of what I get to do. I like to investigate and solve problems. I enjoy connecting people with each other and what they need. I am passionate about developing the next generation of agriculture leaders and advocating for agriculture.

How did your education at the U of M prepare you for what you are doing today? It reinforced that I need to learn something new every day, expanded my outlook of the world, and further developed my critical thinking skills.

What advice do you have for current students (and future alumni)? Find your passion and explore. Make sure that you take full advantage of the University experience. Pay attention to your academics, but also find student activities that will help you further develop your skills and interests. Your education outside of the classroom is just as valuable as your education inside the classroom. Network, network, network!!!!! Take the time to get to know your professors/instructors, they can provide valuable connections. Connect with your fellow students: you will be interacting with them for the rest of your career. Participate in professional meetings and conferences off campus. Get to know professionals in the fields that you are interested in. Finally, remember to be grateful, say thank you, give-back and have fun.