*This blog may contain affiliate links which help fuel my coffee addiction one post at a time.*
Ok, Ok I know I already used the phrase #GirlCrush when I career profiled Jodi Oleen in April. But, ya’ll I would not be sharing these awesome ladies with you if I didn’t have a crush on each of them. And Entrepreneurs are totally my thang, as Brooke say’s below, if you were raised in ag, it’s already in your blood.
Brooke Clay is no exception, I have been fan-girl following this lady for YEARS. Honestly, I am fairly certain she was one of the first people I followed on Twitter back in the day. She has such a way of connecting with people that you feel like you’re good old friends even if you have never met in person. It’s no wonder she has been able to carve her own path in the agriculture digital marketing realm.
My hearts desire with these career profile posts is to help those who would like a career in agriculture but aren’t sure where they fit, to get an idea of what is available in the vast industry. I also want to show anyone who isn’t involved in agriculture that it is more than the physical act of farming or ranching and that there are as many “working parts” in agriculture as there are in any other professional business.
Brooke Clay, is funny with a quick whit and an even quicker draw when it comes to her career and cheering on the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Takes some time to learn more about this ground breaking gal!
What is your name and favorite type of coffee?
At the risk of being too basic, I’m a sucker for Starbuck’s Caramel Brulée Latte. I’d love to tell you I take my coffee black purely for the sake of street cred at the local diner, but when the other basic girls of the world grow weary of their Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I know my time has come.
Every year there is a moment – typically in an airport – when it dawns on me standing in the Starbucks line is worth it.
What do you do for work?
The entrepreneurial gene runs fiercely through my cells: farmers, ranchers, construction managers, stylists, Realtors, et al. So, naturally, January of this year, I launched my own business – Rural Gone Urban – and I’m slaying dragons in the world of digital strategy. While launching a company can be tough, I’ve always been the girl who not only dances to the beat of my own drum … I also made the drum.
What is your background?
On my phone? A pair of Angus calves in a snow-covered pasture.
Noise? I’ve been dreaming of Sturgill Simpson playing Red Rocks for months and he’s nearly always blasting through my headphones.
Life? When I left Stilwater I joined the Oklahoma Pork Council, but quickly learned agriculture was way behind the curve when it came to marketing, digital, and storytelling. While living on the mainstream side of the Mason–Dixon line of ag/non-ag, I earned a few accolades as a social media manager for various tourism entities. Because I love farmers and ranchers more than most things on this earth, I came back to agriculture – staying agency side – while working with clients like Elanco, Bayer CropScience, Smithfield Foods, et al.
Did you grow up in agriculture?
A transplant by nature, I’m originally from central Indiana where my family has been farming for five generations. In fact, my great-grandpa was the Indiana Dairy Farmer of the year in 1952.
My parents, siblings and a pot belly trailer of cows moved to Oklahoma in the late 90s and today, my family runs a cow/calf operation and embryo recip program.
Did you attend College? Where? Degree?
I’m an Oklahoma State University alumna with a bachelors of science in agricultural communications and a failure-to-launch* masters of agriculture in international agriculture.
*I crossed the stage in Gallagher-Iba arena wearing my Pantone 166 gown December 2008. Job prospects were in the negatives. A master’s degree seemed like a solid option. My dad will forever call this degree my failure to launch degree.
Do you believe your academic training helped you get where you are? Why/How?
Oklahoma State’s leadership opportunities prepared me in life. Hard stop.
To be brutally honest, I could have eventually taught myself most of what I learned in design classes and googled my way through agricultural economics, but I would pay tuition ten times over simply for the leadership opportunities. Whether it was Alpha Zeta, Career Liaisons, Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow of the anxiety-ridden interview process for Homecoming Queen, I’m certain those opportunities are what truly molded me into a professional and set me up to be my best self.
And, to be frank, orange is absolutely in my color wheel. (GIRL, mine too. Go Pokes!)
What is your favorite part of your job?
Let’s go with favorite day. I coordinated a VIP event at BlogHer food for a global animal health company and the moment I was able to breathe a full breath knowing we knocked it out of the park was one of the best days of my professional life.
We had a waiting list! A waiting list for a VIP Milk & Mimosas breakfast at 7 a.m. Get outta here, man.
Connecting an extremely urban demographic with farmers is so vital to American agriculture. When given the opportunity to bring production agriculture to downtown Chicago I was all in. Thank goodness for live streaming! We live streamed with farmers in calf nursery in Indiana, a heifer pasture in Alabama and a milking parlor in California.
It was simple and perfect. Moving forward forty high-profile influencers have a farmer to use as their personal search engine.
What resources help you perform your job the best?
I am only as good as my wifi signal. With it, I am able to collaborate in real-time with colleagues, my support team (accountant, bookkeeper, attorney) through apps like HarpoonApp, Slack, and GSuite.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to pursue a career similar to yours?
While it’s okay to look up to someone, you’re not going to get to where you want by doing what someone else is doing. Learn to eat crow first thing in the morning, speak your mind when your voice shakes, and for the love do what terrifies you the most.
How would you advise others to promote agriculture as an industry?
It’s a lot like dating. Don’t spill your guts on the first date… it’s a slow burn. Connect on like-minded topics.
Are you into NASCAR? It’s not my jam, but do your thing. Can’t get enough of Sunday Night Slow Jams? SAME.
While you live, breath and dream agriculture, it’s okay to have other hobbies, dreams or aspirations. Use them to connect with those who are yearning to learn more about what you know best.
Throwing the tough questions, Aly! I’m a book nerd, but my word, have you read Love Warrior? Glennon is the kind of fearless woman who writes what we all need to read.
What are your top 3 can’t live withouts that can be easily found and ordered through Amazon Prime for us girls who may not live near a mall?
1. Aspen Bay Jar Volcano Candle, 19 Ounce, Capri Blue
2. Garrett Markenson Milk Hair Treatment 3.33 oz
3. Christian Dior, Addict Lip Glow in Pink Glow
Shop other 'can't live withouts' HERE
Girl, I am pretty sure we share the same spirit animal, a cow obviously.
But seriously, I have loved learning so much more about you Brooke and really appreciate the time you have taken to share with us. Thank you for the down to earth encouragement!