After Andy Dorn graduated from Wilcox-Hildreth High School in 2006, he attended Southeast Community College Beatrice to get an associate degree in ag business and then maybe find a job with a farmer or at a feedlot.
Instead, he has spent the past 15 years traveling throughout the United States and much of the world representing a company that develops and sells high tech electron- ic cattle identification, monitoring and DNA collection tools.
"You just never know where you're gonna go," Andy said recently.
While growing up at Hildreth, the Wilcox-Hildreth FFA chapter member and officer was around farms and feedyards where his dad, Dan, worked. He also spent time on his grandpas' - Delbert Dorn and Leon Bertrand - farms.
In 2013, Andy put every penny he had into buying the 24-acre farmstead north of Minden that is the headquarters for his own business, Dorn Cattle.
SEEING THE WORLD
It was an internship required to complete his SECC degree that dramatically changed his career opportunities. While most students interned at Nebraska farms and ranch- es, Andy became a feedlot specialist for Allflex.
"They flew me to Dallas (company headquarters), gave me a credit card and a list of 80-some feedyards to visit," he said, mostly in the southern Great Plains. He and company officials were surprised when he visited all of those sites still in business.
Andy stayed on with the company part time after the internship and then was of- fered a full-time position as a feedlot specialist for Allflex products.
"I got passionate about electronic monitoring in feedyards," he said about new elec- tronic monitoring techologies developed to help feedlot managers, breeders and cow- calf producers gather health and reproductive information for individual animals.
Andy's next role was regional sales manager for Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming and Montana, which kept him "on the road all the time" for the next four years.
He moved into product development with the company's tissue samping unit to help beef and dairy producers select herd genetics. Other technologies provided bet- ter monitoring of cattle health and estrus cycles.
"You could correlate it as like a Fitbit, but it's a lot more than that," Andy said about features built into custom ear tags.
Next, he was named to manage Allflex's beef business in North America.
After Merck bought Allflex in 2019, Andy moved to a global marketing role working with international customers also interested in visual ID and electronic monitoring ear tags.
Now, as global commercial development director, he's involved in new products and new business ventures, some built in-house and others as acquired investments.
"I've had the great fortune to see a lot of things, meet a lot of people and see dif- ferent types of cattle around the world," Andy said about his travels to Australia, New Zealand, Israel and across Europe.
He also had the good fortune in 2017 to attend a birthday party in Lincoln for one of his customers. That's where he was introduced to his future wife, Hannah, then a University of Nebraska-Lincoln student studying agronomy and ag economics, and a member of the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council.
They were married Dec. 27, 2019, at Bethany Lutheran Church near Axtell.
Andy said that before the COVID pandemic, there was too much travel for his job. And then, suddenly, there was very little travel.
Check out this week Courier for the full story in the Beef Tab!
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