Women in Agriculture: Rebekah Mast
By Anna Genasci
Stanislaus County Agricultural Bureau
Rebekah Mast grew up on a dairy in Denair, Calori-D Holsteins, which her grandparents bought in the 1980s. She is the eldest of four siblings and has shown dairy cows in 4-H since l 10 years old. It was no surprise when she went to Modesto Junior College to study dairy science.
“At the MJC, I was on the judging team and competed in the Dairy Club,” Mast said.
After MJC, she graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, where she majored in dairy science and minored in agriculture. While there, she was part of the winning team of 2004 Cal Poly Dairy judges at the World Dairy Expo, where she placed second overall.
And with a tenacity to take on the next challenge, in 2016 she earned a master’s degree in advanced studies in international affairs from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego.
Just this month of June, Mast has accepted the newly formed position of Associate Vice President of Dairy Genetic Solutions and Talent Development for World Wide Sires and Select Sires Inc. In this role, she will work closely with the Global Dairy Solutions and Select Dairy Solutions teams to develop and providing genetic tools and training for the global network.
World Wide Sires, Ltd. provides genetic and management solutions to meet the needs of global dairy farmers and ensure the long-term profitability of their businesses. Based in Visalia, WWS represents the world’s largest AI cooperative, Select Sires, Inc., and its product lines, Accelerated Genetics, GenerVations and Select Sires.
Mast is no stranger to WWS, Select Sires Inc. or the world of bovine genetics. Most recently, she served as Director of Training and Genetics Programs for World Wide Sires. In this capacity, she has provided training in dairy cattle genetics and dairy farm management in more than 30 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Previously, she was Regional Marketing Director for WWS, serving territories in Africa and Eastern Europe. Prior to joining WWS in 2012, Mast was a bull analyst and marketing manager for a genetics company.
“We are very pleased that Rebekah has accepted this opportunity to extend the support and development of our teams,” said Wayne Conrad, vice president of International Global Dairy Solutions. “Rebekah brings tremendous experience having worked with breeders as well as our sales teams in over 40 countries around the world. She brings a fresh perspective and in-depth understanding of our business.
Mast’s tenure with WWS has included extensive international travel.
“I’ve always loved other cultures, learning about people from all over the world. It’s interesting that our basic goals are the same no matter where we come from,” she said.
Mast considered returning to the family dairy after college, but his father told him to work elsewhere for two years, to get a taste of what else was there. Immediately after graduation, she worked for five years as a regional bull analyst at ABS Global, a provider of bovine genetics, breeding services, technologies and udder care products. It was during this time that she discovered that she enjoyed working with people and sharing her knowledge of dairy cows and genetics. However, Mast still spends every Christmas morning working alongside his father at the dairy.
When she’s not traveling overseas or training, she spends time with her 12 nieces and nephews. It looks like she’s earned the title of ‘favorite aunt’ as each of her 12 nieces and nephews receives homemade, decorated and themed sugar cookies for their birthday.
While work keeps Mast on the move, when she’s home she enjoys being outdoors, running, hiking and riding a motorcycle. And now she’s off on her next adventure. This summer, Mast will move to Ohio, WWS headquarters. It’s a big change for her. Living in Turlock near his parents, three brothers, three sisters-in-law and 12 nieces and nephews, Mast enjoys spending time with his family. She shared that she and her mother might share a few tears ahead of her move.