When Michael Klamm graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in agricultural business in 2010, he didn’t expect to expect to have a leadership role at the USDA. But just five short years later, Klamm is now the national cattle statistician at the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Responsible for more than 30 reports a year, Klamm compiles statistics on cattle inventory, prices, and production trends for U.S. cattle producers.
Strong connection with industry
“I have always enjoyed working with numbers,” said Klamm, who also minored in economics at CSU. “I also had a strong connection with the cattle industry from the days showing both beef and dairy cattle, to my time working on my family cattle ranch in southern Colorado, and throughout my time at CSU.”
Klamm saw attending CSU as his only option – if he wanted to study agriculture and stay in Colorado. Colorado State University is the only four-year institution in Colorado that grants degrees in agriculture. In his youth, Klamm participated in both FFA and 4H, and he always knew that CSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences was where he wanted to be.
During his time at CSU, Klamm served as a teaching assistant for both micro-economics and a freshman computer class – a role not usually given to undergraduates.
“Mike’s success is not surprising, and I feel lucky to have worked with him,” said Christopher Goemans, associate professor of agricultural and resource economics. “Yes, he was a hard worker and very bright, but equally important was his positive attitude and desire to be involved. We are all proud of Mike and excited to see what the future holds.”
Klamm’s CSU experience also included interacting with faculty members in the Department of Animal Sciences. Former department head Bill Wailes helped guide Klamm as he progressed through his studies.
“What I learned at CSU, and have been able to apply in my professional career, is that economics, agricultural and resources, and animal sciences are really quite connected,” said Klamm. “I am grateful that I was able to learn about all three areas during my time as an undergraduate.”
“Mike’s willingness to engage in scholarship in and outside the classroom – in essence his willingness to ‘own’ his learning process – is the foundation on which his successful career is founded,” said James Pritchett, executive associate dean in the College of Agricultural Sciences and professor of agricultural and resource economics. “We’re very proud of Mike and look toward finding avenues for all of our students to have similar successes.”
The National Agricultural Statistics Service
The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) conducts hundreds of surveys every year and prepares reports covering virtually every aspect of U.S. agriculture. Production and supplies of food and fiber, prices paid and received by farmers, farm labor and wages, farm finances, chemical use, and changes in the demographics of U.S. producers are only a few examples. For more information visit: http://www.nass.usda.gov/.