Passion for agriculture
Williamson’s interests in agriculture began as a child. “It happened through osmosis,” Williamson said of his parents, who each have backgrounds in agriculture.
His dad, an animal science professor at California State University, Fresno, taught him the value of agriculture and good work ethic. “Lessons learned on the farm are not easily replicated,” said Williamson. “I learned to take care of the little things before they turned into ‘big’ things.” Through working with his father, Williamson learned to ask himself how he could make things better or do things better the next time. "Make the best better," was their motto.
Growing up, the family had enough land for Williamson and his siblings to have a variety of projects. Williamson recalled that they always had animals. He specifically focused on pigs and rabbits.
His passion for agriculture grew with his participation in 4-H. When he entered high school, Williamson attended Clovis East and became actively involved in the FFA. He credits FFA for helping him understand the scope, opportunities and vitality of agriculture.
“We play a vital role in the everyday lives of people,” said Williamson. "There's not a day that goes by in someone's life where they don't need agriculture."
The more he became involved in FFA, the more his passion for the agriculture industry grew. Animal agriculture, the meats industry and food production are big areas of interest for Williamson.
Williamson served as the California State FFA Sentinel from 2005-06 and the National FFA President from 2006-07.
Williamson began his college career at California State University, Fresno, with a major in animal science. He later transferred to Purdue University, in Indiana, and majored in agriculture economics. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2011.
His educational path led him to take part in a myriad of internships, including a position at the White House during the summer of 2008 in the Office of Public Liaison. In this job, he was responsible for being the liaison between the public and President George W. Bush regarding the topics of agriculture, trade and sports.
In 2009, he interned with his current employer, Elanco Animal Health, on a project focused on improving the company’s social responsibility. He helped engage the company and its employees with two of the business’ social pillars: agriculture leadership and reducing world hunger.
In the fall of that 2010, he verbally accepted a position with Elanco Animal Health, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly. After spending some time working with the poultry business unit, Williamson had the opportunity to transition to the dairy business unit as a sales consultant in California. At the beginning of 2012, he began working with dairymen across Fresno, Madera, and Merced counties.
“Elanco is a leader in animal agriculture,” said Williamson. “My current position allows me to exercise my passions and talents. I work with dairymen and help provide them with products and services that help them better manage efficiencies on the dairy. The tools and services we provide to dairymen help the producers make sure that the food consumers eat is safe, affordable and abundant."
What it means to be a member of the Board
“This is an honor and a privilege,” said Williamson of joining the FCFB Board. “Fresno County and its farmers play an important role in the food industry. It’s an honor to help represent them and spread the message about how important Fresno County is to the world.”
Williamson is proud to have grown up in the leading agricultural county in the nation. He’s looking forward to helping set the direction for Fresno County Farm Bureau with his fellow board members.
“I hope to provide value from my past experiences and help offer a diverse perspective,” said Williamson. “I look forward to helping be an advocate for the members.”
He encouraged members to let him know their views and perspectives so that he can be an effective leader and representative for the county’s agriculture industry.
Williamson is also a member of the FCFB FAACT Class X.
Outside of work, Williamson enjoys surrounding himself with friends, family and food. He spends a lot of his free time reading, being outdoors and connecting with people.
“I love to coach and mentor young people to help develop their potential,” said Williamson.
He is actively involved in his church, The Well Community Church, in Fresno. “It’s an authentic place to connect to people and to God,” he said. At the church, he helps lead a middle school group and also enjoys being a voice for agriculture.
Meet Your Board Members Profile: Ag Today, Jan 13
By: Katie Rodgers