Staff spotlight: Kayla keeps her eyes on the future

Though she’s new to the Center for Rural Affairs team, Kayla Bergman already has big plans for her role in the organization.

Kayla does her work as a policy associate based in Iowa, and she will focus on expanding the Center's work in southern Minnesota, as well, to narrate the stories and values of Center supporters and rural citizens.

“I am building up a group of voices, representing the different groups of rural Iowans, around the topics of climate and clean energy,” she said. “I will elevate these topics through those voices during the 2020 presidential caucuses by connecting with rural Iowans and other organizations involved in caucusing.”

For the last four years, Kayla was a watershed coordinator in the South Skunk River Watershed in Iowa. During that time, she worked with farmers and landowners to implement conservation practices on their farms. Kayla also wrote, managed, and reported on numerous state and federal grants.

“I absolutely love working with the citizens and professionals interested in natural resources conservation,” said Kayla. “I truly value each relationship that I made through that position, and I’m excited to form new relationships through my role with the Center.”

Kayla’s connection to all things rural started at a young age, and has stuck with her into adulthood.

“Rural America helped shaped me into the person I am,” she said. “I grew up on a family farm in southeast Iowa and was active on the farm throughout my childhood.”

Kayla’s passion for rural issues comes from her belief that the responsibility, communication, and leadership she learned on the farm, as well as through memberships in organizations like FFA and 4-H, have stuck with her through college and into her career.

“I strongly believe I am the great communicator and leader I am today because of my rural roots,” Kayla said.

And, using those skills to help people in rural America is something the policy associate is looking forward to in her new role.

“I love the Center team and the authentic connection with the public in rural areas,” she said. “The topics the policy team are working on, like climate and clean energy, are things I am personally very passionate about.”

Kayla and her husband, Ryan, currently live in Nevada, Iowa, but hope to move to an acreage within the next year with their English Cream Golden Retriever, Rylee. They are passionate about traveling, whether worldwide or local, and love exploring new places and trying new things.

Kayla can be reached at her office in Nevada, Iowa, at kaylab@cfra.org or 402.687.2100 ext. 1034.