GREENVILLE - Janelle Brinksneader’s life revolves around agriculture and her family’s activities.
She is senior account representative at Andersons Marathon Ethanol.
She began work there in March 2013, having previously worked for Monsanto, her territory mainly right in Darke, Mercer, Preble, Montgomery and Butler counties most recently.
“I loved it,” she said. “Back in 2003, when we were living up in Crawford County and found out we were expecting our first child, we decided to move close to our family. So we moved to Arcanum in 2003 and I worked for Monsanto up until coming to work for the Andersons. Here, we are near to my grandparents and cousins on a farm and I want to raise my kids here. You can teach kids values on the farm.”
Now, she and husband Jason have three sons, Luke, 10, Lance, 6 and Logan, 4.
“We are involved in 4-H, sports and church, the Castine Church of the Brethren,” Brinksneader said. “We are 4-H advisers with the Swine Koolers and members of the Darke County 4-H Beef Club.”
The Swine Koolers is the club in which Brinksneader grew up.
“I showed pigs and Jason showed cattle,” she said. “We try to be involved in things our kids are involved in. We also coach basketball, me for Lane and he for Luke.”
It was while she was serving an internship at Monsanto’s that she met her future husband, who hails from Madison County.
“Jason was working in a retail facility called Terra that I called on as an intern for Monsanto,” she said.
The 1995 graduate of Arcanum High School majored in business at The Ohio State University. She graduated summa cum laude.
Daughter of Jed and Penny Smith, she played volleyball and softball, was involved with Fellowship of Christian Athletes, served as class president a couple of years, was inducted into the National Honor Society in high school.
“I enjoyed sports and was always in 4-H,” she said.
In college, she got involved in various organizations and clubs, indicating that college offered her some great opportunities.
“I met lifelong friends from OSU,” she said. “Agriculture is a close-knit industry.”
She added, “One of my highlights in college was to study abroad program in the Czech Republic. I enjoyed being overseas.”
Brinksneader made a complete career change when she came to Andersons from Monsanto.
“At Monsanto, I was selling mostly seeds and sometimes crop chemicals,” she said. “It was a very different environment. This [Andersons] is a very nice fit for a working mom. The career change allowed me to be challenged in an everyday job and work with and still be a mom and wife. It’s good for me.”
Her job is to buy corn for Andersons.
“We use 40 million bushels of corn a year,” she said. “Our goal is to buy the corn and keep the plant running. We have a relationship with farmers in the area. We can also buy soy beans and have them delivered to other locations.”
Not only does she work at Andersons, she has also gotten involved in the community.
She is now a part of the ag committee with the Darke County Chamber of Commerce, and she is a member of the OSU Alumni Club of Darke County where she plans the annual trip for high school juniors to the Columbus campus.
“It’s neat to get to know other people,” she said. “At an Economic Development meeting, there was talk about how we should sell to high schoolers to come back to Darke County and be able to work, run a family and be involved in organizations. That helped for me. When we were first married, we lived away for four years and had the chance to come back here. It’s important to promote and encourage our young folks in the area to look to come back to the county after college. There are great opportunities right here in Darke County to have a career and raise your family.”
Brinksneader’s husband now works as a salesman for Tru-Pointe Co-op.
“His home base is in Osgood but the home office is in Piqua,” she said. “Jason does a lot of traveling. We are both involved in agriculture and that is kind of neat because we can talk about the various things and understand what each other is going through.”
Juggling her career and family life is simple.
“I always said that Jason is a great help,” she said. “We figure out where we have to be each evening and my mom and dad are close. I am trying to get better that housework and such can be done later on. I’m trying to make a more conscious effort.”
The couple’s focus now is just to watch their children grow up and mold them to have strong faith and work ethic.
The Brinksneaders, who will celebrate their 15th wedding anniversary on Nov. 13, got to know each other as friends first before committing to a partnership.
“We enjoyed our time together,” she said. “We had the same likes and were close with our families. We enjoyed sports, and are Buckeye fans.”
And while they have similar interests, there are some opposite traits as well.
“Jason is very laid back and I’m wound very tight,” said Brinksneader, who indicated they were married at Faith Baptist Church in Greenville, the church in which she grew up and her parents were married.
In her spare time, Janelle loves working in the yard and in her flower beds.
“I enjoy decorating the home,” she said. “I have fun watching the kids have fun and work hard. I love the hustle of the two older boys and the work ethic they have. We have a feeder calf that Luke will be showing this year while Lane and Logan will be showing in the pee wee division and showmanship in pigs and with the calf.”
Janelle said she even helps out some in the barn.
“While my husband and son were recently away, the two little ones and I had barn duty,” she said. “I loved it and spending time with them. When we’re all at home, we try to be in the barn and helping each other. We just try to prioritize what needs to be done and figure out how we’ll do it.”
Her father-in-law works for John Deere and her father has all red farm equipment [Case and International], so their sons get farm equipment for Christmas.
“They [the grandfathers] spoil the boys,” she said.
And, she is okay with that.
“I’m a big proponent of raising my kids in a big ag or rural environment,” she said.