By Ann Gill (M.A., ’76)
Danielle Trotta (B.S., ’10; M.A.G.R., ’18) leads the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Colorado Proud program. Colorado Proud advocates buying locally grown, raised, and processed food and agricultural products.
Trotta grew up in Chatham, New Jersey, 20 minutes from New York City. When it came time for college, she was interested in veterinary medicine, and her mother told her CSU had a good program. She became sold on CSU when she visited our beautiful campus.
Once she became a student, courses in the College of Agricultural Sciences and the interactions she had with individuals in that college changed her educational and career paths. She fell in love with the college and the experiences she had, becoming convinced of the importance of the industry. She also met “other strong-minded women” there.
Trotta became involved in many ag-related activities and organizations. Through the Ag Ambassador club, she helped incoming students to the college and led educational trips. She helped with a variety of college activities, joining the Collegiate Cattlewomen Association and riding for the ranch horse team. She also represented CSU at various cattle industry events and found time to pledge Chi Omega sorority.
In talking about her CSU experiences, she notes the influence her favorite professors had on her and other students. She says they encouraged students to become part of campus life and to be proud Rams. She recalls one professor who made anyone who wore clothing from another university stand in the front of the class.
In addition to the relationships she forged with professors and through organizations she was a part of, she notes the friends she made who were in Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. They have become invaluable professional connections for her. As she explains, “If it weren’t for these CSU experiences and connections, I would not have the job I have today.”
Trotta has worked for a variety of agricultural businesses, including co-managing a red angus ranch in Eastern Colorado. She also served as a livestock welfare auditor for the National Milk Producers Federation, where she worked directly with CSU professor Dr. Temple Grandin. She then was hired as senior marketing specialist for the Colorado Department of Agriculture. This spring, she was named program manager for Colorado Proud.
In this role, she is an advocate for Colorado agricultural industries and for consumers to shop local. Among the strategies she uses to get the Colorado Proud message to consumers are awareness campaigns that shoppers see when they are in grocery stores, on social media, and in other forms of communication. One of her marketing strategies is publishing monthly recipes, the ingredients for which encourage consumers to purchase foods that are in season. She also reaches out to all the agriculture connections she made at CSU and in her previous positions to get stories to share with consumers.
Trotta, who lives with children Kennadee and Hazel in Berthoud, has tremendous Ram pride, which she not only displays with CSU license plates but also by the way in which she talks about her alma mater and the positive impact it had on her life. “CSU is amazing,” she says with her characteristic enthusiastic communication style. Danielle Trotta lives “Colorado Proud” in so many ways.