Michelle Klieger GPN 40 U 40 2024
40 Under 40, Class of 2024

Michelle Klieger


Stratagerm Consulting

Job Title



What 3-4 professional and/or personal accomplishments are you most proud of? 

  • Believing in myself enough to start my own business, still going strong after 6 years and doing work I love and am passionate about
  • Publishing over 100 episodes of a high-quality podcast for growers and producers
  • Having a successful enough home garden that is enticing enough to convince my family to eat veggies all summer! 

What led you to work in the horticulture industry? 

  • I’m interested in how agriculture makes our lives better and in return how we can use fewer resources in our production practices.
  • In my last role, I was the American Seed Trade Association’s director of international programs and policy. I helped businesses move seed all over the world. I got to stand in beautiful test plots, taste new varieties still in development and learn from brilliant plant breeders. And most importantly, I got to meet incredible people who explained their world to me.
  • I became interested in using my economic training to help horticultural businesses of all shapes and sizes be more successful. 

What’s the best thing about your job? 

  • I get to do what I love, every day.

Describe to a 6-year-old what you do in life? 

  • Talk to farmers about money


What are your favorite hobbies? 

  • Reading
  • Gardening
  • Playing with my kids

When you’re not working, what are two to three things we could find you doing? 

  • Taking walks outside, volunteering in my community or hanging with my closest friends and family

Fun Facts

Do you have any unusual talents, or can you tell us something interesting about yourself that other people may be surprised to find out? 

  • I’m pretty good at bold interior design. I like painting walls with bright colors and using accent pieces. I’ve got a pretty good eye for these types of things. 

What are you (un)secretly good at? 

  • Speaking very passionately about almost anything

What are your top three bucket list items?

  • Scuba dive
  • Hosting a dinner club
  • Seeing a meteor shower 

What’s your favorite plant variety and why? 

  • Mammoth sunflower — they are beautiful and also used for food, feed, fiber, fuel and even agritourism.

You’re buying a vacation package to anywhere in the world without a budget, where are you going? 

  • South America — I like trips that I can eat and drink my way through with a good mix of nature and culture. 

One thing you can’t live without? 

  • Library card