Olivia Hanlon supports FFED communications work

May 12, 2020

by Leigh Adcock, FFED communications specialist

Young woman with baby goat.
Olivia and Tanya.

Like valuable interns everywhere, our Olivia Hanlon has never met a new skill set she couldn’t acquire in a hurry! She’s been supporting FFED with communications tasks for the past year and a half. During that time, she’s helped the team with projects ranging from social media management to research on organic crop budgets.

Her regular duties included working with:

  • Agricultural Marketing and Resource Center
  • Small Farm Sustainability program
  • Visit Iowa Farms program, and
  • Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association

For each program, Olivia assisted with social media accounts, monthly newsletters, and other communication efforts.

Picking up podcasting

Olivia’s supervisor, Small Farms Team lead Christa Hartsook, said: “I appreciate Olivia’s willingness to learn new skills and opportunities to best serve our clients. She was able to quickly learn how to edit podcasts, which enabled us to put more podcasts out for our listeners, increasing our reach to a new audience with timely information.”

Young woman in graduation cap and gown next to Curtiss Hall sign.
Olivia graduated from ISU this month with an ag business degree.

Olivia said one of her favorite projects recently was podcast production. She helped out first with the established Small Farm Sustainability podcast series. This spring, she helped launch our new podcast, Back to Business Iowa. “These podcasts give me the opportunity to not only advance my technological skills but offer a wealth of information for me to learn while working!” she said.

Over the winter Olivia helped FFED program manager Craig Chase research the financial components of various organic agriculture publications. “This research really allowed me to apply my coursework in the ISU agricultural business program to the work I was doing for FFED,” she said. She also enjoyed helping the enterprise development team with some of their projects.

Looking ahead

Three people standing outdoors.
Olivia receives her American FFA Degree, with parents Jeff and Gina.

Olivia graduated from ISU this spring with a degree in agricultural business. She hopes to continue working with the FFED team on a temporary basis during the summer.

“When I came to Iowa State University as a freshman, I never would have imagined I would follow in my mom’s* footsteps and end up working for ISU Extension, even if it was as an intern,” she said. “Now, looking at extension from a new perspective, I can see that their goals align with what my passion has always been—helping those in the community and industry around me.”

You can reach Olivia at ohanlon@iastate.edu.

*Olivia’s mother, Gina Hartsook, is executive director of Story County Extension and Outreach in Nevada.