Team member spotlight: Olivia Hanlon

February 12, 2021
Woman, man and dog.
Olivia with partner Dylan and Loki.

What’s your name and job title?

Olivia Hanlon, Education Extension Specialist.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

I’d love to say motivation to start my day, but if I’m being honest it’s my dog. He loves to play as soon as he wakes up! 

How would you describe your job to a child?

I help small farmers and producers make their operations successful by teaching them about the basics. 

What is your biggest achievement to date, personal or professional?

As odd as it may sound, my biggest achievement to date has been the year of 2020! I was an ISU agricultural business graduate in May of 2020, so that was of course very exciting. After graduation, I was able to start full-time here with FFED, which I have enjoyed very much! I also adopted and successfully potty-trained (boy, was that a huge achievement) my puppy. All while living in the crazy pandemic world of 2020! 

What does a typical day look like for you, and what are you currently working on?

I typically start my morning with coffee—lots and lots of coffee—and some dog play time! I am very lucky to have a job that allows for a lot of variety, so after the start of my morning the day-to-day varies widely. A large majority of the time, I work on projects for the small farms team. However sometimes I also work with the business development team. Most of my work lately has involved the Small Farm Sustainability podcast and arranging the Specialty Producers Risk Management Webinar Series

What are your biggest professional challenges?

With such a large variety of responsibilities, I sometimes find it easy to get lost in one of the many amazing projects I work on day to day!  

What three words would you use to describe your role?

Communicator, Facilitator, Educator.

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

I would choose my grandma. She was one of the most inspiring people in my life. She was so spirited, had one of the best work ethics, and loved to give back—especially to the kids at the local library! All three traits are something I would want a mentor to pass down to me.

What do you like most about your job?

Being able to provide information to producers and hearing how they utilized the information to better their operation.

What is your motto or favorite quote?

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants.” ~ Coco Chanel

What’s your favorite blog or website?

I am a huge fan of Pinterest! I love that you can find anything… food, crafts, or (a guilty pleasure) beautiful homes!

Given a chance, who would you like to be for a day?

I would choose to be a travel blogger! I spent some time in Germany a few years ago and enjoyed experiencing their culture, so I would love to travel and experience a variety of cultures.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Aside from the aforementioned Pinterest dream houses, I spend a LOT of time crafting. Sometimes more than I’d like to admit!