A Woman On A Mission, Taking The Pork Industry By Storm

A Woman On A Mission, Taking The Pork Industry By Storm

*This blog may contain affiliate links which help fuel my coffee addiction one post at a time.*

I have a confession to make, I've got a serious #girlcrush on this successful woman in agriculture. Jodi Oleen is a woman on a mission, taking the pork industry by storm. Jodi is the ultimate "See it. Want it. Go Get It." gal. She is a woman who did not grow up in the agriculture industry yet she is currently one of the most successful communicators in the biz, managing accounts with over 80,000 followers, not to mention mama to one seriously adorable outlaw.

My hearts desire with these career profile posts is to help those who desire a career in agriculture but aren't sure where they fit, to get an idea of what is available in the vast industry. I also want to show anyone who isn't involved in agriculture that it is more than the physical act of farming or ranching and that there are as many "working parts" in agriculture as there are in any other professional business.

I've got a lot of respect for this leading lady, so without further delay, The Pork Queen, my friends.

Career Profile: Jodi Oleen, Director of Consumer Outreach, Kansas Pork Association

Firstly, and obviously most important - What is your favorite type of coffee?

Christopher Bean, Winter Wonder Land. It’s like a party in your mouth.

What do you do for work?

I work as the Director of Consumer Outreach for the Kansas Pork Association. That means I help non-farmers learn more about pig farming and how to cook pork. Our outreach methods have changed over the years and today, the vast majority of my work is digital.

Kansas Pork has curated a community of over 80,000 online pork lovers, and I “feed” them.

What is your background?

Florida girl. Born and raised. On the playground is where I spent most of my days…. Oh, sorry…. That may be copywritten.

But really. I’m a Florida girl. I grew up working in my family business in the plumbing industry, wanted to go to vet school, decided I didn’t want to go to vet school and then pursued working in agriculture sales. I wasn’t much for the travel and that is how I ended up at Kansas Pork.

Did you grow up in agriculture?

Nope, sure didn't. Mom had a Yorke and a Pekingese and dad liked to golf. I was this weird gal that liked horses. I think that was my gateway drug to Kansas.

Did you attend College? Where? Degree?

I attended the University of Florida for my B.S. in Animal Science, Equine Option and then returned for my Masters in Agribusiness in Food and Resource Economics.

Do you believe your academic training helped you get where you are? Why/How?

Absolutely. One class, in particular, Global Food Politics/Trade. It has really helped me talk with people about why the United States may use food technology that other countries may not accept.

What is your favorite part of your job? My farmers.

They are the best. I have the ultimate respect for them and I love seeing non-farmers learn about how we care for our pigs, the people who work on our farms and the planet.

What resources help you perform your job the best?

All hail the interwebs. I’m looking at you, Facebook….you game-changing rock star. Our office is small. We used to do a lot of travel and booths at tradeshows and conferences. But today, we feed gazillion times the people with 1/123 of the resources (time/travel/money).

What advice do you have for someone who would like to pursue a career similar to yours?

Learn to be nice and listen. Really. I know it sounds simple. People have real questions about where their food comes from. Every question has a backstory. Figure out why they ask what they ask, then address the real concern. Oh, and don’t dis Facebook in your job interview. I’m looking at you, young millennials and thereafter.

How would you advise others to promote agriculture as an industry?

However, you feel most comfortable. Some of us do our best work on the local school board, some at the farmers market, some online, and some at the Capitol. You do you. But really listen to the concerns. Drop the “message.” Also, stop advocating at the grocery store unless it’s really conversational. I find that a lot of people like to advocate at the grocery store. A lot of those people don’t have kids or don’t ever shop with kids. They don’t get that the grocery store for a busy mom after work is more like an intricate maze of a warzone. We need to open up our mind to think like a non-farmer. We need to hit them when they are looking for stuff about farming not when they are juggling all of life’s responsibility and just trying to take a recipe to seem nice. See Google search, farmers markets, SEO, rebate/earning apps for shopping, online ad buys, etc. for better options.

Favorite Book?

Harry Potter. But, I am currently reading Eat What You Love by Michelle May. Super cool book for those who have dieted for like 30-some years….

What are your top 3 can’t live withouts that can be easily found and ordered through Amazon Prime for those of us who may not live within easy access of shopping destinations?

  1. Because if you say you can do life without BACON, you're probably lying.
  2. My face, I can't do life without my face. And I love THIS mineral foundation.
  3. This mane of mine needs help, and every girl needs a good hair straightener.

Shop other 'can't live withouts' HERE

Jodi, thank you so much for taking the time to share more with us about your passions and career, you're a boss. Keep doing you.