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Employee Spotlight: Elsa Southard

Employee Spotlights

Location: Orange Branch
Job Title: Loan Officer
Tenure: 11 years
4H/FFA involvement? I was an active member of our local livestock and dairy clubs for nine years. I showed dairy heifers and cows as well as beef steers. 
Agricultural involvement? I grew up on a dairy farm until I was six and then my family transitioned to a beef, grain and hay operation. My husband and I have a grain operation where we grow corn and soybeans. 

Tell us about your pets. We have a German shorthaired pointer named Hugo and a cat named James. 
Tell us about your family. My husband Ben and I have been married for nine years and we have two children. Adam is 7 and Charlie is 5. Both of our boys love being on the farm. However, they are excited to be back in school full time this fall. We are big Hokie fans and love rooting for our favorite team! 

Favorite book? My grandmother bought me the very first Harry Potter book when I was in the fourth grade. I immediately fell in love with the series and have revisited it several times as an adult. I am looking forward to introducing my children to these magical stories in the next few years!
Favorite and least favorite food? Favorite: Any and all seafood!  Least favorite: I've tried to like olives so many times as an adult, but I just can’t do it!
Favorite personal mantra or motto? “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." J.K. Rowling
Favorite place you ever visited? We took at family trip to Frankfurt, Germany, over Christmas when I was in college. It was incredibly beautiful and something I hope to do again someday.
What's at the top of your bucket list? I want to travel and eat my way through Scotland and Ireland!
Tell us about your hobbies. I love to grow flowers and have fresh flower arrangements in our home. Every year I keep adding new flower beds and pots on our patio. Last year I purchased a lemon and lime tree for my collection and already had some fruit ready this fall!
What was your first job? I mucked stalls for a local horse farm in the summer between seventh and eighth grade. 
What's your go to productivity tip or trick? Check lists! Nothing too fancy or complicated. Just make a list and cross items off as you go! It is satisfying and helps you stay on track.
What is your favorite thing about Farm Credit? I love getting to help customers and watching them succeed. Ultimately, if at the end of the day you know that you were helpful and a valuable resource to your customer you can count that as a win. 
What are you hopes for the ag industry? I hope we continue to educate the public about their food and where it comes from. There are so many misconceptions out there and it is our job to advocate for this amazing industry!  
What would you sing at Karaoke night? It would definitely need to be a group effort! No way am I getting up there by myself! 


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