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Employee Spotlight: Jenna Sudol

Sudol professional headshot

Employee Spotlights

Job Title: Marketing & Digital Media Specialist
Location: Roanoke Branch
Tenure: 5 years
Briefly describe your involvement in 4-H. I was active with my local 4-H club in Hanover County, VA during middle school and high school. I competed in hippology contests, communication contests (public speaking, essay, presentation, etc.) and horse shows (local and state). I received the Weimer Communication Scholarship, which is awarded to graduating seniors who consecutively compete in 4 or more public speaking competitions each year.
Briefly describe your involvement in agriculture. I lived on a horse farm, although I didn't have an interest in agriculture until college. While riding with the equestrian team at Virginia Tech during my freshman year, I picked up a minor in animal and poultry science since I earned course credits from my riding lessons. I then identified an interest in agriculture and a need for stronger communicators in the field. At the time, I was a public relations major and decided to pursue agricultural communication as a career. Now, 5 years into a marketing role with Farm Credit, I am fortunate to work with farmers and help share their stories.
Has anyone in particular in your family had a significant impact on you? To this day, my mom is fiercely independent and tenacious, almost to a fault. On the farm, she was always taking on projects and learning new skills, oftentimes single-handedly and with the help of a YouTube how-to video. She taught herself how to install fencing and gates, make electrical repairs and so much more. I have always admired and sought to emulate her independence and tenacity. 
Tell us about your the best pet you've ever had. During the pandemic, I fostered a pit bull puppy named Tina (pictured below). She very quickly became a foster-fail and now, I couldn't imagine my life without her! She is simultaneously the best running buddy and couch potato a girl could ask for.

Pitbull dog

Who is your favorite musician or band? My favorite musicians fluctuate almost daily; however, one of my favorite bands is the Kitchen Dwellers. They are a bluegrass band out of Bozeman, MT.
What is your favorite podcast? My favorite podcast is "Leaders of the West" hosted by Jesse Jarvis. Jesse interviews leaders and entrepreneurs of the agriculture and western industries, including farmers/ranchers, marketing directors and CEOs.
What is your favorite food? I could easily eat sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Tell us about your hobbies. I love to run, from half marathons and local 5Ks to jogging the Roanoke River Greenway with Tina.

Running medal photo

What is your favorite place you've ever visited? In 2019, to celebrate my completion of grad school and entry into "the real world," my two older brothers (Ben and Brian) and I planned a trip to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The beaches were incredible!
What was your first job? My first job was at an amusement park (Kings Dominion). I was a retail associate for the Snoopy Boutique. I was quickly promoted to an assistant store manager and continued to work there throughout high school. It was a great first job!
Describe an accomplishment in your time with FCV that you are really proud of. One accomplishment that I achieved during my time at Farm Credit of the Virginias that I am really proud of is my completion of the Step Up to Lead program in 2023 (cohort pictured below). The 10-month leadership and development program was challenging, but the personal and professional takeaways were well worth the effort.

Farm Credit of the Virginias Step Up to Lead 2023 Cohort

What are your hopes for the ag industry? One of the most daunting issues facing the agriculture industry is the growing ignorance (for lack of a better word) in consumers regarding where their food comes from. The average American is 3-4 generations removed from the family farm and agricultural literacy is little to none in many households across the country. The growing disconnect between producers and the consumers they nourish is harmful for the industry. My hopes for the ag industry is that consumers take a greater interest in where their food comes from and the story of American agriculture.
What is your biggest claim to fame? During the spring semester of my junior year of college, I accepted an internship at an equestrian public relations firm in Wellington, FL. While in Florida, I had the opportunity to interview and photograph some of the top equestrians in the world, as well as members of some of the most affluent families. My biggest claim to fame was working the door and then attending an event hosted by Bruce Springsteen, hosted to raise funds for the U.S. equestrian team in advance of the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
What is one random fact you’d like to share? I'm a big foodie. I love trying new restaurants and foods. I'm notorious for snapping and posting a photo of my meal before digging in.

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