Staff spotlight: Jenna Sutterfield strives to create a better rural future

Small Towns
Farm and Food

Coming from a fourth-generation farm family, one of Jenna Sutterfield’s top priorities is finding ways to help maintain strong small communities, to sustain the rural lifestyle she knows and loves.

Over the years, she has aspired to do her part to make a better rural America. Jenna graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and minors in communications and community and regional planning. She then held positions with agriculture and health care nonprofits.

Recently, Jenna brought her love for rural America to the Center for Rural Affairs, where she was hired as a local foods associate.

In this role, Jenna collaborates with fellow Center staff to bring resources to farmers and rural communities.

“I was excited when I heard about the Center and how the organization stands up for the small family farmer and rancher, new businesses, and rural communities,” said Jenna. “I want to help create a better rural future for all at an organization that aligns with my values.”

Jenna also works with farmers on production practices and accessing local markets, as well as with schools and communities on addressing food security, local sourcing, farm to school programs, and rural grocery access.

Sandra Renner, Center Farm and Community director, feels Jenna's experience and passion for rural communities serve her well, as well as her commitment to creating opportunities for underserved farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.

“Jenna already understands many of the issues rural people face, as well as the impact that a small group of people can have to create innovative solutions,” Sandra said. “I'm looking forward to seeing how she'll infuse that into her work to support regional food business development, organic transition, and farm to school, particularly.”

Jenna hopes that by advocating for rural America, she can achieve her goal to make the world a better place.

“Agriculture and rural communities are my roots,” Jenna said. “Growing up on my family’s farm in south central Nebraska, I have seen firsthand the rewards and the challenges of living in a rural community.”

In her free time, Jenna likes exploring the great outdoors, making something delicious in her kitchen, and being with friends and family.

Jenna can be reached at her office in Lincoln at 531.335.1840 or