Olson Strives for Career that Blends Farms, Faith

For most, life outside of work is just that. However, Matt Olson is finding a way to connect his passion for agricultural communication and his faith.

Olson, who works for C.O.nxt as an account supervisor, is preparing to graduate with his Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Most of his degree was completed online; however, he completed in-person “intensive” courses one week per semester. He felt led to pursue ministry in 2018 and quickly realized how he can combine his two passions of agriculture and ministry.

“Faith and farms are values. I want to figure out how the two weave together and how I can best use my resources to help farmers,” Olson said.

Olson also noted that through his ministry studies, he began realizing the intersection between small, rural communities and the challenges the agriculture industry is facing.

“I learned how to be a good listener, and it helped me realize that one of the forefront issues in the agriculture industry is facing is increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts,” Olson said.

He also said he is paying more attention to the sustainability, education, and community involvement sectors of the agriculture industry.

Olson always has been passionate about agricultural communication and has worked in the industry in some form since high school. He helped create an internship position for himself at an agriculture news network in Wisconsin, where he then developed a student news correspondence program that has now grown to benefit six school districts in the area. Students are able to identify, develop, and broadcast one story per week to share on-air.

His internship experience sparked his love for communications, but he learned he could be more beneficial working in a different role.

“I knew communications was something I wanted to do, but it was a matter of figuring out how and where,” Olson said.

Olson is a new member of NAFB, and he is looking forward to working with its member broadcasters to help them in their mission to serve farmers and ranchers. He plans to remain in his agriculture marketing role with C.O.nxt as well as serving as a pastor at a local rural church.