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Jessie Condit blossoms in produce marketing role

As a fifth-generation member of her family's cattle ranch in Solvang, CA, Jessie Condit practically grew up on horseback. The 26-year-old comes from a very close-knit family. In fact, her grandfather, father and brother, Austin, 23, compete together in team roping.

Ms. Condit's grandfather taught her to drive a flatbed truck when she was six. She once owned a clothing company with her mother and her grandmother. She learned responsibility early and learned how to work with others.

Today, Ms. Condit is a senior account executive for Evans, Hardy +Young Inc., a full-service marketing agency in Santa Barbara, CA. She helps shape recommendations for a variety of the agency's food clients, including the Idaho Potato Commission, the Chilean Avocado Importers Association and the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association.

Ms. Condit also plays a central role in Evans, Hardy +Young's work to promote the American Wine & Food Festival - orchestrated by Wolfgang Puck - a celebration of America's greatest restaurants and finest wines. The festival benefits the Los Angeles-area Meals On Wheels charity.

Ms. Condit started as an account executive at Evans, Hardy +Young and was promoted to senior account executive within two years. She handles commodities advertising and public relations, which she said "fits me like a glove."

Ranching and farming people have a lot in common and deal with many of the same issues, Ms. Condit said. "I never close any doors," Ms. Condit said. "I'm happy at the moment. [Evans, Hardy +Young] is an ideal situation."

Creating promotional campaigns is what is most fun on the job, Ms. Condit said. She pointed to her collaborative role with a comic book campaign in 2008 on behalf of the Idaho Potato Commission as one of those fun experiences. The campaign "won every major marketing award," she said.

Ms. Condit earned a bachelor's degree in agribusiness with a minor in wine and viticulture from California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo. While at Cal Poly, she gained experience harvesting grapes and spent her senior year living in Florence, Italy, and also traveled to France and Switzerland.

She was the youngest member ever accepted onto Cal Poly's National AgriMarketing Association collegiate team and competed on a national level, focusing on genetically modified cottonseed.

Ms. Condit earned a master's degree in strategic marketing from Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

She has traveled to Chile with clients of Evans, Hardy +Young and "loves to experience new places," she said. Traveling has helped spur her passion for photography, another of her hobbies.

While living in Italy, she took to painting in acrylics and painted on location "all around Florence," she said.

One of her favorite paintings is the famous Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge over the Arno River in Florence.