Introducing Cara Jensen | CITY’s Controller
A successful business stems from employees that are driven by ambition, both at work and in their personal lives. CITY’s very own controller is the prime example of such an individual.
Introducing Cara Jensen | CITY’s Controller
As the controller at CITY, Cara Jensen handles a majority of our business’s budgeting and oversees employees in the front office. Because of her role in managing the budgets and productivity of our different office departments, she is invaluable to CITY.
But Cara is more than a controller, she is a wife, mother, and she and her family show and sell Angus cattle all over the United States.
“CITY is a family oriented business that aligned perfectly with my career path, my life on the farm, and my dedication to my family,” Jensen said.
Raising a Family
Cara lives on and operates Jensen Angus Farm with her husband Cody Jensen and two children Cale (eleven years old) and Callie (eight years old). They support 120 Angus cattle and farm 900 acres of row crop, rotating between corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. The children both raise miniature Hereford cattle and show them across the country. Both Cale and Callie regularly show at local and state fairs as well. In addition to taking care of cattle, the children take care of a small number of poultry.
“Growing up as I child, my family raised chickens, turkeys, and ducks on our farm so my children wanted to be like their mom,” Jensen said. “Having farm animals taught me at a young age what it means to be responsible.”
Cara was born and raised on a small acreage farm in Durant, Iowa, where she attended Durant High School and graduated with a class of 53 students. Her grandparents owned the farm, and Cara gained first-hand experience with cow-calf operations and show cattle.
At school, Cara was heavily involved in sports. She played on many teams including volleyball, basketball, and softball. Cara was also on the bowling team and helped her school win a bowling state title.
Throughout her high school career, her favorite subject was math because as she says, “There is always a right answer.”
Despite her love for math, her passion for showing cattle influenced her decision to follow in her older sister’s footsteps by making plans to major in animal science. Her passion also drove Cara to serve as a delegate for Iowa in the National Junior Angus Show. During this time, Cara was introduced to her future husband Cody as he was running for the National Junior Angus Board.
Furthering Her Education
Cara first attended Muscatine Community College to earn her general education credits, and then she planned to transfer to Iowa State to major in animal science. In her time at Muscatine, Cara took an accounting class. After rediscovering her passion for math, and because of the strong outlook for accounting occupations, she decided instead to pursue a major in accounting.
“As much as I loved the farm life, I wanted a career path that would be able to provide financial security for my life on the farm,” Jensen said. “I also had a great college professor that helped me realize my natural talent when it came to accounting. That is when I decided to change my major.”
After completing her general education credits, Cara transferred to Iowa State and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a minor in animal science.
Learning on the Job
After college, Cara, alongside Cody, stayed active in showing Angus cattle. In 2003, Cody and Cara married and moved into a house located in Plainfield, Iowa that was originally owned by Cody’s grandparents where they continue the Jensen family farm legacy.
While Cody managed the farm, Cara got her foot in the door of many different accounting industries. She worked at a local accounting firm to gain a stronger understanding of auditing and taxes. After gaining experience through two of the company’s busiest seasons, Cara worked at Waverly Light and Power, where she worked as the accounting manager.
Despite the 50-minute commute from Plainfield to Oelwein, when Cara saw an opportunity to take her career to the next level, she didn’t hesitate to apply.
“I saw a new opportunity, and I knew if I didn’t act on it, I would always wonder. So I interviewed at CITY,” Jensen said.
Cara made her first trip to CITY for an interview, and the rest is history. She loved the atmosphere at CITY, the opportunity the job was offering, and CITY’s values of hard work and quality.
Cara says she stays with CITY due to the same reasons why she took the job in the first place.
Operating a Family Business
Once the workday at CITY is complete, Cara goes home where she and her family complete chores once again.
Every night after work during the spring, Cara heads home to, as she describes, a “peaceful” routine. She regularly rinses and washes the show heifers. This routine takes around one to two hours.
“All the work is done and prepped at home to be successful at the show,” Cara said.
The Jensen Angus Farm is much more than a family operation; it operates as a business as well.
“Our customers are people who have bought heifers or bulls from us for showing, and we actually try to make it to those shows to help them succeed and promote ourselves as well,” said Cody Jensen. “Jensen Angus Farm has grown dramatically in scale of the cow-calf operation over the last 15 years. We actually ship embryos across South America with one of our partners now.”
When not working at CITY and working on the farm, Cara and her family spend their free time traveling to national cattle auctions, fairs, and shows to compete in competitions.
“The reason we live on a farm is because it teaches the kids how to respect animals and themselves, it also teaches them work ethic,” said Cara. “Nobody can come and take our farm away, it’s what we do, it’s who we are, and I’ve always liked that.”
Telling Cara’s Story
In her time here, Cara has appreciated the way CITY has treated her like family, especially when it comes to her own personal family situations.
“CITY has been great to me. One of the best things about CITY is they treat you like family. CITY knew about my passion for the farm, and instead of making me pick or choose, they embraced my passion and fully support my family farm,” Cara Jensen.
Every occupation before CITY contributed to Cara’s growth as an employee, and because of her experience in a number of fields as an accounting manager, she has grown exceptionally into a position of leadership at CITY.
“You are part of a team at CITY,” said Cara. “Your thoughts and opinions are taken into consideration, and they truly make an impact. I am challenged to be the best I can be both professionally and personally.”
Cara is a member on the CITY executive team, and she is a crucial asset to CITY’s future.
“I want to play an instrumental part in the success of a growing business and that is what CITY is about,” Jensen said. “We have a bright future at CITY, and I am happy to be on this team.”
Cara’s has aspirations to one day become the Chief Financial Officer of CITY. Furthermore, Cara is committed to quality. From raising purebred Angus, to providing admirable leadership and management of employees, Cara is determined to uphold excellence in everything she does, and that is why she is the controller that is going to help take CITY to new levels of success.