Jennifer Penning, Livestock Herdsman, Parks

Jennifer began working for the Springfield-Greene County Park Board in 2009.

Jennifer PenningWhat’s something you’ve learned since working for the City?

I’ve learned that the public’s best interest is always at heart. ThePark Board, and all of its employees, are here for the public. Period. I know every decision we make out at the farm, we have to weigh the pros and cons of different solutions to a problem and figure out which one benefits the public more.

What’s the best part of your job? 

The smiles and happiness of our customers and watching the kids’ eyes light up as we hand out a colorful, sweet snow cone on a hot day ... priceless.

Why do you do what you do?

I genuinely love the job in all its facets. I love taking care of the animals, learning their personalities and their quirks, teaching people about them and sharing one of my passions with others. I am also able to put my craft and woodworking “skills” to use in this position. I’m a very hands-on person, and ifI can build something that the farm is going to benefit from, I build it.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Having a sick animal and knowing where the fine line is between helping them and saying good-bye.My job is to keep them as healthy and happy as possible, and I feel a lot of pressure when one falls ill.

What is the best part of your job?

Working with the animals. When you go out and pet them all over to look and feel for anything concerning, they just think you’re petting them for no reason at all. They are just happy to have you around giving them attention. I also love seeing how excited they get when you have treats and come running over to you. My absolute favorite thing is when we have babies –baby goats especially!