Student finds new passion after taking a risk with an internship in DC; now applying to law school in pursuit of a career in Ag Policy and Law

Name: Brooke Schafer

Hometown: Chebanse, IL

High school: Central High School

Major & Concentration: Applied Ag Economics with double major of Plant Genetics, Breeding and Biotechnology

Why did you come to Purdue: Great College of Ag and it felt like home

Favorite Purdue tradition: Hearing the fight song after winning basketball games at Mackey

Top three influences at Purdue

  1. My professors
  2. My internships 
  3. The three organizations I've been most actively involved in: Ag Ambassadors, Collegiate Farm Bureau, and the Grand Prix Foundation

Five words to describe Purdue:

  • Innovative
  • Challenging
  • Welcoming
  • Visionary
  • Home 

Top five highlights of your career

  1. Meeting wonderful people within the College of Ag, Purdue as a whole, and the agriculture industry
  2. Grand Prix Races 61, 62 and now planning Race 63 
  3. My three internships, with DuPont Government Affairs, Pioneer Product Stewardship, & Michael Torrey Associates
  4. Becoming an Ag Ambassador
  5. Agriculture in Italy Spring Break Study Abroad

Something you wish you would have done at Purdue: Sledding on Slayter Hill

Places you have been as a Purdue student:

  •  Italy
  • Washington, DC
  • Johnston, IA

Have to redo college in a major not in Ag: Economics 

Favorite club/organization: Ag Ambassadors

Favorite Student-led event/initiative: Grand Prix Race

Favorite Purdue event: Purdue Basketball Games

Favorite place to study: Ground floor of the Union

Over your career where were you most likely to be found on campus: Grand Prix Office

Favorite spot on campus: The Engineering Fountain 

Favorite thing about CoA: The College of Ag truly feels like a family. Wherever you are you can find someone you know and for the most part everyone is very supportive and welcoming. 

Favorite thing about AGEC: The career opportunities you are able to pursue with a degree in Ag Econ are so diverse and allow you to explore multiple paths.

Favorite thing about your major: The variety of classes I've been able to take and then focus in on what is of interest to me. 

Favorite class: MGMT 590: Contracts for Managers

Favorite professor: Cliff Fisher

Coolest project: Conducting research on the different regulatory approaches for pesticides in the United States and European Union.

Three biggest accomplishments

  1. Publishing a snapshot of my research in JPUR. 
  2. Securing great internships every summer. 
  3. Being on the Dean's List every semester.

Things on your resume not listed above: Policy Chair for Collegiate Farm Bureau, Honors College, and student worker in the AGEC Advising office.

Three words to describe you:

  • Ambitious
  • Passionate
  • Hardworking

What are you passionate for: I am passionate about the agriculture industry and figuring out how policy will impact farmers, agribusinesses and consumers. I also hope to be a part of making policy that protects family farms for generations to come. 

What intrigues you about the Ag industry: I'm intrigued by the ability of the agriculture industry to consistently evolve to new circumstances and bounce back from downturns and disasters. 

What motivates you: I am motivated by the belief that I can make an impact on the agriculture industry through my future career. I am also motivated by my family and wanting to make them proud. 

Favorite quote: "It never hurts to keep looking for sunshine" - Eeyore

Personal Motto: Do it with passion or not at all.

Accepted employment: I am currently applying to law school!

Where do you want to end up: After law school, I'm hoping to work in DC or the Midwest (with the ability to travel to DC for work upon occasion) as a lawyer and lobbyist for the agriculture industry. I'd like to work on a wide variety of issues for multiple clients, but also interact directly with farmers. Even if my future doesn't look exactly like this, I hope to be happy with my personal and professional life. 

Advice for underclassman: Take risks - something that may not be in your original plan may end up having a much bigger impact on your life than you ever thought it could. 

Biggest takeaway from Purdue: Big or small, there is opportunity everywhere. It may be professional, but it could also be related to developing personal relationships that will stay with you for a lifetime. 

Agricultural Economics, 403 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-4191

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