Broke out of her comfort zone, learned that not everything is in your own control, and created lifelong friendships with people across the country

Janelle Mitzner

Hometown: Wanatah, IN

High school: South Central High School (Union Mills) 

Major & Concentration: Agricultural Sales and Marketing 

Why did you come to Purdue: Originally wanting to go to vet school, I knew that Purdue had one of the best programs in the country. After experiences my senior year of high school, I decided to switch to a more business-oriented major. Going to school an hour from home allowed me to take part in new experiences and still be hands on at home at the family farm! 

Favorite Purdue tradition: Free Den Pop Fridays! 

Top three influences at Purdue:

  1. Student Advising Teams (ANSC & AGEC) – From starting in ANSC, they encouraged me to pursue my passion for marketing, which led me to the fabulous Advising Team in AGEC! 
  2. My mentors with the best advice: Amy, Denise & Haleigh! 
  3. Apartment 8 

Five words to describe Purdue:

  • Impactful 
  • Tradition
  • Transformational 
  • Memorable 
  • Empowering 

Top five highlights of your career:

  1. Serving as Purdue Agricultural Council's Director of Public Relations. I loved this role so much, there was so much creativity involved with the position! 
  2. Spending my 20th birthday on an animal production study abroad trip in Italy! 
  3. Being a co-founder of Purdue Ag Week's FRY-Day! 
  4. Presenting my Ready-Set-Sell call in front of my AGEC 331 class as a student. This opportunity created confidence in my ability to sell and also led to me being a TA for the class. 
  5. Being an Ag Council Student Representative for searching for a new dean for our college! 

Something you wish you would have done at Purdue: Boilermaker Half Marathon. 

Places you have been as a Purdue student 

  • Study Abroad – Italy (Venice, Milan, Bergamo, Florence), Paris for a layover! 
  • AFA Conference – Kansas City, MO
  • Sigma Alpha/AGR Conference – St. Louis, MO 
  • Internships – Explored the Midwest in Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky and our great home state of Indiana! 

Have to redo college in a major not in Ag: Elementary Education!  

Favorite club/organization: Sigma Alpha 

Favorite Student-led event/initiative: Moonlight Pancake Breakfast during Grand Prix week. 

Favorite Purdue event: College of Agriculture Career Fairs…..I LOVE networking and meeting new people, and Purdue always brings in the best people and companies in the country! 

Favorite place to study: Individually: Horticulture Building! A hidden gem. No one is ever in there! Group work: Ag Administration Building

Over your career where were you most likely to be found on campus: KRAN 790 for TA duties! 

Favorite spot on campus: HORT Garden for morning coffee!

Favorite thing about CoA: THE PEOPLE. 

Favorite thing about AGEC: The department is built on relationships. When I walk into class, I know that there will be a peer there to bounce ideas off of, and if there isn't, there is an opportunity to meet new people! Our professors are also super personable and often are on a first-name basis with their students!

Favorite thing about your major: I love how applicable our classes are to our future careers. I have already used so many of the skills that I have learned in class in my internships and my family's business! 

Favorite class: AGEC 331 – Principles of Selling in Agricultural Business

Favorite professor: Dr. Downey and Dr. John Lee 

Coolest project: Working with the Office of Academic Programs in Agriculture and my Ag Council Executive Team to plan the College of Agriculture Spring Awards Banquet. It was months of hard work, and we all came together to put on a great, smooth running banquet….Also surprising Dr. Fernandez at the end was the BEST! 

Three biggest accomplishments:

  1. Interning for two great agricultural companies: Corteva Agriscience and Bane-Welker Equipment! 
  2. Starting our own division at my family farm with my brother, that has turned into a fully operational business! Mitzner Meats has been my college-long project with building the website and creating all the marketing material. 
  3. Graduating in May 2021 with a degree from the best institution in the country! 

Things on your resume not listed above:

  • Protect Purdue Student Ambassador 
  • Sigma Alpha Mental Health Committee Chairman
  • Sigma Alpha Director of Leadership and Professional Development

Three words to describe you:

  • Loud
  • Organized 
  • Creative 

What are you passionate for: Shopping local. 

What intrigues you about the Ag industry: How much a big industry can seem so small. 

What motivates you

  • Going after goals that people think cannot be accomplished. 
  • A good iced coffee and a killer playlist. 

Favorite quote: "Champions are champions not because they do extraordinary things, but because they do ordinary things better than everyone else." 

Personal Motto: Eat well. Travel often. 

Where do you want to end up: After working in sales for the beginning of my career, I would like to open my own graphic design and marketing firm that focuses on connecting the agricultural industry with others 

Advice for underclassman: The hardest part about college is finding balance. Get your school work done, build relationships with different people and make time for yourself. Mental health is SO important! 

Biggest takeaway from Purdue: College is what you make it…..don't count on other people to carve your path. Make it yourself! Reach out for advice, establish relationships with mentors and colleagues, and chase after goals that scare you.

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

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