First-Generation student found home at Purdue; encourages others to use their uniqueness

Jordan Michel

Hometown: North Manchester, IN

High school: Manchester Jr. Sr. High School 

Major & Concentration: Double major in Sales & Marketing and Agronomy with a concentration in Agronomic Business and Marketing; also earning a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Why did you come to Purdue: Knowing I would be the first person in my family to graduate with a bachelor's degree, I needed to attend a school willing to push me to grow to my maximum potential. Once I realized my passion for agriculture, I shifted my focus to colleges with agriculture programs. Purdue continuously impressed me with their caliber and already felt like home after countless visits for FFA. It took a long time to decide Purdue was the school for me, but I have never once regretted my decision! 

Favorite Purdue tradition: Attending Purdue Basketball games. Nothing beats the chills you get during the "Our House" pre-game video! Four years later I still find myself thinking "Wow, I actually get to go to school here".  


Top three influences at Purdue

  1. My advisors, in both departments, for making my goal of double majoring successful
  2. The NAMA team members and advisors who continuously inspired and encouraged personal and professional growth
  3. Multiple Rising Professionals and Old Masters from my years involved in the program

Five words to describe Purdue

  • Tradition
  • Excellence
  • Innovation
  • Challenge
  • Passion


Top five highlights of your career

  1. All the memories made and lessons learned with the NAMA team.
  2. Being tapped for Old Masters as I was getting back to campus from skydiving.
  3. The opportunity to make lifelong friendships and be involved with BMOC through Zeta Tau Alpha.
  4. Obtaining 3 amazing internships with 3 amazing companies (Helena Agri-Enterprises, John Deere, and Corteva Agriscience) that have allowed me to travel and experience various sectors of the industry.
  5. Watching Purdue beat Tennessee during the tournament and move on to the Elite Eight! 

Something you wish you would have done at Purdue: Joined Ag Week Task Force

Places you have been as a Purdue student:

  • All over Indiana and Eastern Illinois for my internship with Corteva Agriscience 
  • Des Moines, Iowa for my internship with John Deere
  • Kansas City, Missouri for John Deere and NAMA Conference 
  • Moline, Illinois for John Deere 
  • Berne, Indiana for my internship with Helena Agri-Enterprises
  • Indianapolis, Indiana for National FFA Convention as a brand ambassador for American Ethanol and American Degree recipient  
  • Various distinguished businesses in the ag industry (Beck's Hybrids, ADM, Dow AgroSciences, etc.) across Indiana in AGEC 296

Have to redo college in a major not in Ag: Health Sciences, Pre-Med

Favorite club/organization: Purdue National Agri-Marketing Association 

Favorite Student-led event/initiative: Zeta Tau Alpha's Big Man on Campus. Not only is it the largest greek philanthropy on campus, but all proceeds of year-round efforts go towards the Purdue Cancer Research Center and Breast Cancer Education Research and Awareness. After watching my mom battle breast cancer, this event touches my heart. It is amazing to see busy students raise awareness and funds for such an important cause! 

Favorite Purdue event: Old Masters and Rising Professionals Programs

Favorite place to study: Crops Resource Center or the 3rd floor of the HSSE Library 

Over your career where were you most likely to be found on campus: In Krannert for a NAMA meeting or working at one of the many jobs I've had as a student

Favorite spot on campus: Zeta Tau Alpha

Favorite thing about CoA: I wouldn't want to belong to any other college at Purdue. The CoA is a place of acceptance, friendship, and passion. Attending a school as large as Purdue was intimidating at first, but I quickly realized the CoA has a small, personal aspect to it. Knowing that, while we come from different backgrounds and places across the country, we all share the same passion of wanting to contribute to the future of the ag industry.

Favorite thing about AGEC: My favorite thing about the AGEC department is the people. Students, faculty, and staff are there to build each other up and are always willing to lend a helping hand. The classes are also smaller than most, so your peers quickly become your friends. I never worry about walking into a class on the first day and not knowing anyone. 

Favorite thing about your major: The Sales and Marketing curriculum includes a wide variety of courses. The versatility of the program allows students to use their degree in many different ways to pursue their own passions. 

Favorite class: AGEC 431 – Advanced Agri-Sales and Marketing; and AGRY 255 – Soil Science (I can't choose just one!)

Favorite professor: Dr. Brady Brewer and Dr. Lee Schweitzer 

Coolest project: Getting to present our AGEC 431 capstone project to industry professionals at Beck's Hybrids in Atlanta. 

Three biggest accomplishments

  1. Each and every one of my internships
  2. Achieving high grades while working through school
  3. Our NAMA plan winning our preliminary group and placing in the top 6 in the midst of a global pandemic

Things on your resume not listed above

  • I served as the VP of Marketing for NAMA
  • I was a host for Rising Professionals and Old Masters. I stay involved with OM currently as a Promotional Officer and Host Mentor.
  • I am an Agronomy Ambassador for the Agronomy Department. 
  • I have had several jobs during my time at Purdue. These include being a TA for AGEC 327 and working in the Crops Resource Center. Most recently I have accepted a job as Wine Production Assistant at Wildcat Creek Winery.
  • I was the Regional Discussion Meet Champion and State Qualifier for Indiana Farm Bureau.
  • I was an exchange student in Hamburg, Germany.   

Three words to describe you

  • Driven
  • Creative
  • Passionate 

What are you passionate for: I am passionate about agronomy and the ability of technological advancements to enhance modern production agriculture in areas such as biotechnology, digital agriculture, and sustainability.

What intrigues you about the Ag industry: The ag industry is not just a career, but rather a way of life and state of mind. This industry fosters innovation and promotes rapid change. I look forward to a career in an industry that requires a dedication to hard work and lifelong learning. 

What motivates you: My family, friends, and my personal goals. I want to live a life that I am proud of and never lose sight of my passions.   

Favorite quote: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

Personal Motto: The harder you work for something, the greater you'll feel when you achieve it. 

Accepted Employment: I have accepted employment with Corteva Agriscience as an Associate Territory Manager.

Advice to underclassmen: Get involved your freshman year! The CoA has tons of opportunities to learn about clubs and organizations—don't be afraid to use them! I would also strongly recommend becoming part of a campus-wide organization or club. In the midst of all that will be on your schedule, remember to be intentional about making time for your friends, allowing time to relax, and having fun. 

Biggest takeaway from Purdue: Don't compare your successes or goals to anyone else. Your path will look different—and that's okay! Use your differences as inspiration to fearlessly pursue your goals and don't stop until you've achieved them.


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