After becoming a Marine while at Purdue, plans to be an Agronomist before joining family farm

Clayton Michael-Butler

Hometown: Rossville, IN
High school: Rossville High School
Major & Concentration: Agribusiness Marketing
Why did you come to Purdue: Coming from a family of Purdue Alumni, Purdue was always the school I planned to attend. As I went through high school and made the decision to study ag business in college, choosing Purdue was one of the easiest choices I have ever made.
Coolest spot on campus: I would have to say the coolest spot is ACRE. Although it isn't on campus the research that goes on there is fascinating and helps grow the passion that I have.
Favorite local eatery: DT Kirby’s
Best place to get coffee: To be honest, I would rather stick with my own brew.
Favorite Purdue tradition: The Purdue Grand Prix
Top three influences at Purdue:

  • Dr. Tracie Egger has been a tremendous advisor and friend during my time at Purdue. She has pushed me to always do better and be a better person.
  • When I attended AFA my freshman year, I came back a much different student. I studied harder in my classes, became more involved on campus, and I began pushing my personal growth more than I had before.
  • The opportunities that Purdue has given me through my many internships, co-ops, and part-time jobs has helped me grow tremendously. I consider myself very lucky to have been presented with as many opportunities during my four years as I was.

Five words to describe Purdue: Passionate, Driven, Family, Fun, and Developmental
Favorite involvement at Purdue: Ag Ambassadors
Top five highlights of your career:

  • Becoming a United States Marine
  • Soon to be graduating from Purdue University
  • Accepting a career with Syngenta in Georgia this past August
  • Completing a case study for Monsanto

Something you wish you would have done at Purdue: I wish I would have been more involved with the Agronomy department.
Places you have been as a Purdue student:

  • I have been to AFA twice
  • National FFA Convention all four years; the first two with National FFA and the final two with Purdue
  • New Orleans and Arizona for our Ag Ambassador Leadership Summits
  • New Century Farmer in Iowa
  • internship in Georgia
  • Missouri on multiple accounts for the Professional Sales and Marketing Association

Favorite Company you interned for: Syngenta
Beef, Pork, Chicken, Seafood: This is a tough one because my ideal meal is steak and shrimp.
John Deere, Case, New Holland, Caterpillar: Definitely John Deere
Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota: Chevy
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall: SUMMER!!
Planting, Growing, Harvest: Growing, I love to see the progress that my crops are making and I love the challenges that the growing season provides.
Baby, Weaned, Market, Reproducing: As a am not much of an animal guy, I will say Market because that's when I get to eat them.
Favorite thing you like about Agriculture: The passion that it provides me and the world.
Where would you have gone to school if you couldn’t chose Purdue: Texas A&M
Have to redo college in a major not in Ag: Sales and Marketing
Favorite club/organization: Ag Ambassadors
Favorite Student-led event/initiative: W.T.F. Sessions during Ag Week
Favorite Purdue event: Grand Prix
Favorite dining court: I have only attended one since I never lived in the dorms.
Favorite place to study: Ag Admin
Over your career where were you most likely to be found on campus: Since I lived off campus I was rarely on campus besides for classes. In between those times usually I would be in Ag Admin.
Favorite spot on campus: ACRE
Favorite thing about CoA: The endless opportunities that our college provides us.
Favorite thing about AGEC: The faculty
Favorite thing about your major: That I can do almost anything with my major in or outside of agriculture.
Favorite class: AGRY 375
Favorite professor: Dr. Downey
Coolest project: That is a pretty hard one. I loved working on the case study for Monsanto, but working on a marketing strategy for a potential business venture was awesome as well.
Three biggest accomplishments:

  • Being an Ag Ambassador
  • Monsanto Case Study
  • Being VP of Professional Sales and Marketing

Things on your resume not listed above: I was a Coach for the Rossville FFA Crops team, I served in the United States Marine Corps, I am the Farm Manager for my family farm, Paul C. Michael Farms Inc. in Mulberry, IN
Three words to describe you: Passionate, Driven, Introvert
What are you passionate for: Ag, shooting-hunting, farming
What intrigues you about the Ag industry: We constantly here that we are soon going to be faced with 9 billion mouths to feed. I think how we are going to get there and what part am I going to play in that is the most intriguing thing.
What motivates you: Friends, Family, and the future
Favorite quote: "That which does not kill us makes us stronger" Friedrich Nietzsche
Personal Motto: Remember the past, live the present, and dream of the future.
Accepted employment: Syngenta as a Developmental Sales Representative in Valdosta, GA
Where do you want to end up: Currently my career outlook is that I want to continue to run my family's farm in Mulberry, IN, but I also want to become an Agronomist in Georgia after I get my masters in Crop and Soil Science from UGA with a focus on cotton and peanuts.
Advice for underclassman: Study Hard, get involved, and continue to push yourself, because if you stop doing any of that then how do you expect to grow?
Biggest takeaway from Purdue: The friends and the network that I have built.​​​

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

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