Double major passionate to advocate for our industry through livestock sector

Tana Simmons

Hometown: Tipton, Indiana
High school: Tipton High School
Major & Concentration: Double major in Sales and Marketing and Agriculture Communication
Why did you come to Purdue: I came to Purdue because I wanted to be a part of one of the best colleges of agriculture in the nation. Agriculture has always been a huge part of my life so it was a no brainer to come here. It’s also pretty close to home which has been more important to me than I ever thought it would have. Aside from everything else, I chose Purdue because I received the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship which covers full tuition and books for schools in Indiana.
Coolest spot on campus: The animal statues in front of the vet building
Favorite spot in Lafayette: McCord’s Candies
Favorite local eatery: Scotty’s Brewhouse
Best place to get coffee: Starbucks
Favorite Purdue tradition: Not walking under the bell tower until graduation (since I’m so close J)
Top three influences at Purdue:

  • Zeta Tau Alpha
  • Mark Tucker
  • Abigail Borron (she’s now at UGA but was my advisor for 2.5 years)

Five words to describe Purdue: tradition, excitement, beautiful, historic, best friends
Favorite involvement at Purdue: Zeta & in CoA: Ag Council
Top five highlights of your career:

  • Sledding at Slayter
  • Brantley Gilbert concert sophomore year
  • My senior formal
  • Bid night at Zeta
  • Eating dinner with Mitch Daniels

Something you wish you would have done at Purdue: I wish I would’ve taken more advantage of student government. I was hesitant to get involved outside of the College of Ag when I first came and wish I would’ve learned more about PSG earlier on.
Places you have been as a Purdue student:

  • Romania
  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Lubbock, Texas

Favorite Company you interned for: Elanco
Beef, Pork, Chicken, Seafood: Beef
John Deere, Case, New Holland, Caterpillar: Deere
Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota: Ford
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall: Fall
Planting, Growing, Harvest: Harvest
Baby, Weaned, Market, Reproducing: Weaned
Favorite thing you like about Agriculture: FOOD J
Where would you have gone to school if you couldn’t chose Purdue: Oklahoma State University
Have to redo college in a major not in Ag: Selling and Sales Management
Favorite club/organization: Block and Bridle
Favorite Student-led event/initiative: Ag Week
Favorite Purdue event: Grand Prix
Favorite dining court: Earhart
Favorite place to study: Krannert
Over your career where were you most likely to be found on campus: The Zeta Mansion
Favorite spot on campus: Memorial Mall
Favorite thing about CoA: The College of Agriculture, although huge, seems soooo much smaller than I ever imagined it would. I feel like the College of Ag is a second family, and that makes the whole university feel much smaller too. 
Favorite thing about AGEC: I love that fact that you can do so much with an AGEC degree. The job diversity is awesome. And the people: professors and students both.
Favorite thing about your major: The capstone classes. Although they’re definitely hard, I get to collaborate with my classmates to brainstorm better and new ideas.
Favorite class: AGEC 331
Favorite professor: Michael Gunderson
Coolest project: Capsim foundations - it’s a simulation where a team of 4 students put together a business plan and strategy for selling a product. We compete against other teams in the class over an 8 week period. It’s tough but also really cool because it’s about as close to real life as we can get.
Three biggest accomplishments:

  • being the YDAE department’s outstanding senior
  • landing my future job
  • and making it this far!

Things on your resume not listed above: Aside from my involvement at Purdue, I have also been very involved with the National Junior Swine Association. It is a youth livestock organization with over 10,000 members. Over the past 2 years I have served on the junior board of directors for which I also served as President.
Three words to describe you: organized, outgoing, fun
What are you passionate for: I’m passionate about communicating what all agriculture has to offer and what it stands for. It’s no secret that there are a lot of controversial topics within Agriculture right now and I think it’s important that I do my part to help explain the facts. The future of the junior livestock industry is also important to me.
What intrigues you about the Ag industry: The potential the future has. I can’t wait to see what we do to feed the 9 billion people this world will see in the next 30 years.
What motivates you: People. I love to talk to people, to find out about their wants, needs, hopes, etc.
Favorite quote: The struggle you’re in today develops the strength you need for tomorrow.
Personal Motto: Life’s a garden, dig it.
Accepted employment: Elanco Animal Health as a Sales Rep in Greenfield, IN
Where do you want to end up: Texas
Advice for underclassman: Take advantage of every opportunity, you never know what you’ll like if you don’t try. Once you find what you love, give it all you’ve got. Spend as much time with your friends as you can!
Biggest takeaway from Purdue: Work hard, have fun, never burn bridges, and build your network!​​​

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

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