First-gen student paves his way in agriculture industry

Name: Eion Stephens

Hometown: Dale, IN 

Majors/Minors/Certificates: Agriculture Systems Management and Agriculture Economics

Why did you come to Purdue: I have wanted to come to Purdue ever since my first FFA state convention in 8th grade. The atmosphere is so energetic and the people I met had such a deep love for their university. Of course, it also helped that Purdue is ranked #1 in Agriculture and Biological Engineering.

Favorite Purdue tradition: Purdue Grand Prix

Top three influences at Purdue:    

  1. My professors and advisors
  2. My peers
  3. AFA and specifically Liz Byers-Doten

Top five memories of your time at Purdue:    

  1. Sledding on Slater Hill
  2. Getting lost on campus late at night my first year
  3. Running through the fountains with friends
  4. Standing on the bridge during the last lap of the Purdue Grand Prix
  5. Traveling to AFA institutes with some of my best friends


Places you have been as a Purdue student:   

  • Orlando, FL
  • Raleigh, NC
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Ireland; I have not yet been to Ireland, but this spring break, I will be attending the study abroad there. This will be my first time out of the country, and I could not be more excited!

Favorite club/organization: Agribusiness club

Favorite student-led event/initiative: College of Agriculture Moonlight Pancake Breakfast

Favorite Purdue event: Purdue Grand Prix

Favorite place on campus/Favorite place to study:  ABE building

Favorite thing about the College of Ag: How “small” it feels. I love that I know at least a couple people in every class I have.

Favorite class: ASM 105

Favorite teacher: Dr. Balagtas

Three biggest accomplishments at Purdue:   

  1. Representing Purdue as an AFA ambassador
  2. Being a small part of making the Purdue Grand Prix Race happen for 3 years
  3. Being the first in my family to go to college

Stehens in front of BASF

Something about you that is not listed on your resume: I have driven to half of the U.S. states so far.

Future Plans: I plan to start my career in the grain industry.

Advice for lower classmen: Do the clubs, take the trips, enjoy your time in college. You will blink and be ready to graduate.

Stephens on campus with dog

Biggest takeaway from Purdue:  I have learned just as much from the experiences I have had as I have in the classroom. Do not waste time because time is limited.