CATE Leadership

Entrepreneurship and Leadership Development

Entrepreneurship Panel

Learn to be successful from real-life entrepreneurs.  Beginning in 2012, the College of Agriculture hosts an annual panel discussion for students to learn about strategies to expand their future opportunities from innovative alumni and friends to Purdue Agriculture. Attend the event to learn how to think outside the box, how to plan your own destiny, and how to accomplish your business dreams.

In 2015, Purdue Agriculture dedicated the event to honor Johann R. Garwood as a tribute for his passion for educating our students. Joe Garwood earned his Bachelor's degree from Purdue in 1978 before he started his 21-year career with DuPont's Agricultural Products Division where he received the highest marketing award: the Corporate Marketing Excellence Recognition. But, it was his entrepreneurial spirit that led him to the private sector where he was involved in several business ventures and ending his career as the LCC Manager, Vice President and Director of Corporate Operations at Fulcrum Exploration, LLC. While being honored in 2014 as one of Purdue's Distinguished Agriculture Alumni, Garwood shared "I'm very passionate about sharing the virtues of entrepreneurism with our students."

Women in Leadership Panel

Beginning in 2021, the college has arranged a professional development opportunity for students to come and learn from some of the industry's best female agriculture leaders. The panelists are asked a variety of questions in regards, but not limited to, navigating their career path, challenges they have faced and how they overcame those challenges and are asked to share any lessons learned along the way.

Additional opportunities to network with the panelists typically include a meal, networking socials, and/or classroom discussions.


2022 College of Agriculture's Entrepreneurship Event

  • Ellen Shew Holland, Strategic Risk Frameworks
  • Paul Miller, Flats or Spikes
  • Tim Dixon, Purdue DIAL Ventures

 2023 College of Agriculture's Women in Leadership Panel

  • Natasha Cox, FarmCredit Mid-America
  • Dr. Tracie Egger, AgReliant Genetics
  • Emmy Boganwright, Corteva Agriscience 

2021 College of Agriculture's Entrepreneurship Event

Women in Leadership Panel

  • Beth Archer, AgriInstitute
  • Melissa Rekewed, AgriNovus Indiana
  • Kenda Resler Friend, KRF Public Relations
  • Julia Wickard, IDEM

Entrepreneurship Panel

  • Jennafer Baird-King, Red Raccoon Boutiques
  • Brandon Hunter, The Origin of Greatness
  • Dr. Trisha Keffer, Heartland Veterinary Services
  • Travis Martin, Magnetic Ag
  • Olivia West, Eli Lilly and Company

8th Annual College of Agriculture's Entrepreneurship Event - 2019

  • Dan Dawes, AgriNovus
  • Zack James, Rabbit Tractor
  • Lauren Oparah, Soy Glitter
  • David Wilson, MAPS

7th Annual College of Agriculture's Entrepreneurship Event - October 23, 2018

  • Lee Stanish, BS Agricultural Economics - Owner of Eddie Joe's Icehouse
  • Jackson Troxel, BS Agricultural Economics - Healthiest Employers Program Manager for Springbuk
  • Justin Wagler - Co-Owner of Nutrient Management Partners
  • Sarah Wagler, BS Animal Sciences & MS in Youth Development & Agricultural Education - Co-Owner of Nutrient Management Partners

6th Annual College of Agriculture's Entrepreneurship Event - September 25, 2017

  • Dr. Chuck Dietzen, BS Animal Sciences 1983 - Pediatric Rehabilitation Specialist Physician, Chief of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine & Medical Director at Riley Hospital for Children as well as Founder & President of Timmy Global Health
  • Mindy Creighton Truex, BS Agricultural Economics 1990 - Manager at Creighton's Crazy Egg Café & Coffee Bar & Vice President of Creighton Brothers LLC
  • Cody McKinley, BS Agricultural & Biological Engineering 2007 & MS in 2008 - Owner of Corsa Instruments, Inc.
  • Kristi Kretzmeier, BS Agricultural Economics 1992 - Owner of Family Farm

5th Annual College of Agriculture's Entrepreneurship Event - September 26, 2016

  • Dan Kerkhoff - CEO of Nature's Farm & Kerkhoff LLC
  • Jennifer Pflum - Senior Manager of Manutacturing Quality Assurance, Starbucks Corp.
  • Daryl Staff - Founder of Little Engine Ventures
  • Kristin Whittington - Founder & President of Landmark Enterprises, LLC

4th Annual College of Agriculture's Johann R. Garwood Entrepreneurship Event - November 18, 2015

  • Denny Bell, BS Agricultural Economics 1979 - Owner & Founder of TerreMax
  • Ryan Howard, BS Agricultural & Biological Engineering 2000 - President & Co-Founder of Chicago Vegan Foods
  • Chris Johnson - Owner of People's Brewing Company & Master Brewer
  • Roy Riggs, BS Animal Sciences 1979 - Director for the U.S. Cattle Business Unit of Elanco Animal Health

3rd Annual College of Agriculture's Entrepreneurship Event - November 13, 2014

  • David & Stacy Hetty, BS Agricultural Economics 1999 (both) - Financial Advisors
  • J. Christian Layer, BS Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Moog
  • Dr. Don Orr, BS Animal Sciences 1967 - President of JBS United
  • Jonathan Stapley, PhD Food Science 1972
  • Don Villwock, BS Agricultural Economics 1972 - President, Indiana Farm Bureau

2nd Annual College of Agriculture's Entrepreneurship Event - November 7, 2013

  • Barbara Cohen, BS Biochemistry 1979 - Founder & CSO of Arex Life Sciences, Inc.
  • Malcolm KeKryger, MS Animal Sciences 1983 - President of Belstra Milling Company & Purdue University Board Trustee
  • Kim (Schwarzkopf) De Wees, BS Agricultural Economics 1995 - Founder of Vision Ag, Inc.
  • Johann (Joe) Garwood, BS Agricultural Systems Management 1978 - Co-Founder & Managing Member of Fulcrum Exploration, LLC
  • Mona Baker Wolf, BS Food Science 1992 - President & Founder of The Wolf Group

Inaugural College of Agriculture Entrepreneurship Event - October 12, 2012

  • Vane Clayton, BS Agricultural Engineering 1981 - President & CEO of KPA, LLC
  • Dave Doster, BS Agricultural Engineering 1979 - Vice President & General Manager of Ford Car & Powertrain Center for Visteon, Executive Champion for the Climate Control Product Line & Corporate Officer
  • Joe Garwood, BS Agricultural Systems Management 1978 - CanAm Oil & Gas, LP
  • Kevin Kelley, BS Agricultural Engineering 1992
  • Stanley Morton, BS Agricultural Engineering 1966 - Owner of Palmer Products, Inc.
  • Brian Vorst, BS Agricultural Engineering 1993 - President of Azland, Inc.