By Carla Morris
Making history wasn’t on Samantha Cooley’s mind when she decided to major in agribusiness, but employability was.
For Samantha, life after college meant working in the farm-rich heart of Illinois. Adding agribusiness to her management major at Greenville University only increased her understanding and expanded her skills. In the process, she made history by becoming the first graduate of the University’s new agribusiness program. (Photo below: Samantha with Mark Jenner, her agribusiness advisor)
To a Central Illinois native like Samantha who planned to stay in the region after college, agribusiness as a second major just made sense.
Major employers like Monsanto, Purina Mills and Bunge North America are headquartered within five hours of G.U.’s campus. Top U.S. pork powerhouse The Maschoffs is about 30 minutes south of campus, and global agricultural processors Tate & Lyle and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) are just 90 minutes north.
Upon graduation, she accepted a position with Rural King Farm and Home, whose corporate office and distribution center operate out of Mattoon, Illinois. Today, she assists with purchasing and distributing select sporting goods to the retailer’s 115 stores over a 12-state region.
“Rural King’s primary consumers are the farmers and those in rural America who depend on them,” says Samantha.
Her undergraduate work deepened her understanding of Rural King as a player in the marketplace; it also helped her see the business both from the store operations side and from the office/supply chain side.
As a recent graduate and champion of G.U.’s agribusiness program, Samantha was happy to share these observations about her college-to-career transition:
Erin and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Job
Students Exceed Expectations Putting Experience First
Crash Course in Confidence Brought to You By Experience First
Homegrown Greenville Graduate Gives Back to Local Economy
Samantha is the grateful recipient of G.U.’s donor-funded Dean’s Scholarship. Your gift makes all the difference to students like Samantha. Thank you for giving.