WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Agriculture comes natural to Adam
Sills. He’s been around it his whole life, from 4-H projects to tractor pulling,
and he hopes to be around agriculture for many years to come.
Sills, a senior from Bluffton studying agricultural systems
management, has found the College of Agriculture at Purdue University to be an
exciting place to learn.
“I’ve enjoyed my journey at Purdue,” he said. “I’ve met a
lot of people and learned a lot. I’ve had a lot of good experiences.
“I came into college studying interdisciplinary agriculture,
just taking economics classes and broad classes to see what I wanted to do. I
decided on ASM because I felt like it was a mixture between ag engineering,
management and economics. It felt like a good fit for me.”
He helps his father manage a 1,500-acre corn and soybean
farm in northeast Indiana. Balancing school, work and farming can be tough, but
Sills doesn’t mind the challenge.
Thanks to auto steer, he can do homework and be on the
tractor at the same time.
“Growing up on a farm, I’ve dealt with agriculture every
day,” he said. “I went to a small school in the middle of a cornfield, so that’s
a big part of our community. Being from an ag background, I took ag management
classes, and they used agricultural examples to help teach.
“It’s easy to relate to when you come from that
His agricultural background has helped Sills succeed in
college. He is a member of Alpha Mu, the agricultural systems management honors
fraternity. He also participates in the ASM Club and Diesel Club.
His hard work earned him the title of Outstanding Junior of
2013 within the Agriculture and Biological Engineering Department.
“I study hard,” he said. “But a lot of it is second nature.
I can understand and build on it. Because I came in and explored first before
deciding on my major, I was able to find my niche,” he said.
Sills’ internship experiences include positions at John
Deere, Kuhn North America and Franklin Electric. His job responsibilities have
ranged from helping assemble grain bins to marketing agricultural equipment.
It’s important to apply skills learned in classes to
internships and farm work, Sills said.
“One day I would like to work with an ag equipment
manufacturer like Deere or Kuhn,” he said. “I enjoy tinkering with stuff. That
comes from growing up on the farm, being out with my dad in the shop every day
after school and in the summer.”
Sills learned about ag systems management while
participating in 4-H Round-Up, a camp experience that teaches 4-H members about
higher education. The program introduced him to the College of Ag through a
series of mini lectures and labs.
His advice to future College of Ag students was to take
advantage of networking opportunities, such as career fairs, and to find a major
that is enjoyable.
“Get involved,” he said. “Do what you like. Do internships.
Go out and explore — see the world and see the country.”
When Sills isn’t working, studying or helping on the farm,
he spends time at the university gym.
He enjoys lifting weights, playing sports and hanging out
with friends. Growing up, his favorite pastime was tractor pulling.
“I’ve been pulling since before kindergarten,” he said. “My
dad put blocks on the pedals and a hand throttle so I could pull garden
“What my grandpa and dad said growing up is we work hard, we
play hard. I’m here to study, to get good grades and to learn. That’s what I try
to focus on.”