Name: Joseph Rust
Major: Agribusiness Management
Hometown: Seymour, Indiana
As a Purdue freshman, Joe was inspired by President France Córdova’s Presidential Leadership Class on sustainability through leadership. Not satisfied to let the momentum die when the class was over, Joe helped his good friend, Alec Green, create a whole new learning community — the Leadership Learning Community — that’s now on the first and second floors of Wiley Hall. He helped make a change that is likely to last.
“Leadership is so important. It’s about the difference that you can make. We want to create more opportunities like the Leadership Learning Community, such as a collegiate FFA (Future Farmers of America) and an Ag Awareness Week.
“I chose Purdue for value and pride. And at Purdue, as a whole, diversity is huge. We have the biggest international community. Even though we’re a land grant school and the purpose of Purdue is to serve Indiana residents, we also work to solve problems for the rest of the world.”
“I’m passionate about Indiana and about agriculture. Farming used to be about plows, cows and sows. Now it’s cells, gels (the petri dish kind) and Dells (computers). The new trend in agriculture is to be sure that we’re feeding ourselves safely, but also working to feed the rest of the world.”
“I gave a classroom presentation on how our actions speak louder than our words, and how we need to do the little things that lead up to bigger things, like picking up trash. Afterwards, two FFA members helped me carry stuff back to my car and they both started picking up trash in the parking lot. To this day, I have a hard time walking past trash because of those two FFA members.”
“Most people don’t know that I’m afraid of heights. This past summer I went skydiving. My palms are sweaty right now just talking about it. But I beat my fear; I beat my weakness.”
“Regret sucks. But you’ll regret more the things you don’t do, than the things you do.”
By Amy Raley
Published November 1, 2011
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