Agriculture News

October 23, 2019

Purdue alumna and Olympic gold medalist returns to campus

Elmore visit Amanda Elmore, a 2016 Olympic gold medalist, addresses a group from Syngenta attending a Center for Food and Agricultural Business program. Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Amanda Elmore, a Purdue University graduate and 2016 Olympic gold medalist in women’s rowing, returned to campus for Homecoming festivities and made a presentation to an agricultural economics program.

Elmore recently participated in Purdue’s sesquicentennial celebration at Homecoming and welcomed Christophe Dubi, executive director of the Olympic Games, for the announcement of the new Ray Ewry Sports Engineering Center. Elmore also spoke to a group from Syngenta participating in a program from the Center for Food and Agricultural Business.

The Syngenta group received a crash course in rowing from Elmore at the Purdue Crew Boathouse. Following the lesson, the group returned to the classroom for a presentation on the importance of team-building skills and being both a good leader and a good follower. Elmore spoke on finding herself at the bottom of the rankings after joining the U.S. National Rowing Team and becoming a good follower by learning from and supporting her teammates. When she was promoted to the only seat in the boat that did not follow anyone, she discovered that what made her a good follower also made her a good leader.

“Now that I am retired from rowing on the national team, I feel it’s important to give back to my community by sharing the ups and downs of my journey,” Elmore said. “I’m aware that the lessons I learned in teamwork, leadership, resilience and confidence apply outside of sports. I enjoy inspiring others to live and lead confidently and I appreciate the Center for Food and Agricultural Business inviting me to share my story.”

“It was an honor to hear from an Olympic gold medalist,” said Scott Downey, associate director of the center and professor of agricultural economics. “Amanda’s message about followership and leadership resonated with our visitors from Syngenta. I believe they returned to their organization this week with new inspiration and increased levels of confidence in themselves and their teams.”

Elmore attended William Henry Harrison High School outside West Lafayette and graduated from Purdue in 2013 with a degree in biological sciences. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan and now resides in Oregon. 

Writer/Media Contact: Torrie Ward, 765-496-6032,

Source: Scott Downey, 765-494-4325,

Agricultural Communications: 765-494-8415;

Maureen Manier, Department Head,  

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