Lessons from the classroom and the family farm

Quinn Crubel with his mom at graduation

One of the first lessons you learn when growing up on a farm is the value of hard work. It’s a lesson that Quinn Crubel learned at the hands of his parents and five siblings on the cattle farm they run in Bloomington, Wisconsin. It was one of the many values his family instilled in him that would help prepare him for college.

Crubel enrolled in the business administration program at UW-Platteville in the fall of 2014 with an emphasis in management and supply chain and a minor in ag business. He worked closely with his advisor to make sure that each class fit his long-term goals. This is how he discovered the 4+1 program, which allowed him to start earning credit for a Master of Science in Integrated Supply Chain Management degree while still completing his undergraduate coursework.

“I had been thinking about a master’s degree for a while, and I knew Platteville’s supply chain program was ranked highly. I was able to start earning graduate credits without changing my regular class schedule and I feel like it put me a step ahead when I started looking for jobs,” Crubel said.

After graduating in May 2018, Crubel had job offers coming in from agriculture firms across the United States. Ultimately, he accepted a job as a purchasing agent with Kuhn North America in Brodhead, Wisconsin, after striking up a conversation with their representative at the campus career fair.

In this role, Crubel manages the value streams for several of the company’s hay tooling products. While he may only work on five or six products at a time, each can have dozens of components that come from 15-20 different suppliers. Thankfully, he can count on his education to help him coordinate it all successfully.

“The great thing about taking my graduate courses online while working full-time is that I see the ideas happening in the real-world,” Crubel said. “One of my first classes was International Supply Chain Management and some of the suppliers I work with are international. I was able to apply things I learned on the job to my class work and vice-versa.”

“I had been thinking about a master’s degree for a while, and I knew Platteville’s supply chain program was ranked highly. I was able to start earning graduate credits without changing my regular class schedule and I feel like it put me a step ahead when I started looking for jobs,” Crubel said.

Crubel hopes his degree will help him earn a management position at Kuhn one day, but his education has had other impacts as well. Staying local allowed Crubel to help at the family farm and apply a lot of what he’s learned.

“Supply Chain teaches you to look for ways to make things more efficient and that relates to any process or product,” Crubel said. “With farming, the struggle is finding the money to make some of the changes happen. With the futures forecast, it doesn’t look like that will get easier any time soon. But you keep working to make things better and every little bit helps.”

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