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Alumni Spotlight: Evan Burrow

Evan Burrow graduated with a degree in Agricultural Business Management from NC State University. This knowledge base has been a launching point to pursue his dream of owning his own agricultural business.

Please provide some general information and background about your educational career and why you chose a career in Ag.

Growing up in Boone, North Carolina I was exposed to agriculture by way of the Christmas tree industry. I began working in the harvest and assisting with general upkeep during the summer months. These experiences lead me to pursue a career in agriculture. After high-school there was a clear choice to attend N.C. State University which, in my opinion, has the best agricultural programs in the country, if not the world. I chose to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Business Management which has given me the skills and knowledge to manage an agricultural business. My overall goal is to use these skills I have and am still building upon to own and operate my own business in the near future.

What experiences stand out stand out when thinking of your time in ARE?

During my time in the ARE Dept. there were many great experiences during class such as visiting the different agricultural units operated by N.C. State University. Also, visiting all the niche marketing businesses with Dr. Russ were a very eye-opening experience. I had many great teachers in the ARE Department. The teachers that stood out most to me were Dr. John Russ, Dr. Karl Jicha, and Dr. Jonathan Phillips. These teachers taught me many valuable skills in accounting, personal finance, and sociology.

How did your ABM degree prepare you for your career?

Obtaining the ABM degree taught me how to analyze businesses and assess the businesses’ viability. This helped me so much during my career as a Loan Officer with Carolina Farm Credit. Being able to assess agricultural businesses and their cash flow is a key aspect of loaning money.

What was the best part of your job?

The best part of working at Carolina Farm Credit were the fellow employees and the members. Everyone I encountered was willing to help and teach me as I grew in my career. Also, being a part of the North Carolina agricultural industry made all the work worthwhile.

Tell us about pursuing an advanced degree. What do you enjoy and what are the challenges?

Pursuing an advanced degree has always been a dream of mine and after much thought I chose to do so by pursuing the Masters of Business Administration at Appalachian State University. There have been challenges but I have felt very prepared so far, due to my academic foundation that was built while at N.C. State. I frequently rely on the experiences and skills I was taught while in the Ag Institute and ABM classes.

How did your undergraduate degree prepare you for master’s level courses?

My undergraduate degree of Agricultural Business Management helped me form a solid base that I am continuing to  build upon. This strong base of knowledge that was formed during tough classes and long study hours has helped me be able to acquire new skills and adapt to unfamiliar situations. Being able to adapt to these new subjects and courses has made it possible for me to soak up information and put it to use in the classroom and the real world. I give all of the credit to my undergraduate teachers and advisors who challenged me to push myself while at N.C. State.

What is your advice for current students?

My advice would be to soak up as much knowledge as you can while in school. Utilizing the resources that are available will pay dividends in your future careers. There is not a day that I do not draw from my experiences while at N.C. State. Also, I would encourage students to network with fellow students, alumni, and faculty. I can easily say that almost all of my best friends were fellow students in the Ag Institute or ABM programs. These relationships are near and dear to me as my former classmates and I grow into our careers. The ability to talk and bounce ideas off of my fellow ARE graduates and faculty has proven to be invaluable and I cannot emphasize how much they have helped me.