MBA Proves Useful in the Field

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Growing up in Ohio, Rudi Perry had a close connection to farming. Now, her MBA degree helps her support agriculture in her community.

10.13.17    |    News Stories
Growing up in Highland County, Ohio, Rudi Perry had a close connection to farming. When she was young, her parents farmed, then transitioned to owning and operating a successful trucking company and custom application business. Their commitment to working hard and helping their customers succeed was not lost on their daughter.

"My parents' work ethic was definitely instilled in me," says Rudi. "They didn't farm anymore, but they were a partner to farmers and helped them do what was needed to make their operations succeed."

Testing the career waters
After graduating from Morehead State University in Kentucky with a bachelor's degree in agriculture, Rudi did some ag research internships. "I quickly realized my personality didn't lend itself to research," she says. "I started to look at careers where I could use my agriculture degree, but also work with people in more of a collaborative environment."

Rudi was working in Georgia as a manager for a medical collections company. A call from her mom changed not only her address, but also her career path.

Ag teams with business
Rudi's mom told her about a job she saw advertised in the local paper for a loan officer at Farm Credit Mid-America. Rudi knew a little about Farm Credit and after learning more, "it definitely seemed like a company that was making an investment in its employees," she says. "It seemed like a place where I could build relationships and have opportunities for advancement."

After working at Farm Credit for a year, Rudi decided to earn her Master of Business Administration. "I knew that if I wanted to move into leadership here, having an MBA would help me get to where I wanted to go," she says. "Farm Credit has an awesome tuition reimbursement program. The association was willing to make an investment in me, so I decided it was time for me to make an investment in myself as well."

“Studying the way businesses are structured has helped me look at things from a big-picture perspective.”

What she learned while pursuing her MBA has affected how she views business decisions. "Studying the way businesses are structured has helped me look at things from a big-picture perspective," says Rudi. She believes that people from non-farming backgrounds can find a place in the company.

"People hear the name Farm Credit and naturally think of farming. All positions support agriculture and rural communities, but many roles within the company are in areas like finance and human resources."

Unconventional hours, rewarding experiences 
Rudi works closely with farmers, many of whom she grew up knowing as her office borders Highland County. "Technically, I'm a loan officer, but I like to tell people I'm a relationship manager," she says. "I'm the face of Farm Credit to my customers and offer them solutions, be it managing risk, buying the farm down the road, or finding a way to help their children become the next generation to run the family farm."

And sometimes it's not a 9 to 5 job. "When my customers need something immediately during planting or spray season or harvest, I'll go out to meet them in the evening," she says. "I've taken paperwork out to the combine on a Saturday.

"I understand that sometimes you need to go the extra mile to help customers, especially when things happen that they can't control during busy times. That's how my parents always operated their business, and that's helped me a lot in my work at Farm Credit."

Editor's note: After this interview, Rudi was promoted to regional vice president. Though her duties will change, she looks forward to using her business acumen in new ways, while continuing to help farmers and rural communities succeed. 

To learn more about careers at Farm Credit Mid-America, visit our careers page. Farm Credit Mid-America is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky and has offices throughout its four-state territory of Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

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