Former FFA State Officer Manages Seed Processing Plant

Combination of FFA, Purdue University and University of Phoenix prepared her for this role.

Published on: Sep 11, 2013

You may recognize her as Jennifer Clute. She was a state FFA officer on the 1994-1995 Indiana FFA state officer team. It was the last team that was guided by Bob Juncker, the long-time state FFA program specialist and former ag teacher at Tri-County High School in Wolcott.

Today, she is a mom and a business woman, and her name is Jennifer Maruszewski. Two months ago she became manager of the Tipton production location, with 126 employees reporting to her.

"FFA opens up lots of doors," she says. "I thought I was headed into ag chemical sales leaving Purdue, but then I had the chance to be an assistant management trainee at the Rushville Production plant for DuPont Pioneer. I've been with the company ever since."

Climb the ladder: Jennifer Clute Maruszewski began as an FFA state officer. Today she is manager of the Tipton production plant for DuPont Pioneer.
Climb the ladder: Jennifer Clute Maruszewski began as an FFA state officer. Today she is manager of the Tipton production plant for DuPont Pioneer.

The former Benton County farm girl learned the business at Rushville, she says, then spent time at Worthington, working with 45 growers in the area. She spent four years as an assistant manager in sales with Pioneer, then spent the last year and a half as the Tipton plant production manager before taking her current position. In this role, both the plant production manager and the field operations manager report to her.

Pulling the 75th anniversary of the Tipton location of the Pioneer plant together last week made her feel like she was helping put on state convention all over again, she says. Some 750 people attended, including many Pioneer employees from the Tipton plant and other plants. Her crew made sure the plant was in top shape. Getting it ready served a dual role – the plant will begin processing hybrid seed corn probably this week.

She says that for her, the University of Phoenix, an online only university, was a perfect fit for obtaining her masters of business degree. "I was a working mom and it let me work at my own pace on my own time schedule," she says. So, as the commercial for the university says, she is a "Phoenix."