Interview with AAE alumnus, Kat Eugster, B.S. ’23 Agricultural Business Management (ABM)

Katherine ‘Kat’ Eugster grew up on her family farm in Stoughton, Wisconsin. As a high school student, she was involved in 4-H and FFA, was a member of the National Dairy Goat Association, in the National Honor Society and was a varsity letter winner. She also volunteered her time to give tours to socio-economically challenged school groups at the family’s Eugster’s Farm Market.

AAE Social media intern Alissa Ihlenfeld, B.S. x’24, interviewed Eugster about her undergraduate experience.

Tell us about your current job: My job title is Director of Operations at Eugster’s Farm Market, my family farm. My career includes some administrative tasks such as ordering seed, supply, and merchandise, overseeing staff, creating marketing campaigns and advertisements, and developing new products for the farm. I also do a lot of farm work such as planting, cleaning pens, and harvesting produce and flowers.

What learned skills did you find most valuable in the ABM major: I learned a lot of technical skills through AAE, but I found the soft skills I developed have been very useful in my daily tasks post graduation. Meeting deadlines, staying organized, decision analysis and submitting polished work have helped me maintain capability in the workplace.

Tell us about your AAE classes: Because of AAE 320 with Paul Mitchell, I’m able to attend farm meetings and understand concepts such as depreciation and taxes without having to be filled in by others. I also found AAE 419 with Jordan van Rijn useful. It was an excellent first introduction to Excel for me, and I found that learning about finance in agricultural terms was much more applicable compared to my other finance classes. I found my Capstone (AAE 500) with Jeremy Beach very helpful, I learned how to create proposals that pique the interest of business owners, something I use on my family farm.

Please share a point of pride: One thing I am proud of is that I was able to pay for my education all by myself. Along with scholarships, I worked on the family farm all through middle school, high school, and college to pay for my schooling. I am grateful I had the opportunity to attend UW-Madison and the work ethic I learned while paying for school will help me for the rest of my life.

What advice do you have for future students: My advice would be to make the most out of your time at UW-Madison. Take classes that are not only useful to your future job, but interest you as well. Join organizations that relate to your major, as I made countless networking connections and friendships through my school orgs. Madison is an amazing university to attend, you only get so much time to take advantage.

Learn more about Resources for AAE Undergraduates