Student Spotlight: Madeline Rose Mudge

Madison Miranda, IV Leader Columnist

At age 19, Madeline Rose Mudge is a current agriculture student at Illinois Valley Community College.

“Agriculture runs through my blood,” Mudge expressed. Mudge plans to return home after her college journey to become an independent seed dealer.

Mudge chose to start her collegiate career at IVCC to get her feet wet in college experience and use her family’s connections to her advantage. In March of 2021, Mudge was offered an internship under Lyle Eiten, owner of Eiten Ag Solutions and friend of Ken Mudge, her father.

While working four to five days a week through September of 2021, Mudge cultivated many skills relating to her future field of work. Under Eiten, who is an independent seed dealer himself, she learned how to scout fields, deliver seed, create social media posts, and most importantly, build a customer relationship because, “if they don’t succeed, we don’t succeed.”

Mudge has taken both what she has learned from her family farm life along with her internship and has proven herself as an asset to IVCC and her family’s farm.

She has recently attended and spoken at two agriculture conferences in the area. She also signed up and was able to compete at the PSA conference at Lakeland College in Springfield on Feb. 10 alongside agriculture instructor and program co-coordinator, Willard Mott. She was one of three students representing IVCC at this competition. Independently, she competed in Ag Sales and competed in Equine and Crops with her team members.

“Madeline Rose Mudge spent numerous hours preparing for the competition. She created her own product to sell ‘Mudge Corn Seed’, created a sales brochure, and prepared a ‘cold call’ sales presentation,” said Mott. “I knew she had put a lot of time and effort in preparing for the competition and so I was confident that she would do well. This was the first time an IVCC ag student competed in this area and Maddy did a great job of representing the college and the IVCC ag department.”

Mudge won in Ag Sales and has been eligible to compete at the national competition in Minnesota. Mudge hopes scheduling wise she will be able to attend this competition and represent IVCC.

For the past couple of years, her dream has been to be successful in agriculture. She hopes to fulfill that dream at Iowa State University, where she was accepted into one of the best ag programs in the Midwest. Even though her and her best friend Ruffles (her horse) will be separated, she is happy her hard work has paid off.

“This is the only time in my life to really experience a new area before I return home to the farm permanently,” said Mudge. Following her graduation at Iowa State, Mudge will permanently return to the Illinois Valley to work alongside Brady Farms and establish herself as an independent seed dealer.