Sometimes all someone needs is a chance to succeed, says agribusiness alum Seth Crawford
Seth Crawford (BS Marketing ’94, MS Agribusiness ’97), has spent years working in the farm equipment industry — he’s appreciative of the W. P. Carey and ASU network and the mentors he’s met along the way.
Senior Vice President of AGCO Corp., Seth Crawford (BS Marketing ’94, MS Agribusiness ’97), has spent years working in the farm equipment industry — he’s appreciative of the W. P. Carey and ASU network and the mentors he’s met along the way.
Through his involvement in the W. P. Carey Alumni Council, he hopes to help students realize how crucial it is to develop a curiosity for education.
Why do you give back to W. P. Carey?
When I decided to come to ASU, they didn’t necessarily need me. I was an out-of-state student. The school gave me a chance.
It’s only right I give back.
What inspired you to join the Alumni Council? What do you gain through your involvement?
I reached out to the Alumni Council coordinators and asked how I could help. They circled back and gave me information on how I could become more involved. Now, I’ve been a member for many years.
I’ve received a glimpse into what current students are learning, how talented they are, and how creative they can be. It’s been an insightful experience.
Tell us about a mentor who changed your life.
At 17, I arrived on ASU’s campus. It was a stark difference from my humble beginnings as a Minnesota farm kid. I didn’t understand how business worked.
Pretty quickly after I arrived, I had the opportunity to work for ASU’s Athletic Department. Mike Chismar, Sun Devil Sr. Associate Athletic Director, became my boss. We worked together for 8 years, while I finished my bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
I was able to observe how Mike planned things, how professional he was, and how he demanded a high level of performance from those who worked around him. He engaged with a variety of stakeholders and helped me to understand business.
These days, we still keep in touch. He was a great mentor, and had a hand in shaping who I am today.
Who was your favorite professor while at W. P. Carey?
During my master’s degree program, Tim Richards was my advisor. I still laugh thinking about how excited he was to explain statistics.
Tim helped me understand how critical certain concepts are. Because of him, I’ve been able to develop resilience surrounding difficult moments, and build up my teams throughout the years.
The skills I learned in his classroom made a tremendous difference for me. I now know how to deliver value in business. It’s been fun.
What does being a part of the Sun Devil Community mean to you?
It means a lot to me. I’m a proud Sun Devil. It’s great to see W. P. Carey and ASU continue to advance. I appreciate the vision of educating the broader population, and being inclusive. I think it brings us all together.
What legacy do you want to leave behind?
As someone who has spent years working in the farm equipment industry, I’ve had a wildly exciting career. I’ve been to various parts of the world and met farmers from Siberia, Turkey, Europe, and Brazil. All the people I’ve met are quite literally feeding the world. They are growing crops, and producing resources. It’s a wonderful community to be connected to.
I hope to continue to give back to ASU and W. P. Carey. Also, my family is a huge priority. I want my legacy to be a net gain for others. That’s all I can ask for.
Currently working with AGCO Corporation, Seth has over 24 years of experience in the precision ag and farm equipment industry. This includes experience in sales, marketing, support, distribution, digital transformation, and precision agriculture across multiple continents.
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