Profile: Steve Bradbury Washington State University

By - June 9, 2018
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Steve Bradbury, winner of the Spring Business Leaders Scholarship joins us today to discuss his goals and aspirations as a business student.

First off, congratulations on winning our award. We’re so happy to have…..

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I hope to continue my higher education with a Master’s degree in business from Washington State University. In 2013, I completed my Bachelor’s degree with WSU and began a new career with one of the oldest and largest farms in Eastern Oregon. As I have advanced in my position with Madison Ranches, over the past 4+ years, my roles and responsibilities have evolved. The owner of the company hopes to have me as his CFO by 2020. I do not see this as a daunting task, but one that should be given to an individual with a graduate degree. It is for this reason that I am investing in myself and my company.

When I began my pursuit for a college degree, I was focused on my personal world, which consisted of my wife and three children. My purpose was to ensure that I could provide for their needs and give my children an example to follow. This wasn’t an easy journey; I had four years of late nights and long weekends. My children saw me pour over textbooks on business administration, business finance, business law, and a litany of others. On many occasions, I would help them with their homework while working on my own. It was a good day when I walked the stage to receive my BA from WSU. My whole family attended the ceremony and congratulated me for the efforts and rewards received.  To be honest, the college degree I received was attributed to the efforts of my whole family, not just my own. I had already started in my position with Madison Ranches a few months before, and the difference in my personal world was already evident.

I had never imagined myself working in agriculture during those years in college. I had expected to be sitting in a cubical, wearing a tie and uncomfortable shoes. When I accepted the position of Information Systems Manager at a farm, I absolutely had no idea what occurred in the fields, let alone the office. I entered my role with the foundation of knowledge received from WSU and little else. As was my experience being a student; I worked hard, grew in understanding, and developed an appreciation for the information I gained. My personal world had just expanded to the real world.

Through Madison Ranches, my position had impact on real world issues that included sustainable farming practices, deficit irrigation, clean energy, and water reuse.  To grow most any crop successfully, one will need to utilize the research done on college campuses and test plots that include various soil types, irrigation systems, and chemical/fertilizer research. Every piece of equipment used, for ground preparation, planting, field maintenance, and harvesting involve a depth of understanding that evolves with technological advancements made by the manufactures each year. In addition to one’s understanding of these concepts and practices, a successful farm knows the value of water and clean energy. We utilize an aquifer recharge system in order to access water during the dry months. In and around our farm are wind mills and solar panels to provide clean energy to our community.

All of this and more are the areas in which I have used my bachelor’s degree to have a positive influence on the world. My purpose in gaining a Master’s degree is to continue these practices and have a greater impact on my personal world and the real world in which I live and work. The Business Leaders Scholarship Award will help me to make this possible. My degree will be an investment in my family, my company and my global community.  My children have seen the work that goes into achieving a higher education and the benefits that accompany it. Each of them has their sights set on college and careers in education, medicine, and engineering. My company plans to utilize my degree, by offering me the position of CFO upon my graduation from Washington State University. I recognize the responsibilities that this will entail and I look forward to giving back to my company the trust they have granted me. My degree and the role I will have with Madison Ranches will allow me to improve upon the agricultural practices that reach our local and global family. I will have a deeper understanding of the ways in which we grow our organic crops, our participation with international exports, and the financial aspects of being an agricultural business.

I am grateful for the opportunity to apply for The Business Leaders Scholarship Award and hope that I have presented a brief understanding of the degree I am pursuing and the impact that my degree will have on the world. I believe that I have a great deal to offer and commit to working hard to prove my worth, should you see fit to award this scholarship to me.
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