A Foundation Upon Which to Grow

Easton Murray ’16 credits her time at SUNY Cobleskill for developing a great number of skills. “The Agricultural Engineering [Department] showed me I am capable of more than just turning wrenches,” says Murray. “[It] challenged me to learn about different types of equipment and taught me how to channel my knowledge so it could be used for more analytical thinking.”

Murray has risen through the ranks to her current position with John Deere, where she works as a technical instructor. Her responsibilities include teaching electrical and hydraulic concepts to dealer technicians, and running operation and diagnostics classes on mowers, tractors, and self-propelled sprayers. It is a job of complexities, continuous learning, and, at times, challenges.

“Learning different hydraulic, electrical, and GPS systems set me up very well for a position at John Deere Corporate,” says Murray. “Even a basic understanding of these systems gave me an advantage. Since I can understand the concept of the new technology, I can figure out how [it works] relatively easily. I did struggle with learning hydraulic systems, but being exposed to the concepts and learning the properties of different systems led me to secure an engineering position, and then a technical instructor role.”

The future of agriculture is driven by technology, and supported by equipment that delivers it. John Deere competes with other industry leaders, ensuring the rate at which new technology emerges keeps up with the needs of agriculture. SUNY Cobleskill’s Agricultural Engineering Department provides a platform that is essential for instilling core training, as well as adaptability.

It is unsurprising that Murray, now based in North Carolina, stays in contact with members of the Agricultural Engineering Department faculty. “I still keep in touch with some of them to discuss troubleshooting and get professional advice. The professors at SUNY Cobleskill are the main reason I am where I am.”

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