Taking risks: An internship in Idaho creates opportunity

 Elzabeth Tranel scouting in a corn field

Recording, analyzing, photographing, classifying, and traveling were tasks Elizabeth Tranel, junior in Agronomy from Madrid, Iowa, became familiar with this summer while she explored the fields of Caldwell, Idaho. As a Field Production Research Intern for Syngenta Seeds, she developed an array of skills which will benefit her as she continues her studies at Iowa State and future career endeavors.  

Analyzing crop injury data for a sweet corn inbred herbicide trial, photographing and classifying sweet corn rogues, and experiencing travel through pea, green bean, and sweetcorn production fields throughout the Pacific Northwest, enhanced Elizabeth’s perspective on the differences between agriculture in Idaho and the Midwest. 

“From irrigation and soil management practices, to field sizes, crops farmed, and pest and weed management, the people at the Caldwell site did a wonderful job teaching me all about what differentiates Idaho from Iowa farming practices” said Elizabeth.  

Elizabeth’s time this summer in Caldwell was made extra important special working alongside Iowa State Agronomy Alumni, Kirsten Backes. Through connections, Kirsten provided Elizabeth with direction with her long – term career goal of working in research for a larger seed company.  

Moving to a new state for a summer taught Elizabeth the importance of embracing independence, knowledge gained, and opportunities derived from putting yourself in uncomfortable situations.  

“I encourage everyone to take a risk and accept a job somewhere they know nothing about and create opportunities to challenge yourself to continually grow as an agronomist. Once you get settled into the position, take time outside of work to get to know the area and the people to give yourself the best experience possible” Elizabeth emphasized. 



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