Field trip! Our freshman learning community went to Nebullam, a hydroponic grower right here in Ames. Nebullam harvests lettuce, nutrient-packed microgreens, and tomatoes weekly.
"Nebullam's genesis began as an idea to focus on food security and production, sustainably. That focus has evolved into our current mission statement; to create year-round access to reliable and local food, everywhere."
Jonah Gray is a senior in Agronomy and Environmental Science at Iowa State University, and this summer, he was a virtual undergraduate research intern for Kansas State University. Many students became accustomed to remote internships in this past year, Jonah being one of them. Since his internship was virtual, he could do it from Ames and still had the opportunity to build relationships with the other interns and research staff.
Friday, April 30th the Field Extension Education Farm was host to the state FFA soil judging contest. These teams have already competed at the district level, this is the "state championship" contest. Competition consists of four soil pit evaluations and one knowledge exam.
Students in agronomy have a wide variety of unique career opportunities to pursue post-graduation. Jessie Hilby is an excellent example of an individual that went out of her comfort zone to take on a career to help communities out.
Jessie Hilby graduated in May of 2020 with her bachelor's degree in agronomy. She is currently working as the Gleaning Coordinator at Feed Iowa First. Her position is within the AmeriCorp 4-H Iowa Produce Gleaning Program.
Soil science will offer a certificate between a minor and a major by providing official recognition for the focus area of study. A bachelor's degree from Iowa State University is not required to earn the certificate, and it is designed to match up with federal and state requirements to obtain a federal job classified for soil scientists and get licensure in states requiring it.
Dr. Bradley Miller, assistant professor of agronomy, explains that the certificate requires 31 credits, but 22 of those may count from other academic programs that students are involved in. The certificate is built to help students have a strong foundation in understanding soil systems.
Ella Carlson, sophomore in agronomy, is spending her summer as a Yield Trial Intern for Beck's Hybrids in Marshalltown, Iowa.
"So far I have been involved with planting and early season note taking. During planting I sat on the planted and dumped seed packets to be planted," said Ella.
After everything was planted, Ella began taking early season notes along with three other people. She analyzed the corn to see if it was doing good, bad, or if something went wrong when planted. Her notes will help researchers know why there may be abnormalities in yields when harvested. The interns take notes for several hours and then they go back to Marshalltown day after day to watch the corn.
Chase Krug, junior in agronomy, is spending his at Reiman Gardens as their Plant Collections Intern. Chase manages the garden's vast collection of diverse plants and provides the public with educational outreach.
"My summer internship project involves creating a backup germplasm collection of the Dr. Griffith Buck Rose Collection to ensure it is well preserved for future rose breeders as a valuable genetic resource for disease resistant rose germplasm," said Chase. "Dr. Griffith Buck was a famed former rose breeder and professor at Iowa State who created and introduced 90+ varieties of disease-resitant shrub roses."
Jenna Cowan, senior in agronomy, was looking forward to being a Digital Technology Manager Intern with WinField United, but her plans quickly changed when COVID-19 began affecting people across the country.
Instead of working directly with retailers to help integrate WinField United agricultural technology tools into their everyday conversations with growers, Jenna's title has transitioned to Agronomy Strategic Projects Intern. Jenna works as a virtual intern as part of the Sales Talent Development and Training division of WinField United.