I'm an Agronomist

In high school, Kaleb Baber wouldn’t have pictured himself studying abroad. But, after discovering his love of travel as an undergrad at Iowa State, he’s serving as an officer for an international student organization.

Baber, a senior in agronomy from Weston, Missouri, maximizes his experiences at Iowa State through extracurriculars on campus as well as serving as the vice president of the International Agriculture Club at Iowa State.

“Once I came to Iowa State I realized how affordable studying abroad is and how we have such great opportunities to travel. Various scholarships were also offered, so it was kind of a no-brainer for me to go,” says Baber.

Sometimes the best education is one you can eat. Iowa State University students have an opportunity to do just that with the Good Earth Student Farm.

Organized as a Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, the group puts shareholders – Iowa State faculty, staff and students – directly in touch with the student farmers who are growing their food. The farm provides hands-on opportunities for College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students as well as students from other colleges.

The farm is entirely student managed and averages around 50 shareholders per year. Shares are available to faculty, staff and students of Iowa State. Located at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station, Good Earth operates independently from the research station’s produce operation.

Allie Wise graduated from Iowa State in May 2016 with her B.S. in Agronomy and since has found herself in the position as a Field Agronomist for Pioneer Seeds in Southeast Minnesota.

Allie originally worked as a Local Pioneer Sales Representative, which led her to the opportunity to apply for her current field agronomist position.

Regarding her day-to-day, it varies a lot especially during different times of the year.

Chase Krug, a sophomore in agronomy, has learned the importance of the preservation and protection of the world's agricultural crop germplasm through the World Food Prize youth programs. 

Chase became involved in the World Food Prize as a freshman in high school when he wrote an essay on plant science solutions to food insecurity issues in Peru and then participated in the Iowa Youth Institute (IYI) in 2015. After IYI, Chase received an acceptance letter to participate in the Global Youth Institute (GYI) later in 2015.

Anna Drendel, a junior in agronomy, spent her summer working with BASF as a Sales and Marketing Development Intern in Northern Louisiana.

"As an intern, my main role was to complete a capstone project that I later would present," said Anna. "I also collected data throughout the summer on various research plots while also exploring different career options through BASF and shadowing various employees in the field."

Rebecca Johnson, a freshman in agronomy, spent her summer abroad while managing her own livestock operation back at home.

Rebecca traveled to Finland through the organization "States' 4-H." This organization works with the 4-H organization in the United States as well as similar organizations worldwide to provide exchange programs that offer cultural immersion. Kids 12-18 have the opportunity to travel abroad as exchange students or host a child around their same age for a month up to a year.

Elizabeth Oys, senior in agronomy, has had many opportunities in her time at Iowa State, including traveling to Greece as well as being nominated as the student speaker for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Family Weekend.

Shannon Rauter, senior in agronomy and global resource systems, spent her summer in Mexico City in a Market Analysis position as an intern with the Global Trading Analytics Team of Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain North America.

Shannon is originally from New Jersey and decided to come to Iowa State specifically because of the agronomy program and because she received the Agronomy Academic Fellowship. Shannon toured a variety of land-grant universities and found Iowa State to have the strongest program, most welcoming environment, and the best scholarships.

Since Shannon interned with Cargill at a grain elevator in Ohio in 2018, Cargill helped her find an internship with a good fir that would help fill her international internship requirement.

Riley Wilgenbusch, senior in agronomy and global resource systems, spent his summer traveling the world. He visited Rome during May and through the beginning of June and then spent a week exploring central Europe. Riley then traveled to Uganda through the end of July.

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