Junior in agronomy Erin Stichter spent her summer as a production intern for Wyffels Hybrids.
Erin performed an array of jobs during her internship, beginning in the warehouse backhauling corn. She also worked briefly with field operations early in the season to help plant the seed corn fields. Once the corn was backhauled, Erin spent her work days in field operations. She scouted fields for planting errors as well as other economic risks before detassling began. In the late summer, Erin dedicated the majority of her time to field inspections for quality assurance once detassling crews had went through the fields. Erin added that everyday there was a chance to learn something new.
Junior in agronomy Marjorie Hanneman spent her summer working for Bayer Crop Science in Ankeny, Iowa at the high throughput genotyping facility as the Molecular Breeding Intern.
On a daily basis, Marjorie utilized lab robots to conduct real time PCR on a variety of crops and genetic traits. The project she worked on focused on testing and validating new master mix for quality and efficiency across crops, markers, and traits. She also used automated machinery to complete her daily activities as well as data collection and analysis.
"My favorite part of my internship was being able to complete lab work at such a large scale. I was able to work with about 15 different crops and learn how to manage huge data sets and design experiments. I also enjoyed working with state of the art machinery and robots and being at the forefront of biotechnology," Marjorie said.
Senior in agronomy Costas Hatzipavlides was a US Row Crop Sales Intern for Bayer last summer.
On a typical day, Costas visited saleman and customers and addressed their needs. Each day posed a new adventure, such as putting in plots, going on sales calls, and evaluating and selling hybrids, varieties, and chemicals to customers. Costas enjoyed bringing solutions to customers the most as well as working on a fun team.
"Agronomy set me up with technical skills that made me stand our versus competitive companies. Iowa State University agronomy simply sets you up with a better skillset," Costas said.
Costas explained that internships help you to network and find out what company you want to work for after college. He recommends doing as many internships as you can because they help you apply what you learn in class as well as learn new things that you may never learn in a classroom.
Senior in agronomy Trace Bolsinger spent his summer working for the USDA: Natural Resource Conservation Service as a soil conservationist trainee.
Trace spent his days working with landowners to develop, implement, maintain, and revise complex conservation plans under the 2018 Farm Bill. He also helped promote, market, and implement the initiatives of the 2018 Farm Bill. Maintaining positive relationships with private companies as well as state and federal agencies that were in relation to natural resource concerns was also an important role for Trace. He also had the opportunity to evaluate the implementation of conservation plans and their alternatives under supervision.
The hills were blackened. What was once a house, now a concrete slab.
Wildfires brought destruction to the lush hillside vineyards, rangelands and forests of Napa County, California, in the fall of 2017. Six months later, Jacob Wright, a junior in agronomy, found himself in the midst of a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) team dedicated to the recovery of the landscape.
“Often people just didn’t know where to start,” says Wright. “We would visit the property and point them in the right direction. We worked together with multiple agencies at both the state and federal level.”
Senior Jenna Rasmusson is spending her summer on the water. She is working for a research lab with Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology looking at nutrients impact on food webs.
"Your opportunities are endless in Agronomy! Coming in without an agricultural background I felt a little bit lost. As everyone was excited about corn and soybeans, I didn't feel like I was as knowledgeable about those topics. But I am knowledgeable about other things and I can explore the different opportunities in agriculture versus just a straight crop consulting route. You can become a really diverse student and better professional if you can expand those opportunities. Agronomy isn't just plants and soil science, it's water and biology and all of those things kind of meshed together."
Megan Kemp spent the summer before her senior year in Kamuli district, Uganda, where she was the Agronomy Intern for Iowa State University - Uganda Program. She conducted a small study on the cultural considerations of agricultural recommendations given through the Uganda Program. Megan interviewed women farmers, where she learned about their culture and how it is interconnected with agriculture. While conducting her study, she also gained insight into careers in agricultural extension. She was able to shadow ISU-UP’s agronomy and land use specialist, Moureen Mbezia, and youth entrepreneurship specialist Martin Lukwata.
Abby Kennon was able to return to her roots for her summer internship and use her passion for agronomy to serve her community.
Kennon, a junior majoring in agronomy, spent the summer in her hometown of Cresco, Iowa working as the 2018 Borlaug-Thomson intern with the Norman Borlaug Heritage Foundation.
The experience was far from relaxed. The very first day of her internship, she was already making a trip to Des Moines to meet with a strategic planning committee at the World Food Prize to discuss funding and grants, which was one of Kennon’s goals for the summer.