Student Resources

Every year the MS Agronomy program presents the Campbell Award to a deserving lecturer in the program. This year Dan Dobill is the recipeint of the Campbell honor.

Dobill started as an instructional developer in the fall of 1997. He was eventually promoted to program coordinator before leaving the university to work for Pioneer Hi-Bred in 2005. Currently, Dobill is a Sales Effectiveness Manager at Corteva Agriscience covering the southern United States.

Growing up in southern Illinois on an acreage near St. Louis, Missouri Dobill was active in 4-H and FFA. He recieved both his undergradauate and graduate degrees from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale majoring in agronomy and soil management. He's had multiple roles within training and sales at Corteva Agriscience (previously DuPont Pioneer).

Dobill teaches Agronomy 502 and has taught over 400 students over the years. He served as major professor for one student as well.

Spencer Barriball, student in our MS Agronomy distance masters program recently won the Muenchrath award. Named after Deborah Muenchrath the award is giving to the student with the most outstanding creative component. It is available to a student who has distinguished themselves academically, creatively and professionally. 

Research Excellence Award – The award is to recognize graduate students for outstanding research accomplishments as documented in resulting theses and dissertations. The Research Excellence Program is administered by the Graduate College with additional support from the Graduate and Professional Student Senate.

     Mariana Gomez Botero

Brown Graduate Fellowship – The Brown Graduate Fellowship is used to strategically advance ISU research in the areas of study that are governed by the Valentine Hammes Family and Leopold Hammes Brown Family Trust

The C. R. Weber Award for Excellence in Plant Breeding was established in 1981 to recognize outstanding academic and research accomplishments by plant breeding graduate students in the Department of Agronomy.

C. R. Weber was a professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University who made outstanding contributions to plant breeding, particularly in soybeans. The award was established by his family and friends to reward graduate students with the same goal for excellence to which he aspired.

A cash award of $500 will be given to students in the Department of Agronomy with majors in plant breeding who meet the qualifications.

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. 

Agronomy's crop team attended the national spring invitation crops contest in mid April hosted by Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas.  The event was held in place of the NACTA event which had been canceled.  The Iowa State team placed 2nd overall with Ben Kolbe placing 3rd as an individual overall and 1st as an individual in the math exam portion of the contest. 

Members of the team were Rachel Casey, Jenna Cowan, Ben Kolbe, and Alyssa Swehla.  Wyatt Bailey and Jacob Ewart participated as individuals. 

Kuan-Yi Lee came to Iowa State from Taipei, Taiwan with little experience and knowledge in agriculture. Following her curiosity, Kuan-Yi led a great adventure at Iowa State and has big plans for the future.

"I began my college experience at the Department of Agronomy at National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan, where I studied for one year and became very interested in crop production and I learned more about agronomy," said Kuan-Yi. "My family asked me to study abroad and I decided to look for a university with an outstanding agronomy program and I found Iowa State University. In addition, the department chair of agronomy at my former university got his MS in Statistics at Iowa State University and spoke highly of the agronomy department."

A virtual soils contest took place on October 1-10, and students from our soils team participated in team and individual judging.

"There were 10 sets of cores (five for practice and five for the contest), and soil judgers were able to go over the practice and individual cores on their own. On a normal year, we would go to the location, maybe look at 12 practice pits, and have five contest pits (two for individuals and three for groups)," said Amber Anderson, assistant teaching professor and soils team coach.

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.

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