Student Resources

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.”

The Hora brothers won Best of Show during the 2019 Iowa State Fair 'pitch-off' for their business Continuum Ag. Mitchell Hora is an agronomy alum and his brother David will join the agronomy family as a freshman this Fall. 

Continuum Ag was established by Mitchell as an agricultural consulting company offering soil sampling and fertility analysis. With a realization that traditional agronomic consulting only addresses the chemical soil component, Continuum Ag has differentiated itself by working with growers that take a more holistic approach, recognizing the physical and biological aspects of soil as well.

From the Continuum Ag website:

Rebecca Vittetoe, 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. 

Rebecca presented “Comparing the effect of cropping sequences, planting date, and seed treatment on seedling diseases of corn caused by Phythium species.” Her major professors are Dr. Alison Robertson and Dr. Mark Westgate. Her committee included Dr. Daren Mueller and Dr. Andy Lenssen.

On Monday, July 29 the youth Crop Scouting Competition was held at the Field Extension Education Laboratory in Boone. The winning team consisted of Macie Weigand, Lane Orr and Cassidy Penrod who will be joining agronomy as a freshman this fall.

Crop scouting and IPM are tools farmers use to increase economic returns while reducing unintended environmental impacts. Equipping future farmers and agronomists with crop scouting skills and basic IPM concepts helps the next generation of farm decision makers with crop production and land stewardship.

Exploring Iowa State University and touring Iowa’s agricultural sector is what students in the Academic Program for EXcellence (APEX) do the summer before their first year on campus.

The eight-week academic program is designed to assist incoming multicultural first-year students transition into Iowa State. Elizabeth Martinez-Podolsky, multicultural liaison officer in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, worked with APEX coordinators Eboni Adderley, who graduated in May in animal science, and Esperanza Moothart, a junior in global resource systems, to plan and implement activities for the students participating in the program.

The students said the experiences have prepared them for classes this fall.

Orginally posted by MaxYield Cooperative on From the Field. Photos by Greg Latza.

Originally posted on MaxYield Cooperative's From the Field blog. Photos by Greg Latza

Having a job and having a career you love are two very different things- Colby Kraninger, an agronomy specialist trainee at MaxYield Cooperative, prefers the latter. That’s why, after working for MaxYield Cooperative part-time and as an intern, he returned for a full-time opportunity in the agronomy department. A 2014 Okoboji High School and 2019 Iowa State University graduate, the Milford-native built his post-secondary plans around the goal of working for MaxYield Cooperative.

Mitch Baum grew up in central Iowa. A Bondurant Blue Jay, he came to Iowa State to be an engineer.

“One problem, I didn’t really understand what engineers did on a day to day basis,” said Baum.

After realizing engineering wasn’t as hands on as he had hoped, Baum remembered a class about soil he really enjoyed taught by Dr. Michael Thompson.

“I didn’t grow up on a farm,” said Baum. “I had no experience with agronomy but I took that class and wound up talking soil chemistry with Dr. Thompson during his office hours.”

Based on his interest in soil chemistry, Baum made the switch changing his major to agronomy.

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."

 

Angelos arrived at Iowa State University on March 19, 2019 for a five-month program. During his visit, Angelos has been working with Dr. Archontoulis to provide technical support on the FACTS project and design a web interface and data flow simulation model that will be used to show yield predictions. Angelos is also working to create a website that would provide project information and updates to site visitors. Dr. Archontoulis said, “I have really enjoy hosting Angelos because of his motivation and drive to learn and participate in the project.” Angelos has contributed a significant amount of technical support to the project, but has also valued all that he has learned from Dr. Archontoulis and his colleagues that have been working on the project. Angelos said, “When first arriving to Iowa State, I had little knowledge about agriculture as my studies are in computer science and engineering, but after spending time with Dr. Sotirios I have gained a wealth of knowledge on the industry as well as enhanced my computer science skills through hands on learning opportunities.”

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