Undergraduate

Our incoming freshman spent the weekend before classes start on a tour of agriculture industry and farms in northeast Iowa. They toured Beck's Hybrids in Marshalltown, Pioneer Hi-Bred in Reinbeck and Landus Co-op in Dike. A stop at UNI allowed them to cool down (the air conditioning broke on the bus) and learn about urban soil conservation on the UNI campus. Near Nashua they learned about soil health from the Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service

Growing up, Megan Kemp just wanted to fit in with her peers in Durango, Iowa. At Iowa State University the junior in agronomy and global resource systems, says she found a place where she feels comfortable embracing and celebrating her differences.

“My mom is Filipino,” says Kemp. “She and my dad met as pen pals while he was serving in the military. He went to visit her in the Philippines, and that’s where they fell in love. It’s honestly the stuff movies are made of.”

Kemp’s extended family are involved in dairy and beef operations in northeastern Iowa. While she lived on a dairy farm, she didn’t do chores.

“My mom’s heritage instilled very traditional ideals about gender roles,” says Kemp. “So I spent more time in the kitchen.”

Lee Burras sets his Diet Pepsi on the podium and grabs a piece of chalk off the ledge. Class is about to begin.

Burras’ classroom is upbeat and adversarial; he encourages his students to challenge him as much as he challenges them. In order to keep students engaged he uses the chalkboard.

“I want students engaged,” says Burras. “I want whatever I’m talking about to come to life in front of them. I can’t make that happen with a Power Point presentation.”

Burras’ passion is infectious, not just for soils but also for life and for learning. His classes are some of the most sought after in the Department of Agronomy.

Congratulations! Our undergraduate Crops Team traveled to Goodwell, Oklahoma to participate in the contest hosted by Oklahoma Panhandle State University on February 10.

As a team, the group took Second place. Individual overall rankings include:

Coleman Kneifl – 4th
Joshua DeGroot – 5th
Daniel Feucht – 7th
Heather Wilson – 8th  

Our Katelyn Fritz, senior, was selected as the first-place winner of the American Seed Trade Association's "Better Seed, Better Life" student video competition. Katelyn's focus is in plant breeding and biotechnology.

Katelyn produced the video during her internship with Semilla Nueva, a small nonprofit working to sustainably overcome chronic malnutrition in Guatemala through biofortified corn.

The contest was sponsored by ASTA, the National Association of Plant Breeders, and the Tri-Socities (American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and the Soil Science Society of America.)

 

The undergraduate Crops Team had a successful showing at their Fall contests placing second at both the American Royal in Kansas City and the CME contest in Chicago the week of November 13. 

American Royal - Individual placings
#3 - Derrick Hoodjer
#4 - Joshua DeGroot
#7 - Elizabeth Widder

CME - Individual placings
#2 - Joshua DeGroot
#4 - Derrick Hoodjer
#6 - Elizabeth Widder

Our undergraduates did a tremendous job at the Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences meeting, held in conjunction with the tri-society meeting of the American Society of AgronomyCrop Science Society of America and 

Taylor Berkshire is a senior majoring ing Agronomy, Environmental Science and international Agriculture.

Alyssa Dean is a Junior in Agronomy and Agricultural Business.

This past summer, Alyssa worked for Heartland Coop in Treynor, Iowa and Henderson, Iowa as a crop scout/sales intern.

To this point, Alyssa has did a little bit of everything with her internship. She tissue sampled, hauled chemicals, scouted fields, set plot signs and met with growers. Alyssa said that “I was always busy doing something; there is never a dull moment during the work day. “

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