Spring 2019 Graduates

April 30, 2019

Congratulations to our spring graduates! 

Brittany Abernathy 

Meet senior Brittany Abernathy, originally from Indianola, Iowa! After graduation, Brittany will be moving to Bear, Delaware where she will be a full time employee for Corteva Agrisciences. Her favorite class during her time here was Weed ID with Dr. Hartzler.

Once Brittany moves, she is definitely going to miss being able to live so close to all of the friends that she has created during her time here. Her favorite memory while being here would have to be meeting with different professionals in the same field and hearing their different experiences and stories.

 “It goes fast so make sure to enjoy your time here while it lasts because you will never get these years back.”

After graduate and starting her new job, Brittany is excited to gain new experiences and meet new people that enjoy the same field as her.

She will always cherish her time here at Iowa State University.



Hunter Bielenberg

Meet senior Hunter Bielenberg from Charlotte, Iowa! After graduation, Hunter will be attending graduate school at South Dakota State University. Hunter was an Agroecology option, and his favorite class was Agronomy 282 with Dr. Burras.

Hunter will miss hanging out with his friends, while trying to get all his work done the most. In fact, one of his favorite memories is from Costa Rica study abroad trip proclaiming that he was “cheating” while playing Texas Hold Em with his friends.

“Get outside your comfort zone and go on a study abroad by making use of great scholarships by CALS and Agronomy departments.”

He is most excited for starting graduate school at SDSU! The department helped teacher Hunter how to think for himself, and especially how to make the most of the little time that he has here.    



Katelyn Fritz

Meet senior Katelyn Fritz! Originally from Runnells, Iowa, Katelyn is a Plant Breeding and Biotechnology option, with a double major in Global Resource Systems with a focus area of Central America 1. Her favorite class was Agron421; Intro to Plant Breeding with Dr. Barb.

She will be attending North Carolina State University to earn her Master’s Degree in Crop Science under Dr. Jeff Dunne with a project on folate content in peanuts. After graduation, she is really excited to be able to take weekend trips to both the mountains and the ocean!

Katelyn will miss being in close proximity with all of her favorite people. It’s going to be hard for her to move away, and not being able to see everyone as often. Katelyn loved her year a peer mentor for the department. Getting to know and watch a class other than her own was a lot of fun, and she loved knowing that if anyone ever needed help they were able to go to her.

“Make friends with others in agronomy! These are people you will be working with for your whole life. Not every major is as tight knit as agronomy and I really think it's a benefit to us and really helps to be able to study for your classes with your good friends,” Katelyn had to say about her advice for incoming or younger Agronomy students.

The department prepared Katelyn for her next role by having a really strong curriculum and she believes she did a really good job of preparing her for a higher degree.

“I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given here at ISU and within the agronomy department. It has been a great four years!”


Gatlin Hemann

Meet senior Gatlin Hemann, from Chester, Iowa! After graduation, Gatlin will be working for the Natural Resources Conservation Services, NRCS, as a Soil Conservationist. Gatlin is a Soil Science and Environmental Quality option, with a minor in Environmental Sciences. His favorite class during his time here was Agronomy 282; Soil Conservation and Land Use.

Gatlin will miss Iowa State game days in the student section with great friends. The experience and atmosphere of watching the Cyclones in multiple sports was so great for his experience. A lot of amazing moments happened here that he’s glad he was a part of!

His favorite memory during his time here would be getting to meet and visit with Dr. Joseph Stritzel at the 2018 Agronomy Awards Ceremony. Other good memories would include the many great lectures he had with Dr. Burras.

“College goes by quicker than expected! Seize as many opportunities as you can during your time in college. Take your schoolwork seriously, but do not let the stresses of it consume you either. Relax, and enjoy the ride,” Gatlin’s advice for younger students and future students.

Gatlin is most excited to start his career in a field that he exhibits a passion in. Another plus side is that he will no longer need to study for exams!

The Department of Agronomy allowed Gatlin to select an option that exactly adheres to his career interests. His instructors and academic adviser were committed to his development as an upcoming professional.

“Iowa State truly is the adventure as advertised! I am very thankful to have spent three of my four collegiate years here! Go State!”


Trygve Lien


Meet senior Trygve Lien! Trygve is originally from Castalia, Iowa, where he will be returning home to farm and work as an Agronomist for Soil and Crop Services. His option was Farm Business Management, with his favorite class being Forages with Dr. Christian.

Trygve will miss being able to go out with friends any night of the week. One of his favorite memories is from the 2017 Agronomy Club Christmas party gift exchange.

His biggest advice for younger students and future students? Don’t procrastinate!

Trygve is looking forward to expanding his farm and spending more time with his girlfriend. His time in our department gave him the knowledge of how to grow the best crop of corn possible and how to help customers grow the best crop possible.

Beat Iowa!



Oluwakorede Olugbenle 

Meet senior Oluwakorede Olugbenle, originally from Lagos, Nigeria! His option is Agroecology, with his favorite class being Agronomy 406, World Climates. After graduation, Oluwakorede will be attending graduate school at the University of Wisonsin-Madison in Agroecology. He will definitely miss all of the friends that he made over the last four years.

But he always have his memory of the field trip that he took with his classmates before freshmen year fall semester started! All of the classes that he took, he was able to take with friends so that made it fun.

“Four years go by real quick, enjoy them.” Oluwakorede’s advice to younger students and incoming students.

He’s very excited to start his research at graduate school!

“The department gave me a solid foundation in my education. When I came to ISU I knew nothing about agriculture and now four years later I am surprised by how much I have learned. The department also helped me in figuring out my next step being able to try different things and figuring out what I like best.”



Grant Sicard

Meet senior Grant Sicard! Originally from Ackley, IA, Grant will be returning home to work on the farm, while finding another job to supplement it. His favorite class was Agronomy 463, Soil Formation and Landscape Relationships.

Grant enjoyed getting to hang out with people who have similar values as him. He also really enjoyed going on the field for Agronomy 463, where they went to Lincoln, Nebraska and visited the Loess Hills.

Grant’s advice to younger students and future incoming students include, “Some classes are going to be fun and some will be boring just power through and get that piece of paper.”

He is most excited for being done with school and making his way in the adult world. The department prepared him for this next path by giving him a broader and more diversified knowledge on agriculture.