Kevin's 1st Place Process!

March 27, 2019

Kevin Falk was this year’s American Seed Trade Association 1st place video winner! He was awarded on December 3rd, and we are so proud of this amazing accomplishment. Kevin’s concept was about setting the record straight on common misconceptions in the seed industry. He focused specifically chose whether farmers can recycle their seed in following years, their interactions with big companies and the intellectual property that those big companies hold with regards to seed. He used the public to ask his questions about the misconception and he also used Agronomy Graduate Students to describe how the misconceptions are wrong, what they do and their goal towards helping farmers.

When it came time for Kevin to choose his topic, the contest rules specified that the video should be about setting the record straight on common misconceptions or myths associated with the seed industry and plant science as well as incorporating man on the street style interviews and his own original content. In order to give himself an edge, he steered clear of the GMO debate since other entries would likely focus on that aspect.

“I also felt like there are other misconceptions within the seed industry that warranted more attention than they have received, such as how the seed industry interacts with farmers,” Kevin said about choosing his topic.

Coming from a family of farmers who have a positive relationship with the seed industry, as do many farmers, he felt as though he should highlight that positive relationship.

Kevin decided to make the video about a week before the deadline after a few people encouraged him, so he didn’t have much time to prepare, shoot, and edit. He was working with six to ten people, it could be difficult to arrange schedules for the shooting since a lot of his shooting was out at the Agronomy Farm.

“A big shout out to my lab-mates, I couldn't have done it without them.”

The first thing Kevin did was purchase a few essential tools. He had just bought a new phone, as well as Zhuyun Smooth4 motorized gimbal stabilizer, a slider track for my tripod, a lapel microphone and a DJI drone. With the help of his smartphone video quality and gimbal, his finished product looked professional. Kevin captured a lot of footage throughout the week, while also doing his other tasks, of both individuals and video from around campus and the agronomy farm. He also had footage from throughout the summer of in the field conducting research. Having lots of footage means that editing will take some time. So, Kevin stuck to his computer for the entire weekend and dove into it.

The specific requirements include multiple aspects. The theme was “Rumor Has It” and graduate and undergraduate students pursuing agriculture or related disciplines were invited to participate. The video should help set the record straight on a common misconception or myth associated with the seed industry and plant sciences. Videos had to incorporate man on the street style interviews as well as their own original content.

Kevin’s favorite part of the project was working with his friends and colleagues to create something new that they can call their own. They were able to use this opportunity to create their own content while highlighting the science they are conducting.

“I hope that content such as this helps not only set the record straight on misconceptions in the seed industry but also promote Iowa State University's Department of Agronomy and the individuals that made it happen.”

Kevin would like to thank the following people:

Thank you to all who helped me produce this including the Singh Soynomics group: Kyle Parmley, Clayton Carley, Matthew Carroll and John Shook, as well as Betsa Mantilla Perez, Therin Young, Karin Lawton-Dunn, Chantal McCabe, Danielle Dykema, Edna Mageto, Nick Fetty, Tracy Schlater, David Bubeck, Danny Singh and Iowa State University.