crops

Crops Team

Our Iowa State Crops Team Recently traveled to Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky to compete at the NACTA Judging Conference. The team participated in the Crops contest which consisted of Plant and Seed Identification, lab practical, including knowledge of insects, equipment, herbicides, fertilizers, and more, a math practical, and an agronomic exam.

Team members are Andrew Blomme, Shannon Breja, Jenna Cowan, and Alyssa Swehla. Individuals who also competed were Ben Kolbe, Ted Hilgerson, and Hannah Holdsworth. Dr. Mindy DeVries is their coach.

Jacob Wright’s (AGRONOMY) adventure has taken him across the country. From his home in Virginia to Iowa State, Jacob wanted to learn all he possibly could. He was determined to get experience with a variety of crops and focus on the environment.  His adventure continued carrying him west, to California for an INTERNSHIP with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Napa.

by Ellen Bombella, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications Service

Sotirios Archontoulis' curiosity about crops, soil and weather started at a very young age when he was growing up in Greece. He remembers going to the fields with his father, who was a farmer, in the heat of the afternoon to see if the crops needed watered.

"I thought to myself, there has to be a better way than this," Archontoulis said. "I was motivated to pursue agronomy because the farmers had to make important decisions without help."

A new class is requiring agronomy students to give up part of their summer. While it might sound like a bummer, they are looking forward to it. Dubbed Agronomy 279, the new class is one sophomores majoring in Agronomy will have to take to graduate. The class will meet for the first time during the fall 2017 semester. The catch? Their first class will be Aug. 7, according to the agronomy department.

The addition came after the agronomy department said it decided to redesign the curriculum. Agronomy 279 will be an application of material students learned in Agronomy 181 and 182. Students will go outside in the fields to learn about soil and crops.

“Students really like hands-on activities,” Erik Christian, lecturer in agronomy, said. “Students do a lot of training in the summer when they go work on their internships and that’s going to be out in the field. [Currently], we don’t offer them those experiences.”

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