Iowa State

One senior in the Department of Agronomy is given the Outstanding Senior Award yearly. Students are selected based on high academic standing, leadership in activities (especially relating to agriculture and agronomy), and good character. The selection is made by members of the senior class in agronomy as well as advisors.

With spring quickly approaching, graduation is just around the corner! Over the coming weeks, stay tuned to meet some of our graduating seniors.

Check out our first senior!

Emma Molburg will be graduating in May and staying with us in the Department of Agronomy to pursue her master's degree in soil science. During her time as an undergrad, Emma says her favorite class was Agronomy 354 - Soils and Plant Growth.

Travis Lichtensteiger, a senior in agronomy, has traveled to 11 countries and plans to go back home to Ohio to farm with his family after college. His diverse experiences will help him with decision making on the farm.

Shannon Rauter, senior in agronomy and global resource systems, spent her summer in Mexico City in a Market Analysis position as an intern with the Global Trading Analytics Team of Cargill Agricultural Supply Chain North America.

Shannon is originally from New Jersey and decided to come to Iowa State specifically because of the agronomy program and because she received the Agronomy Academic Fellowship. Shannon toured a variety of land-grant universities and found Iowa State to have the strongest program, most welcoming environment, and the best scholarships.

Since Shannon interned with Cargill at a grain elevator in Ohio in 2018, Cargill helped her find an internship with a good fir that would help fill her international internship requirement.

The Agronomy Department hosted the Central Regional Crops Contest on Saturday, October 12th. Eighteen students from Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University and Iowa State University competed in three events: plant and seed identification, grain grading and seed analysis. 

The Iowa State team including Ted Hilgerson, Hannah Holdsworth and Ben Kolbe placed 2nd overall. Ben Kolbe also earned 5th place overall as an individual. Alternate team member Wyatt Westfall also competed. 

The team is coached by Dr. Mindy DeVries and Assistant Coach Andrew Blomme. Preparations are now underway for the National Intercollegiate Crops Contest events to be held in November. Thanks to Mindy Devries-Gelder for organizing, the Iowa Crop Improvement Association and the many volunteers for their support of the event.

Next Tuesday, October 8 from 9 am to 3 pm the Lied Recreation Center will be filled with organizations from across the Midwest as well as hopeful students searching for internships and jobs. The CALS Career Day is the largest career fair of its kind in the country. Career Day can be a little intimidating when it is student's first times attending. There are various tips and tricks that are likely to make the day go smoother when stepping into such a large fair.

Leah Philipp, sophomore in agronomy from Manchester, Iowa is one of two of the Department of Agronomy's peer mentors.

"I came to Iowa State because I originally wanted to study genetics in agriculture as I wanted to give back to the farming community that helped me become the person I am, and I knew Iowa State had an awesome ag program," said Leah. "At orientation, I realized I wanted to work more directly with farmers instead of in a research lab, so I changed my major to agronomy, and honestly, that was the absolute best decision I ever made."

Senior in agronomy Perla Carmenate spends her time taking classes at Iowa State as well as working in Dr. Emily Heaton, Associate Professor and Extension Biomass Crop Expert's lab.

As a first-generation college student that has been commuting from Des Moines all four
years, it was difficult for Perla to get involved early on in her college career. However, she has participated in conversations with students and faculty members that have brought awareness to issues multicultural students face at predominately white institutions. This helped develop her communication skills. Because she commutes, Perla has also learned how to manage her time between schoolwork and home responsibilities. The time management skill is important to many employers. 

The Borlaug Inspire Day on Norman Borlaug's boyhood farm took place on September 20 as part of the Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest. Several individuals from the CALS Dean's Office, including the Dean and Associate Dean, traveled to Cresco to help run an all-day education fair for around 300 fifth graders from Howard County. 

Students go to various stations, learning about agriculture and Dr. Borlaug from presenters as well as 25 visiting professors and graduate students from international agriculture universities in China, South Korea, and Japan. Sessions involved engineering, entomology, plant breeding, and Borlaug's work in Africa.

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

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