Monday, October 5, 2015


My name is Hailey Edmondson, beginning my junior year in Plant Genetics, Breeding, & Biotechnology here at Purdue University. I'm originally from San Diego, California, but West Lafayette, IN is my home away from home! When I decided to come to Purdue, I was looking for a purposeful career path that combined by interest in science and emerging biotechnological advances with a meaningful cause--feeding the growing world. I'm also inspired by entrepreneurship, and am pursuing my Certificate in Entrepreneurship. Eventually, I'd like to work in the business side of agricultural biotechnology and explore the applications of ag-biotech in emerging economies around the world.

Me at the peak of Mt. Woodson (aka "Potato Chip Rock") in my hometown--Poway, CA

This past summer, I worked as a production research intern with Dow AgroSciences at their location in Pontiac, IL. As I mentioned, I grew up in San Diego, and this was my first summer spent entirely in a corn field. I had a very important realization during those 14 weeks-- Hailey is not a country girl! However, I learned a lot about the seed industry, field research, and what it's like working in industry. Internships are awesome learning opportunities!

Production Research Internship at Dow AgroSciences

Here at Purdue, I served as the Vice President of Purdue's iGEM Team (genetic engineering team), am currently an active member and leader in the Honors College Mentor program, and am a founding member of the newest national chapter of Kappa Delta. 

Purdue iGEM Team at the 2015 Jamboree in Boston, MA

Purdue Kappa Delta Founding Members (2015)

Thanks for reading-- more fun posts to come! Boiler Up!

Hailey Edmondson

NRES & My Purdue Experience

Hello Boilermakers!

My name is Stephanie and this is my 5th and final year at Purdue University.  I joined the NRES program a little more than 2 years ago, and I have been satisfied with my change of major ever since; everything about NRES and agronomy just seem to fit right into place with what I enjoy studying, what I enjoy doing, and the kind of hands-on experiences that I've been looking for. 

My second year at Purdue, I became a Resident Assistant (RA) in the residence halls, contributing countless more memories to my experience here.  I've lived in 4 different halls (Shreve, Hillenbrand, Harrison, and Earhart) and have found another way to fulfill my passion of helping others and making the world a better place.  During my time in the residence halls, I've become involved in a number of organizations, including Shreve Hall Club, Purdue University Dance Marathon, Boiler Green Initiative, Women's Leadership Series, and little event-type projects hosted for the betterment of the surrounding community. 

I had an incredible experience last semester being a Teaching Assistant (TA) for one of the classes in the Forestry & Natural Resources department focused around GIS work.  Not only was I able to help students in teaching them important skills that are so useful in future work experiences, but I am so grateful for the opportunity given to have a more hands-on approach to field work and real-life examples of what a career in GIS may look like. 

This past summer I spent on campus as an RA for summer school students.  It proved an awesome experience as there were so many different people to meet that all had different reasons of being where they were and doing what they were doing.  I also served as a STAR Ambassador, guiding incoming students within the College of Agriculture.  This past summer, like everything else I've experienced here at Purdue, was an incredible time filled with fun, learning, and a great community.  Please feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions about anything - I'm more than willing to help you make any decisions coming your way!

See you soon,

Stephanie Leeth

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Hello readers!  My name is Hallie Wright, and I am from Greenfield, IN.  This year, I a sophomore here at Purdue where I am a member of the Purdue Honors College.  My major is Agricultural Biotechnology and Plant Genetics with a minor in Communication.  After I finish my undergraduate degree, I hope to attend graduate school to obtain a doctorate in a plant genetics/plant breeding field so that I can work as a plant geneticist, focusing on genetically modified organism research and development.  This summer, I took classes so that I could have more time to focus on research this fall.  I am very excited to be working for Dr. Cliff Weil, looking at 900 varieties of sorghum samples.  Something interesting about me is that I am extremely passionate about music, and there’s nothing more I love to do in my free time than attend concerts. I am also heavily involved in the Alpha Eta Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta Fraternity.  Agriculture has always been a huge aspect of my life.  I was a 10-year 4-H member, IN FFA Section III Director, and I showed boer goats, dairy goats, and market swine.  I was a junior in high school when I first started to become curious about genetics, and since then, I have grown a huge passion for plant genetics and how we can create new technologies to feed the world's ever-growing population.  I'm very excited to be involved in the Purdue Agronomy Ambassador program, and I can't wait to see how the rest of the year goes!
My name is Michaela Turner, and I am a senior studying Crop and Soil Management here in the Agronomy Department at Purdue. I am from Van Buren, Indiana.Purdue has been such a blessing to me. I have accomplished more things than I ever could have imagined in college, and I have met some of the most incredible people here. I can't believe that I am a senior already! 

Over the summer I had an internship with DuPont Pioneer as a Sales Agronomy Intern. I lived at home on my family's farm and covered all of northeast Indiana. I worked alongside account managers and agronomist coaching reps, assisting in agronomy service calls, and collecting data on plots. I also worked on a project over customers perception of seed quality and presented it 3 times to various Pioneer employees, including presenting at the headquarters in Johnston, Iowa. I had an awesome summer and I learned a ton about both sales and agronomy. 

I am graduating in December, a semester early. Over the summer I interviewed with Pioneer for their Emerging Leaders Program. This is a full time position with Pioneer specifically for people just out of college. I am so happy to say that I have officially accepted a full time position in the Emerging Leaders Program. I will work as a Production Agronomist in Plymouth, Indiana. I am super excited for this experience, and it is so relieving to already have a job lined up. 
That is what is new in my life! 


Michaela Turner 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Hi everybody!

My name is Kathryn Graf and I am a senior at Purdue majoring in Agronomic Business and Marketing with a minor in Food and Agribusiness Management. I am actually graduating a semester early so I will be done this December. Yes, I am already becoming nostalgic when I think about leaving, but that means my past three years here at Purdue have been awesome! Without the knowledge I learned in the classroom and the skills I have gained from being involved with different things on campus, I would not feel as competent and confident in myself as I do today.

This summer I was blessed with a wonderful opportunity to intern with BASF on their Midwest Research Farm in Champaign, IL.  On the farm they conduct research looking at product performance on products that have not hit the market yet, product performance compared to competitor products on ones that are being currently sold, and do agronomic research. Over the course of the summer then, they host over 1500 people in multiple tours showcasing the different aspects of research that is being done. As an intern, my duties consisted of maintaining ten different research plots. I was to growth stage them, looking for the correct application timing, apply the product, and then rate the product following the application. For all applications, we wore a Tyvek suit for safety, used a back pack sprayer and handheld boom, I am spraying a plot pictured above.

During tour season, I helped out with setting up and preparing for the tours, registration, guiding people to the correct locations, and I even given the opportunity to speak at several of the tours about the plots I was in charge of. This really was a step outside of my comfort zone, I am not a public speaker but I rose to the challenge and discussed the importance of planting early plantings of soybeans to many farmers. As an intern we did several other things such as plant corn and soybeans, travel to other research facilities, mixed chemicals, networked with all of the people coming through the farm, and rode with BASF tech reps and business reps. My summer with BASF was a blast, I learned so much while experiencing many great things. I am one of many Purdue ag students who have had wonderful experiences with their internships and this is one thing the College of Ag prides         themselves on, just another reason why Purdue is an exceptional institution to attend!

As I graduate at the end of the this fall semester, I am over joyed to announce that I will not be leaving Purdue. I will be staying to earn a masters degree in soybean agronomy. This is another thing my internship with BASF helped me achieve, direction into what I wanted to study for a masters. I went into the summer thinking I would study weed science, but after working with both weeds and soybeans throughout the summer I decided I was much more interested in soybeans. This directional guidance for me was a huge help and it would not have been possible without the in field experience of an internship. Also, the people I worked with had connections across different universities so I had several options of where to attend.

So to anybody looking to attend Purdue, do it! You will not make a mistake of attending this university, it will actually be one of the best decisions you have ever made. It surely was for me!

Until next time,

Friday, October 2, 2015

NRES Ambassador - Veronica Yager

Hello all!

My name is Veronica Yager. I am currently a junior majoring in Natural Resources and Environmental Science and minoring in Wildlife. I am from a small town close to Greensburg, Indiana in the southeastern part of the state. Before leaving for Purdue, I  lived at home on the family farm. I plan to graduate in May of 2017.

Velvet gecko caught during field work
in Queensland, Australia. 
The spring semester of my sophomore year I studied abroad in Townsville, Queensland, Australia at James Cook University. While in Australia I took classes that transferred back directly as concentrations for my major, so I am not behind in my studies at all! Purdue Study Abroad is awarding grants of up to $3,000 for students wanting to study abroad for a semester. How awesome is that!?

For the past two summer seasons I have worked at Versailles State Park as the Interpretive Naturalist. My job consists of operating the nature center, organizing programs for the public, reaching out to the park visitors, and understanding the different aspects of the environment. I have learned more working at this job then I could have ever imagined. The experience that I have been getting by working at the park makes applying what I learn at Purdue practical. I can take what I learn and apply it to real world situations. Next season I am hoping to attain a position as a backcountry ranger in Yellowstone National Park. 

4th of July celebration with Smokey the Bear at
Versailles State Park. 

Currently, I am working with the Purdue Hellbender Research team. Hellbender's are the largest aquatic salamander in North American, and they are endangered in Indiana. This past weekended my team and I went down to Corydon, Indiana to snorkel the Blue River in search of male Hellbenders guarding their nest rocks.

I am very passionate about everything that I do and extremely excited to see what the future has in store for me!

Until next time,


Snorkeling the Blue River in search of Hellbenders with Purdue research team. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hello Agronomy followers,

My name is Christy Kettler. I am a junior studying Agronomy: Crop and Soil Management in the College of Agriculture here at Purdue University. I also have a minor in Agricultural Economics and a certificate in Leadership Development with plans to graduate in May 2017. This past summer I was an Agronomy and Sales Intern for Beck’s Hybrids in central and northern Indiana. I had the opportunity to travel the state and learn from senior agronomists while collecting observations and photos for weekly scouting reports in Indiana Prairie Farmer. From corn emergence to blister stage, I scouted fields for insects, diseases, deficiencies, and adverse growing conditions. Later in the season, I utilized UAVs to observe patterns in the fields. This past summer, I also attended the AFA Crop Science Institute in Des Moines, Iowa where I learned about the future of crop science careers and the impact of production agriculture on the growing population. Back on campus, I am finishing up my term serving on the Student Council for the College of Agriculture and beginning my time as an Agronomy/NRES Ambassador. I am also a cheerleader for football and basketball. Go Boilers! I have been a part of various campus activities and trips throughout the country and have completed two internships. I have studied abroad in Costa Rica and Ireland through Purdue Agriculture. I love being a Boilermaker and hope to share my story while encouraging younger Boilers to be the best they can be. I love agriculture and am so proud to be where I am. I will be Ever Grateful and Ever True, all Hail Purdue!

Photo from a farm on my Costa Rica study abroad in May 2013.

Photo in uniform from a football game at Ross-Ade Stadium at Purdue University.