Saturday, October 24, 2015

Autumn at Purdue!

Hail, Hail to Old Purdue! All hail to our old gold and black!....And red, orange, and yellow! It's finally fall here on campus, and it's quite a sight. After my three exams this week (yes, three), I took some time to smell the roses and enjoy the changing colors on campus that I wouldn't be able to enjoy in my hometown in southern California.

Changing colors in front of Lilly Hall of Life Sciences, home of Purdue Agronomy!

 The changing season brings more to Purdue's campus than pumpkin pie in the dining courts and PSL's at Starbucks. Fall festivals, Starry Night, the College of Agriculture Hog Roast, pumpkin carving with the Agronomy Club, and hiking in Happy Hallow Park or Prophetstown State Park, are just a few of the awesome fall activities around campus. These past few weeks have had everyone savoring the comfortable weather and enjoying Purdue festivities!

Purdue's bell tower on a crisp, clear October morning

Enjoy autumn, and Boiler up!!

--Hailey Edmondson, Plant Genetics '17

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hi everyone! I’m Kerri Swingley, I am currently a junior majoring in Agronomic Business and Marketing. My hometown is Selma, IN where I grew up on my small family farm raising beef cattle and row crops. I plan to graduate in May 2017 and upon graduation I plan to begin my career path in agronomy and sales.

This summer I was blessed with the amazing opportunity to be an agronomic marketing intern for John Deere Corporate. I packed up my bags and headed north to the John Deere Minneapolis Training Center in Minnesota. At the training center I worked with the training staff to train dealers from across Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and even Canada! The training program I focused on was John Deere AMS (Ag Management Solutions) dealing with the GPS receivers and display systems. One of my largest projects consisted of working with 2 product developers to produce information about how the equipment and technology was beneficial to the farmer’s agronomic and economic practices. I created agronomic handouts for dealers across the U.S to use when suggesting the right piece of machinery for the farmers operation and how the machinery was valuable to the agronomics. I also produced information focusing on nitrogen application efficiency to be taught at John Deere’s Large Ag Training program in Orlando, FL where it will be used to train over 2,000 dealers! Along with my projects I also got to ride along in brand new unreleased equipment and see new technology, which was pretty awesome. While in Minnesota I also got to visit The Mall of America (bye-bye paychecks!), Lake Superior, and go on some kayaking adventures in the state of 10,000 lakes.

I’m extremely excited to start out this semester as an Agronomy Ambassador; I don’t think I could put into words how much I admire Purdue Agriculture and the Agronomy Department. It’s completely mind blowing the amount of opportunity I have received attending Purdue. If you’re looking to get involved in agronomy, you’ve come to the right place! There are so many things to get involved in, the faculty is top notch and the connections you build will last a lifetime, all while receiving a great education.  I hope some of my stories and experiences through the semester are able to give a little perspective of what it’s like to be involved in such a great major!
      Minnehaha Falls in Minnesota

Until next time, Boiler Up!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Hello everybody!

It's been a while since I have posted so I'll give a quick refresher. My name is Isaac Greeson and i'm a senior studying Crop Science. I graduate in December, so I don't have much time left at Purdue. I've had a lot of great experiences at Purdue, but one of the best wasn't even in the U.S. But without the help of Purdue I would have never gotten the opportunity to study abroad. So i would like to use this blog post to give a couple tips about studying abroad. Even if you are not in college yet and are just a perspective student, keep these in mind as you go through your college years.

This Past Spring/Summer semester I was in Stuttgart, Germany. I was able to live far from home and was able to explore and see many parts of Europe.  I'm from Indiana,  so normally I go home about twice a month. So living abroad for six months took some adjusting at first. Eventually though everything starts to settle in and it just becomes normal. So if you are thinking about a full semester abroad and are apprehensive about how long you will be gone don't worry about it. Everything tends to come together.  So that is my first tip about study abroad; GO FOR IT!

Some people are worried they don't have enough money or funds to study abroad. I was worried about this too at first. But, there are tons of scholarships for students. The university has started giving $3000 to students who participate in a full semester program. Also within the college of AG there are many scholarships.  Depending on the program you are looking at or the university abroad they may have scholarships for you as well. I was fortunate to receive a 600 euro per month stipend, and that wasn't even through my school, but through an organization in the region I was in. (Baden-Wuertemberg) I ended up with enough money that my tuition was paid for and I made money by studying abroad. So if you're worried about being able to pay for study abroad, don't sweat too much. Because with minimal effort you can pretty much fund yourself.

(Hohenheim University)

I will be the first to admit the I am not a pro at making new friends. (at least I don't think so) If you're worried about going to a new place all alone and then feeling alone while there; you probably aren't alone. Everyone feels a little anxiety about ending up in a new place alone. After the experience though I have found that I am a more independent person and am now rarely afraid of going somewhere alone. So if you just look around for the other people who look lost and like they just showed up, same as you, try and make friends with them. The bond made with other people who are studying abroad is a strong one. 

(All my friends!!!)

Now, I studied abroad in Germany. Its sad to say that sometimes, not always, that germans are stereotypically a colder people. (not my opinion) Wherever you go in the world, at least from my experiences, there are always kind and warm people who are willing to be your friend or just help you out if you need it. So if you are avoiding a country or destination just because you've heard people are mean or not that fun there; then that is most likely not true. There are good, and not so good people everywhere. You just have to find the good ones. 

And that leads me into my last and most important tip. FORGET STEREOTYPES. Most people have stereotypes for most people. Sometimes they are true, but more often then not they are false. I find that thats the great thing about people, they cannot be generalized into a large group. Every individual should be treated as an individual. I have found this approach allows you, the viewer, to get to know someone better and faster. 

So the ultimate thing to take away is "GO FOR IT!!" Get out there see what there is to see and experience what the word has to offer. You can do it, and along the way it never hurts to show everyone what a boilermaker can do. 

Boiler Up!

If you've made it this far thanks for reading. If you have any questions you can contact me at 
Isaac Greeson

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.