Friday, September 30, 2016

Summer '16

Intern visit to Dow AgroSciences Headquarters
Hey everyone!  Fall is officially here, and I can’t believe we have already entered the sixth week of school.  Looking back a few months, I can’t help but miss summer and all the awesome people I met and things I learned. 
            From May through August, I worked as a Corn Breeding Intern for Dow AgroSciences in Fowler, IN.  The Fowler location is devoted to corn research, so I learned a lot about basic crop production and specific breeding methods.  It was very interesting being able to apply things that I had learned about in my previous classes to what actually goes on in a breeding research field.  Throughout the summer, I helped collect yield data, organized and prepared seed for planting, and managed a pollination crew.  I even had the opportunity to look at plots in Ohio and Michigan- 
both which were extremely fun trips.
Ryan was very excited
to pull volunteer corn
Emily made my birthday fantastic!
            Along the way, I also met some pretty incredible people.  Two people I got really close to this summer were Emily and Ryan.  Emily is a Benton County native, who is going to school for special education at Indiana Wesleyan.  Her role at Dow AgroSciences was being the Safety Manager, and she definitely did a fantastic job making sure none of us got dehydrated in the fields and bandaged up my fingers whenever they got cut.  She’s probably one of the sweetest people I have ever met, and has great taste in music.  Ryan is a biochemistry major at Purdue who is really interested in herbicide research.  He is very laid back and was good sport working in a field group of all girls.  Being away from my friends this summer, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to celebrate my birthday, but Emily and Ryan made it such a fantastic night, and my summer seriously would not have been the same without all the awesome memories we made together. 
            I can’t go without mentioning how friendly and awesome the full-time employees were.  They were extremely willing to teach us essentially all that we wanted to learn a  Several times, they would sit us all down in the conference room and give presentations on plant breeding concepts and the history of maize.  Having this additional educational aspect to the internship really enhanced our understanding of why we did things the way we did in the fields and how truly important and exciting the research is that goes behind developing new lines.  Juan, the corn breeder, taught me a lot this summer about the different characteristics selected for in male and female corn lines, and he even helped me start a research project based on QTL’s related pollen production in male lines.
bout plant breeding.
            Reflecting on what a great summer I had this year makes me excited to see what’s in store for me next summer… but I also have the rest of my junior year to look forward to in the meantime. 

If you have any questions about Purdue University, the agronomy department, or the plant genetics and breeding program, feel free to contact me at

-Hallie Wright

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