Home Indiana Agriculture News The Future of Agronomy is in Good Hands

The Future of Agronomy is in Good Hands


Agronomy will play a larger and larger role in the future of agriculture; and the next generation of agronomists are ready and eager to take on the challenge. At last week’s Commodity Classic, BASF presented a series of scholarships to students majoring in agronomy. Stephen Schwartz, from Hamilton County, was one of those recipients. He told me his passion is helping farmers, “From a very early age, I knew I wanted to be in agriculture; and agronomy looked to be the best way for me to help farmers improve production and increase profits.”

The Purdue sophomore says technology is the driving force in agronomy today and will be the key to increasing productivity in the future, “The use of technology in agriculture has advanced in some crazy ways. Not only precision agriculture but the data we now get from on farm equipment can help us understand the information we get in a better way.” He added, along with the advances in genetics, the field of agronomy is a very exciting place to be.

Schwartz, who is focusing on crop and soil management at Purdue, also believes that technology will help farmers deal with one of their biggest challenges: soil fertility. “There are going to be constraints on what we can and can’t apply on our fields,” he stated. “Because of those constraints, we are going to have limiting factors on fertility. Being able to manage the nutrients, how we apply it and when we apply it are challenges that technology can help with.”

Schwartz says more study and research needs to be down on micro-nutrients like sulfur, “We know a lot about what happens above ground, but we need more study on what happens in the soil.”

Being at Commodity Classic, where is newest technology and advances in agronomy is on display really fueled his passion to continue to make advances in this all important areas of agriculture. Along with the other students who were honored by BASF, it is exciting and encouraging to see the future of agronomy is in good hands.

The National Corn Growers Association and BASF awarded the William C. Berg Excellence in Agriculture scholarship to five aspiring college students pursuing degrees in an agriculture-related field. The scholarship was created to honor William C. Berg, an Ohio farmer and retired postal worker who passed away in 2012.

Scholarships of $1,000 were awarded to the following students: Nicole Gutzmann, a Ph.D. student from Raleigh, North Carolina, pursuing a degree in entomology with a social science minor in genetic engineering and society at North Carolina State University; Emily Kreinbrink. a junior from Columbus, Ohio, studying food science and technology at Ohio State University; Stephen Schwartz, a sophomore from West Lafayette, Indiana, studying agronomy with a focus in crop and soil management at Purdue University; Santiago Tamagno, a graduate student from Manhattan, Kansas, studying agronomy at Kansas State University; and Samantha Teten, a junior from Johnson, Nebraska, studying agronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Other scholarships were presented by BASF and the National Wheat Growers, Soybean Growers, and Sorghum Growers organizations.