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Answer Plot Research Specialist at Land O’Lakes, Inc.
I work for the crop inputs business of Land O’Lakes, Inc., a large agricultural cooperative. My company produces and distributes seed, plant nutrition, and crop protection products. I’m an agronomy researcher in the R&D division. My role is to gather data about our products which our customers can use to make accurately targeted crop management decisions. Such an approach allows them to produce more food, conserve water and soil, and decrease fertilizer and pesticide usage. This helps Land O’Lakes and our customers be responsible stewards of the environment while maintaining profitability.
My research plots are scattered throughout the Pacific Northwest, so I’m on the road quite often. I plant, carry out experiments, collect data, and harvest. We study several crops, including corn, wheat, and canola. I appreciate the fact that my job duties change from one day to the next. The work is interesting and I enjoy spending most of my time outdoors. Often I’m reminded of Science 301 with Dr. Olsson: least significant difference and null hypothesis are everyday terms in this line of work. Or I’m confronted with genotypes and phenotypes, and think of Dr. Bolin, Gregor Mendel, and all those yellow peas.
But what was the most important aspect of my education in Lander? I’m convinced it was the constant encouragement to seek the True, the Good, and the Beautiful in everything. Our world values only shadows of these ideals. Too many people can’t distinguish these shadows from reality. They never escape the Cave, spending their lives wistfully pursuing fleeting glimpses of happiness. The desire for God is written in the hearts of all men, but “the world is too much with us,” and we can easily be entranced by its cheap thrills. Wyoming Catholic College prepared me to navigate such a world while holding on to the hope offered by union with God, Who is Goodness, Truth, and Beauty Himself.
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