The following is an excerpt of a blog post from The Farmer's Daughter where she interviews with agronomist Sam Krhovsky about what she does on a daily basis.
Agronomists are an important part of agriculture, but usually don’t get a lot of recognition. Sam Krhovsky is exactly the kind of person that might change all of that. Naturally, I had to chat with her about what she does and why.
What exactly is an agronomist and what kind of training do you need for that type of job?
I LOVE what I do! It’s definitely a term that most people outside the ag world don’t know….some people assume I study the stars….. The job “agronomist” can vary depending on the farm or company you are working for, but agronomy is the science of producing plants for some type of agricultural purpose, whether its for food, textiles, fiber, etc. In my case, I assist our customers with making management decisions or solving any potential issues with their corn and soybeans. The best way I explained it to my niece: I play Corn Doctor and ask A LOT of questions to get the bottom of a problem or prevent a problem. Are the soybeans looking a little yellow? There could be a lot of reasons why….my job is to figure out that reason and give a prescription to fix it and/or explain how to keep it from happening again.
Training for this job again varies by the company that you work for. In my case at Monsanto, agronomists need to either have a Masters Degree in agriculture or a certain number of years with agricultural sales. Other places may only require a Bachelor’s Degree, or some positions may just want previous experience. All the agronomists I work with have a variety of backgrounds; some of us came straight from graduating with our MS while others works as sales managers in the corn/soybean world for a while. The most important thing you need in this type of job is people skills. You need to be able to communicate efficiently, translate technical information into everyday lingo, and be able to articulate yourself in some tough situations. The best part about working with farmers is they are in a business that they love and have passion for, and you see that every time you walk onto a farm.
Based on your Sassy Agronomist posts I can tell how passionate you are about agriculture. Where does that passion stem from and what gets you excited about farming?
How can you not get excited? When I started putting Sassy Agronomist together, my thought was to give some updates from the field to those already involved in agriculture. My shout out goes to my BFF Cover Crop Gal who encouraged me to go for it. As I started, I began to realize that when I see a lot of agriculture advocacy (or AGvocacy as we tend to call it), there’s not a whole lot that revolves around corn and soybeans. Why not use the page to teach others not just about what I do on a daily basis, but to show what farmers are dealing with? Rather than just posting “hey everyone, gray leaf spot is starting to show up in corn.” I wanted to say “What is gray leaf spot? Why do we care? What do I do about it? Why should YOU care?”
And of course, there’s always some sassy moments. If I learned anything about social media, it’s that funny sells. Especially when you can relate it to real life. Let’s face it, there’s more women in agricultural roles today than there use to be, whether its agronomy, sales, farming, etc. BUT, we technically work in a man’s world. Sometimes we deal with things only other women can understand, like how people don’t recognize me when I’m dressed in normal clothes, or the fact that the agronomy “Sam” is not a 50 year old man with a beard. It’s a ton of fun contrary to what some people might think, and you definitely have to have a good sense of humor to work in this industry!
To read the entire interview, please visit The Farmer's Daughter blog page.