Continuing the Adventure 

Andrew Penney 2017 STB Graduate

Andrew grew up listening to his Dad talk about the seed business. Though he did not originally see himself working in the industry, Andrew credits his father for sparking his interest in the field.

Upon completion of his undergraduate degree in Management from Iowa State University (ISU), Andrew took a position at Key Cooperative where his father served as Head of Agronomy and CEO. Andrew soon realized he had a passion for seed and wanted to be a valuable resource when it came to answering agronomy-related questions for his customers. To gain the knowledge he needed, Andrew decided that pursuing a master’s degree was the next logical step.

According to Andrew, enrolling in the online Graduate Program in Seed Technology and Business (STB) at ISU was the perfect first step toward reaching his career goals. “I knew I loved the business of seed and enjoyed learning about agronomy and innovations in agriculture. The STB program was a great way to learn while advancing my career,” he said.

After 3 years of online coursework, Andrew decided to work with ISU Plant Pathology and Microbiology faculty members, Drs. Daren Mueller and Alison Robertson to fulfill his STB creative component requirement.  The team explored fungicide application methods and the physiological effects of fungicide on corn and soybean. But that was only the beginning.

Upon completion of his final oral defense in the summer of 2017, Andrew decided he was not ready to be done. His STB creative component had piqued his interest to further his research, so he applied and was accepted into the Plant Pathology PhD program at Iowa State.

Today, Andrew is Majoring in Plant Pathology with a minor in Crop Physiology. And, not only is he researching fungicide application methods on corn, but he is also co-teaching Agronomy 279 – Field Exploration for undergraduate students studying agronomy!

While Andrew is leaving his options open for the future, he said he would be happy to continue working in a university setting teaching and conducting research or working for a large chemical or seed company.

Discovering new passions and interests is all part of the journey when considering going back to school. Andrew Penney discovered his passion while studying in the Graduate Program in Seed Technology and Business. We are proud that Andrew is Continuing His Adventure at Iowa State!

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