Dustin Brucker

Ankeny, Iowa
Breeding Research Associate, Monsanto Company

What is your current position, title, company? 
Breeding Research Associate, Monsanto Company

Do you think this program helped you move forward professionally?
I think the program gave me a broad range of tools to further expand my knowledge base in the seed industry.  There are so many facets to the industry that allow for only limited chances for exposure to where in-depth experience can’t often be achieved. This program allowed for exposure to all parts of the industry from the genetic level to production and distribution.  A seedsman is more able to seek out a different career path when those opportunities are brought to the surface.

What advice do you have for students considering applying for this program?  
If the seed industry is your career path or even if you’re unsure but want an agriculture-based degree, this program offers insight into the various channels to follow and you learn a lot about the periphery-segments as well. Some of the leadership courses benefit more than I ever thought they would.

How did “online” work for you?
When living in Hawaii for the majority of the program, I found the online experience worked best. I couldn’t have done the degree otherwise. The course work was easily deliverable and allowed for frequent communication with the professors and students on the online platform.

What was your biggest challenge while completing this program?
The time commitment was a big challenge, as was expected. When starting a new career full-time, as well as starting a Master’s program, I found myself with very little free time, especially over the summer.

Now what? Tell us how you are moving forward professionally now that you graduated! 
I plan to use my skills to further advance my career with Monsanto.  This company offers many new and challenging opportunities to maximize my skill set and keep learning.  The seed sector is continuing to expand its definition and the skills needed to fulfill the new roles is continuing to evolve.  Continuing education, whether on the job or in the classroom, will always be a part of my plan.