May 2019

Four Seed Technology and Business (STB) graduate students will receive their master’s degrees from Iowa State University (ISU) on Thursday, May 9, but these keyboard warriors have spent very little time on campus.  Between working full-time jobs and taking care of families these seed leaders earned their degrees entirely online, with the only degree program of its kind.

“The flexibility of this program allows professionals the freedom to study when and where their schedule permits,” said Lori Youngberg, STB Coordinator. “Students can literally earn this degree from anywhere.”

In fact, none of the four graduates even live in Iowa.  Jim Fitzpatrick resides in Watertown, Connecticut with his wife and children. He currently is a Crop Insurance Agent for Arthur Carroll Insurance Agency.  Sarah Ebert is a Quality Assurance Lab Technician at BASF in Parma, Idaho.  Brian Kirk lives in St. Louis, Missouri with his partner and 1-year-old daughter where he is in row crop operations for Bayer. Jaime Saavedra, a Site Enablement Leader at Bayer Crop Science, completed his degree from Rancagua, Chile.

“The program really helped me gain confidence in my decisions, improved my way of thinking in a more holistic way and improved my business acumen.” –  Jaime Saavedra, Bayer Crop Science

Jaime wanted a program that was not only oriented to the sciences but also focused on learning about the global seed industry. He said the two determining factors in his decision to enroll in the Iowa State program were it was online and from one of the most prestigious agriculture schools in the world.

“A professor who wrote a recommendation letter for me to get into the program said ‘Iowa State has a stamp of quality. It is like the Coca-Cola of agriculture schools,’ ” Jaime said. “The program really helped me gain confidence in my decisions, improved my way of thinking in a more holistic way and improved my business acumen.”

Sarah Ebert agrees and adds the STB program has helped her move forward in her career.

“I am qualified for more jobs within my company and I have had several job interviews,” said Sarah. “It has shown me what areas of the seed industry interest me more and helped narrow my focus for where I want my career to take me.”

Faculty and staff from the Graduate Program in Seed Technology and Business would like to wish these #seedleaders  the best of luck in the future! We can’t wait to see what our newest group of alumni do with their very bright professional careers.

The STB program, delivered entirely online, is focused on preparing students for seed-related management roles. For more information about the STB online graduate program or online learning in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University, please contact Lori Youngberg at 515-294-9137 or email seedgrad@iastate.edu.

We want to extend a big congratulations to all of our Seed Technology & Business Spring 2019 Graduates!