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Student Spotlight: Derek Schmidt

Student Spotlight: Derek Schmidt

Agribusiness Science & Technology - Agronomy and Precision Agriculture Technician

Mar 4, 2019

Career Programs: Agribusiness Science & Technology - Agronomy and Precision Agriculture Technician
Hometown: Brillion
Current Residence: Brillion
Age: 20
Attended FVTC: Fall 2017 - Present

Why did you choose the ‚ÄčAgribusiness Science & Technology - Agronomy and Precision Agriculture Technician  programs?

I have a strong passion for agriculture that stems from being born and raised on a family dairy farm, which I truly enjoy working on and want to be a part in the future. I am studying agronomy and precision agriculture because I love working in the fields and have a drive to produce quality crops during the growing season. This field will also help me achieve my long-time career goal of becoming a crop manager for our family farm.

What are you learning about your career field that you find interesting or rewarding?

What I find most interesting in this field is that there is always something changing the industry. Whether it be new or updated technology, regulations, or research, we are always evolving. This means that there are more new ways to farm that are safer for the environment and that increase profits. The most rewarding thing to me is that I know I am helping to feed the world one mouth at a time; a daunting task in the coming future.

Why did you choose Fox Valley Technical College?

I chose to attend FVTC because it is close to home, so I can continue to live there and work on the family farm. The classes are also hands-on, which is great because I learn best that way. I also liked the layout of the Agriculture Department and all the equipment FVTC has available for the students to use.

How did Fox Valley Technical College help you change your life?

FVTC has helped change my life immensely. After my first semester, I knew that agronomy and precision agriculture were my niche in agriculture. I have been able to get involved in the Professional Agriculture Student Organization (PAS), which has allowed me to practice communication and industry skills against classmates and other colleges. FVTC has also helped me get internships and jobs that give me off-farm work experiences to better myself as a future owner-operator of our family dairy farm.

What type of job do you expect to find after graduation?

With my Agribusiness Science & Technology - Agronomy and Precision Agriculture Technician degrees, there are many different job opportunities available to me. After graduation, I have chosen to work at a local cooperative, working with the application of fertilizer and chemicals. Then, after a couple years, I plan to become our crop manager at our family farm and work my way up to being an owner-operator.