South Dakota State University agronomy and entrepreneurial studies major Tyler Steinkamp, Spencer, Iowa, will join 23 other students from universities like Oregon State, Oklahoma State, California State-Fresno and Auburn, for a forum called, “Moving Agriculture Forward.” The event takes place Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23 and 24, in Arlington, Va.
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called the event a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Department of Agriculture. Former secretaries of agriculture will describe their vision for the future to young careerists who were selected from essays that included their thoughts about agriculture as a career.
Even though he didn’t grow up on a farm, Steinkamp is not new to thinking about agriculture’s future. He’s been doing that since he was in elementary school and got interested in gardening and plants. He and his brothers went with their dad, a highway patrolman, to help his father’s farm friend during harvest time.
“I loved going out to the farm,” said Steinkamp. “There is no industry out there that is more important than agriculture. It’s what feeds everyone on the planet. Agriculture supplies raw materials for food products and clothing, and contributes to manufacturing products and scientific discoveries. I want to help bring better management, better varieties and hybrids, and better equipment to the farm.”
Participants in the outlook forum will talk about those issues as well as the future of agriculture. Attending students come from other land-grant and Hispanic-serving institutions and American Association of State Colleges of Agriculture and Renewable Resources that are aimed at promoting education for the next generation of agriculturalists.
Steinkamp will graduate from SDSU in May and go to work for Winfield Solutions L.L.C., a company that helps growers, dealers and other industry partners succeed with cutting-edge seed and crop protection products.
Along with his agronomy and entrepreneurial majors, Steinkamp’s minors in business and horticulture helped parlay him and a class partner into winning a $500 prize for their business plan for Precision Crop Systems. The company was designed to mesh advanced field data with the economics of common farming practices to efficiently manage farmland. While he works for Winfield Solutions, Steinkamp plans to pursue a master’s in agronomy.
About South Dakota State University
Founded in 1881, South Dakota State University is the state’s Morrill Act land-grant institution as well as its largest, most comprehensive school of higher education. SDSU confers degrees from eight different colleges representing more than 175 majors, minors and specializations. The institution also offers 29 master’s degree programs, 12 Ph.D. and two professional programs.
The work of the university is carried out on a residential campus in Brookings, at sites in Sioux Falls, Pierre and Rapid City, and through Cooperative Extension offices and Agricultural Experiment Station research sites across the state.
SDSU senior Tyler Steinkamp will take his knowledge of agronomy and farm economics to a USDA student forum called “Moving Agriculture Forward.”