i'm an agronomist

Francis Dee

1. Where are you from?
Quezon City, Philippines

2. What first started your interest in agronomy?
When I was small, we had a vegetable patch beside my house which I would tend to, constantly. We grew a variety of vegetables and fruits ranging from sugarcane, watermelon, mangoes, bananas, pineapples, and squash. Once they were harvested, we would take them to the farmers market to trade the produce we grew from the small vegetable patch. The interest further grew on me as I continued to study geography and biology in high school and thus, I decided to pursue agriculture in higher education. When I decided which aspect of agriculture to take up, I chose to do Agronomy because it encompassed all the factors in crop production which reflects on my favorite classes in high school, biology and geography.

3. What are some of the main issues for society that you are concerned about?
As of now, I am most concerned about the global shortage of food and the fact that there are poor channels of distributions as well – there are big disparities between more economical developed countries and less economically developed countries and even within these countries, regional disparities exist. I see this issue on firsthand accounts.

4. Why did you choose Iowa State University?
I was choosing between the schools that had good agronomy programs in the Midwest such as Purdue, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign and University of Wisconsin – Madison. After comparing their rankings, the general atmosphere of the community, and school academics, I chose ISU because I like the tight-knit atmosphere in school and the fact that it was rated as the best school to study agronomy in the US.

5. What was your first year here like?
I am still in freshman at Iowa state university and everything is going well so far in terms of academics, physical activities, and social life.

6. You have a faculty adviser, how has your experience been with him?
My faculty adviser is Dr. Manu. I have only met with him a few times but all my encounters with him are superb as he has the ability to talk to you as a friend and as a professional careers adviser as well. This is something I really like as well because, from a student’s point of view, I can talk to him casually as a friend, openly, and at the same time, I greatly respect him.

7. What has been your favorite class?
All my classes interest me a lot but my favorite classes are agronomy 206, meteorology and chemistry 163.

8. Have you been involved with a research project?
I haven’t been involved in a research project here yet but I have been involved in some in the Philippines regarding mangrove swamps.

9. Has the research project benefited your learning experience?
Yes, this research project has greatly enhanced my learning experience.

10. Do you see the research work you are doing as a benefit to society?
Yes – to some extent. This is because we conducted the research project in an economically depressed part of the Philippines wherein the locals we’re not as well educated.

11. Do you participate in any student organizations? If so, which ones?
Yes, I am currently in ballroom dancing and the International Agriculture Club (IAAS).

12. Any advice for those considering a major in agronomy?
Follow your heart – stick to your passion. Do what you want to do ultimately.

13. Ten years from now, what do you want to be doing?
I would want to be running my own farm either here, the Philippines, or in New Zealand.
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