Ten CALS Students Recognized as Seed Leaders and Awarded Scholarships

AMES, IA - Eleven scholarships were given to ten Iowa State University (ISU) College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) students at the 2019 Iowa Agribusiness Showcase and Conference on February 13, in Des Moines, Iowa.  Eight Iowa Seed Association (ISA) Scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded. One of ISA awarded students was selected as the Manjit Misra Outstanding Senior Scholar and received an additional $500 scholarship. The $1,000 Bill Latham Memorial Scholarship and the $1,000 Lisa Shepherd Jenkins Memorial Scholarship were also awarded at the ISA ceremony.

This ISA scholarship competition is awarded based on academic excellence, leadership skills, interpersonal skills, and interest in a career in the seed industry or seed science.                             

Back row: Chris Latham, CFO Latham Seed Company; Daniel Korhonen; Michael Geissinger; Regan Pleggenkuhle; Eric Heick; John Latham, President Latham Seed Company.

Front Row: Dr. Tom Brumm, ISU Agriculture & Biosystems Engineering; Yee Shuan Lai; Caryn Dawson; Karli Buckmeier; Chee Gang Ngui; Dr. Manjit Misra, Director of ISU Seed Science Center

Not Pictured: Rachel Nordhoff; Tucker Gabriel  

  1. Karli Buckmeier is from Saint Michael, Minnesota and is a senior in Agricultural Systems Technology with an emphasis in Machine Systems.  She is an undergraduate student assistant at the ISU Seed Testing Laboratory, where she receives samples from customers, processes and records them into the computer system, both before and after testing is completed.
  2. Caryn Dawson is from Palmer, Iowa and is a junior with a double major in Global Resource Systems and Horticulture with a double minor in Animal Science and Spanish.  She is an undergraduate student assistant at the ISU Seed Laboratory working on seed germination projects.
  3. Daniel Korhonen is from Radcliffe, Iowa and a senior with a double major in Agronomy and Seed Science. He has worked as a lab assistant in the ISU agronomy, soils and organic crops labs, as a crop scout at Centrol Ag Consulting in Valley City, North Dakota, and in warehouse worker for Champion Seeds of Iowa.  Upon graduation, he would like to work alongside farmers as an agronomist for a seed company or as a crop consultant.
  4. Chee Gang Ngui is a student from Puchong, Malaysia and a senior with a double major in Horticulture (food crop production and management) and Seed Science and a minor in Food Science and Industry.    He has worked as an undergraduate research assistant in fruit crops in Dr. Cochran’s lab, and as a field inspector for Bayer, in Iowa.
  5. Rachel Nordhoff is from Boone, Iowa and a junior with a double major in Agricultural Studies and Agronomy. After meeting ISU Seed Science Center employees at a farm expo, she decided to apply for an undergraduate assistant position at the lab.  She says that job was a career-changing experience.  She would like the opportunity to complete summer internships in the seed industry and find a job in seed and agronomy sales upon graduation.
  6. Regan Pleggenkuhle is from Waucoma, Iowa and a sophomore with a double major in Agronomy and Seed Science.  He grew up on his family farm where he was involved in all aspects of the row crop and hog farming operation. It was his childhood experience which forged his interest in agriculture as a career.
  7. Tucker Gabriel   is from Eudora, Kansas and a senior in Agricultural Engineering with a minor in Ag Business.  He is an undergraduate student research assistant at FloMetrix where he tests seed flow sensors and the measurement repeatability for the company. 
  8. Michael Geissinger is from Marshfield, Wisconsin and a senior with a double major in Agronomy and Animal Science.  His interests in seeds stems from widely diverse job opportunities in the seed industry, from sales to genetics, and from research to technology transfer.  Geissinger is also the recipient of the 2019 Manjit Misra Outstanding Senior Scholar $500 Scholarship.

Eric Heick was chosen as the 2019 recipient of the 4th annual Bill Latham Memorial Scholarship for $1,000. Heick is from West Branch, Iowa and a junior pursuing a double major in Agronomy and Seed Science. He is interested in a career in the areas of seed genetics and seed conditioning.  He is an undergraduate student assistant in Alan Gaul’s seed conditioning program at the Seed Science Center.  Latham was a former president of the Iowa Seed Association, the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), and the Independent Professional Seed Association (IPSA).  He was also the former president of his family company, Latham Seed.  Bill passed away on July 31, 2015.

Yee Shuan Lai from Malaysia was chosen as the third annual Lisa Shepherd Jenkins Scholar.  Yee is a senior in Ecology and currently works at the ISU Seed Testing laboratory as an undergraduate assistant in germination and seed health testing.  She also works as research assistant in Arabidopsis haploid induction at Dr. Lübberstedt laboratory in Agronomy Hall.  She plans to pursue a master’s degree in seed science.     The $1,000 Lisa Shepherd Jenkins Memorial Scholarship is awarded by the ISU Seed Science Center to an undergraduate student engaged in seed science and seed technology.  Shepherd Jenkins served as Seed Health Testing Coordinator for the Seed Science Center and as Director of the Administrative Unit of the National Seed Health System. She also headed one of the most active phytosanitary seed testing programs in the country and served as a chair on committees for both the American Seed Trade Association and the American Phytopathological Society.  Lisa passed away on July 1, 2015. 

About the ISU Seed Science Center: The Seed Science Center at Iowa State University is a center of excellence nationally and internationally in seed research, education, technology transfer, and international seed programs.

Contact: Cynthia Hicks, Seed Science Center, 515-296-5386, cghicks@iastate.edu