WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — As part of its goal to promote research into the corn industry, the Indiana Corn Marketing Council has awarded two $25,000 assistantships to Purdue University students in the Department of Agronomy.
Each year, ICMC awards the funding to two Purdue graduate students, one studying for a master’s degree and one for a doctoral degree. The funding supports an annual stipend and attendance at professional meetings.
Sarah Mueller, who is pursuing her doctorate’s degree, has earned the assistantship for a third year. She is continuing her research with Tony Vyn, professor of agronomy. Their research into corn cropping systems focuses on increasing nitrogen fertilizer efficiency through the timing of nitrogen application.
“When conducting on-farm experiments, compiling research and analyzing data, I try to keep in mind how this research will impact the end user and the importance of putting the results into the hands of those who will use it,” Mueller said.
Jennifer Woodyard, who is pursuing her master’s degree and assists Eileen Kladivko, professor of agronomy, also received a $25,000 assistantship from the Indiana corn checkoff.
Woodyard’s research is specific to soil biology. She is currently examining popular cover crop treatments and their effect on soil health. Working with farmer collaborators, her project area covers 23 sites across Indiana.
“I come from a farming family and I understand the importance of research to producers. This award makes it possible to pursue my degree and continue research specific to soil biology and improving crop yield,” Woodyard said.
Marshall Martin, senior associate director of agricultural research and assistant dean in the College of Agriculture, is the liaison to the Indiana Corn Marketing Council. “Investment in the education of future research scientists or leaders ensures productivity for corn producers and the industry by providing the latest information and research in genetics, agronomy, disease management, insect management, and improving soil health with cover crops and marketing,” Martin said.
“The Indiana corn checkoff provides funding for these assistantships as a way to encourage students to pursue careers in research pertaining to the corn industry,” said David Gottbrath, president of Indiana Corn Marketing Council and a farmer from Pekin. “It is an investment of farmer dollars to ensure we have the best talent working not only to improve corn production practices but also find new uses for our crop.”
— Purdue Agricultural Communications