Since her high school days, Taylor Young knew a career in agronomy was in her future.
“I was involved in the National FFA Organization, grew strawberries and was part of the agronomy team,” said Young, a plant science graduate student at Missouri State University. “I developed an interest in looking at how different things affect a plant.”
One step closer
Young, who is from Russellville, Missouri, is on a fast track toward her career goal. She completed her bachelor’s degree and first half of the accelerated master’s program in May. By next fall, she will have her master’s degree.
Her thesis project examines mineral concentrations in annual cereal grasses grown for forage, such as wheat, oats and rye.
“This research involves planting plots of three species at MSU’s Shealy Farm to see how they behave with different levels of phosphorous fertilization,” Young explained. “The goal is to discover how that affects different minerals within the plant.”
Winning a fellowship
As a freshman at MSU, Young joined the Agronomy Club and eventually served as its president. She also became a student member of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA).
Those involvements paid off.
As an ASA member nominated for its outstanding senior award, Young was able to apply for the 2017 Frank D. Keim Graduate Fellowship. She won one of only two $3,000 awards from a pool of applicants across the country.
“I think what made me stand out was a combination of my research project and extracurricular activities, which included two trips to Haiti with the Darr College of Agriculture,” Young said.
ASA will formally present the award at its scientific society’s annual meeting in Tampa next month.
While Young is unsure of what kind of job she wants after graduation, she said she is excited about the many opportunities in plant science. She looks forward to working in the agricultural industry.
“I’m enjoying the research part, so that would be neat. But right now I’m considering all possibilities.”
For more information, contact Young.