Connecting classroom science to the workplace

The Ag Biotech Academy workshop provides teachers with science lessons that meet Ohio science standards, but that’s not all. Workshop participants are able to hear from leading industry experts about how those science skills are used in a variety of ag-related careers.

Kyle Poling, Pioneer Field Agronomist and GrowNextGen industry leader, shared with the teachers at lunch about his work. Poling talked about the importance of plant breeding to develop plants with desirable traits such as high yield, drought tolerance, and weed resistance. Poling shared about his educational and career path and the need for new talent to fill jobs in ag-related areas. “My challenge for you is, ‘how do I take agriculture to my students in a way that engages them and tell them about a world they may know nothing about?’”

A virtual tour of the National Agricultural Genotyping Center introduced workshop participants to GrowNextGen industry leader and NAGC Research Scientist Zack Bateson. The center provides genotyping services for US agricultural research, food production, and safety testing.

Bateson led the tour, showing the facilities and equipment at the center and the types of testing done there. Bateson demonstrated loading plates and doing PCR testing. The quality assurance and security protocols required in this type of lab were also talked about. The recording of this tour is available here.