Abbi Hastings 2017-08-30 01:15:36
Technician, Wyandot County Soil and Water Conservation District The Ohio State University, Ag Systems Management, B.S., 2013 Hometown: Kenton, Ohio Enjoys: Crochet, family farming, and home remodeling Ihave always had a big heart for agriculture. A born-andraised farm girl, I definitely wanted an education in the field. Agriculture Systems Management (ASM), with so many classes of interest, was the path for me. My mother influenced me to go to The Ohio State University and pursue a career in conservation. A graduate of OSU, she is all about the Buckeyes and applies her degree as a soil conservationist with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). I grew up hearing all about conservation, and I knew the difference between dirt and soil by the time I could talk. Deal me in for anything that is hands-on, and ASM gave me every opportunity to get my hands dirty. Any high school students who are interested in agriculture could benefit by being active in Future Farmers of America (FFA), just as I did. My experience in FFA gave me a head start and a better understanding of what was to come in ASM. And agriculture is less and less a male-dominated field. For women checking out ASM, go for it! As my mom would say, “A woman can do anything she sets her mind to!” I had four terrific summer internships with the NRCS. What I learned in classes was immediately applicable as a soil scientist trainee and a soil conservationist trainee. Hydrology and drainage management are both very important in conservation. Another great experience was being part of the OSU Soil Judging Team, through which I discovered the new technology and applications that are related to agriculture. Today, I am proud of helping farmers get conservation on the ground—saving the Earth and saving money at the same time! My first job after graduation was at the Seneca County Soil and Water Conservation District in a position made available through a grant. Unfortunately, it was a small grant set to run out in three years, and I wanted a more permanent position. Seeing a job posting for a district technician for Wyandot County’s Soil and Water Conservation District, I jumped on the opportunity. Today, I really enjoy getting out of the office to lay out waterways, survey ditches, and implement conservation practices. I survey the land for potential conservation practices, write up the plans, and oversee the construction. My degree has prepared me well for my job. And my internships opened doors to the conservation field. The photo shows me with farmer friends working toward conservation ends—tree packing! I love what I do—hands on, outdoor work, helping farmers and landowners.
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