Joe Blaufuss 2017-08-30 01:21:12
YieldPoint Specialist, CHS Dakota Plains Ag University of Minnesota Crookston Ag Systems Management - Precision Ag, B.S., 2014 Hometown: Madelia, Minnesota Enjoys: Camping, hiking, and being at the lake, gym, or farm Believe it or not, I was going to be a male nurse. I grew up on a farm but took a totally different direction by pursuing a nursing degree out of high school. I soon realized I wasn’t in the right niche and took a break. I knew I needed to change my plans for the future. Fortuitously, a friend from Central Farm Service—a full-service agricultural cooperative in Owatonna, Minnesota—talked to my father about precision ag and how it was revolutionizing the industry. I cued in and was completely fascinated. I went to work for a local seed dealer installing precision planting equipment. I liked it a lot and learned a lot. A family member finally pointed out the obvious to me: “You need to go back to school and get an ASM degree. The University of Minnesota Crookston has a precision ag emphasis program—and you will thrive.” Helping people makes me tick. That was underscored when I was in nursing school, but I have greater fulfillment in my new ag career. This was proved in two internships, the first as an Integrated Solutions Consultant intern at Valley Plains Equipment in Crookston, Minnesota. I assisted customers with John Deere GPS equipment, installed John Deere certified equipment, and activated displays and receivers. Generally, I improved customers’ knowledge of John Deere products, managed JDLink accounts, and taught customers how to access and use Wireless Data Transfer and Remote Display Access. My second internship was as a Northern Testing Answer Plot intern with WinField Solutions, also in Crookston, Minnesota. I planted and maintained steady growth of canola, wheat, and sunflowers; sprayed and sampled plants needed for testing; and took notes on how growth was doing in multiple plots. In my present job, during spring and fall, I work with agronomists and growers to build variable-rate maps for seeding and fertilizing. I help educate agronomists on how we can use these tools to benefit a grower’s operation. I also help teach growers and troubleshoot issues they may have with variable-rate maps loaded into their tractors. In summer, I concentrate on stand counts after planting to verify that our VR mapping work is correct. We take plant tissue samples to ensure that the crop is absorbing nutrients properly, and we use satellite imagery to search for and eliminate any problem areas in the field. Working with new technology every day is the best, and my internships underscored that and more. Technology is changing so fast that new services and equipment are ushered into the ag community all the time. I want to be on the cutting edge of the latest and greatest technology that helps growers increase crop yields—no better satisfaction than that!
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