Samantha Teten, a University of Nebraska–Lincoln agronomy major minoring in agribusiness, has been awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the Independent Professional Seed Association. The IPSA created the scholarship program to support and encourage the education of future ag professionals. Teten, who will be a junior this fall, was one of five agriculture-related degree students selected nationally out of 180 applicants.
Teten grew up on a corn and soybean farm in southeast Nebraska and fell in love with agriculture at a young age. She was active in 4-H and FFA in high school. When her brother started his own independent crop consulting business, she said she enjoyed scouting fields with him and it led to her niche in the industry.
Over the summers, she has interned with Helena Chemical Company in south central Kansas and Syngenta in Nebraska.
Teten said serving as president of the UNL Agronomy Club is one of her favorite activities at the university as well as competing on the soils, crops and weeds judging teams. She is also a College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Ambassador, a teacher’s assistant for Agronomy 132 Agronomic Plant Science Lab, and an undergraduate research assistant in soil science with Martha Mamo, Weaver Professor of Agronomy and Horticulture and interim associate department head. Teten is advised by Rhae Drijber, agronomy and horticulture professor in soil microbial ecology.
“The next step for me is to attend graduate school and then pursue a career as a technical agronomist in a national or global chemical or seed company,” Teten said. “My goal is to be alongside producers or retailers in managing their resources and growing commodities to make their farm profitable.”
“Beyond agronomy, I have a dream of making a difference through education. I aspire to show others the reality in the farm-to-table process,” she said. “I would love to be an active part of an outreach program such as speaking at conferences or to urban schools, but I can also advocate simply through my everyday actions in a positive way.”
According to Teten, her passion lies in agriculture — encompassing everything from soils, to insects, to weeds.
“No matter what company or job title I end up with, my education provides the foundation I need to thrive,” she said. “That’s why it’s a great honor to receive the IPSA scholarship and it will be used to help me further my education in agronomy and later in plant pathology.”