Ashley Sheetz, an agronomy senior at Purdue University, spends many hours each week working in the Crop Resource Center. She helps grade tests, oversees the computer lab and helps out whenever needed. When she’s not working she enjoys reading the newspaper and chatting with peers in the lab.
Ashley Sheetz, an agronomy senior at Purdue University, spends many hours each week working in the Crop Resource Center. She helps grade tests, oversees the computer lab and helps out whenever needed. When she’s not working she enjoys reading the newspaper and chatting with peers in the lab.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Ashley Sheetz is a people person. From chatting with peers in the hallway to showing prospective students around campus, she always is up for a conversation — especially when it’s about agronomy.

Sheetz, a senior in agronomic business and marketing from Claypool, wasn’t sure what to expect when she came to Purdue University.

What she found was a welcoming group of teachers and friends, ready to help her on the path to higher education.

“It’s been a fun ride,” Sheetz said. “I came from a small town and was a little nervous coming to a large university. But it’s really not like that at the College of Ag in general. It’s a small community.”

“I love the classes. They are very practical. Professors are easy to approach with questions. The student body is one you’ll leave with a lot of memories,” she said.

Some of her memories will include long hours at the Crop Resource Center, where she studies and works part time. Others will be laughs with friends at Harry’s or Jake’s, her favorite hangout spots, and plenty of football games at Ross Ade Stadium.

“The first game is hot and you’re sunburned, but by the last game you’re in a coat,” Sheetz said, smiling.

She is excited to graduate in May and apply her knowledge from school in the workplace.

Sheetz is hoping to work in seed sales, an area that she’s grown to love after three summer internships with DuPont Pioneer.

“I started out scouting, then got into field studies,” she said. “I was in the field making observations. My final summer I was working with precision ag, working with infrared imagery with growers.

“I’m in the process of applying and interviewing for sales positions. If not, I would work as an agronomist.”

Her degree in agronomic business management lends itself well to jobs both in the field and in the office.

“That’s what I really like about this major,” she said. “I have the physical approaches — the crop and soil sciences background — and with that the ag econ side that shows me the markets and where to find demand.”

Sheetz enjoys her involvement with Agronomy Ambassadors. For three years, she has been involved with the program, which gives her a chance to meet new people and teach others about opportunities in the department.

She’s also involved with Sisters of the Harvest Moon, an agricultural social sorority.

“It includes a lot of great opportunities to network with alumni and recent grads,” she said about the ambassador program. “I also work to make face-to-face connections with prospective students to help them want to come here.”

The industry is booming, Sheetz said, and it’s an exciting place to be.

With more technology and the common goal of feeding nine billion by 2050, there are plenty of jobs that need done when it comes to plant science, she said.

“I came from a rural community and my dad’s family farmed, so growing up I knew I wanted to be around it,” she said. “The more I learned, the more experiences I had in the industry, I realized that was a fitting choice for me.

“I hope I can give back to the industry as much as it’s given to me.”