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Farming Smarter: Growing Careers

Trevor Deering updating the Custom Research To Do board, 2021

Farming Smarter works hard to give interns the skills and experience necessary to develop successful careers. Sometimes, those careers start in-house.

As Trevor Deering was finishing his Master of Science, he began looking for a job to kickstart his career. The dream job, for him, would be one that used his education and allowed him to continue research.

“Through my masters, I realized I was really into research and curious about it. It felt like the right path for me and I wanted to explore any opportunities that would take me on it,” says Trevor Deering, Farming Smarter’s Custom Research manager.

Deering had worked with a couple research facilities throughout his education, namely Hamman Ag Research and BASF. This provided him with the experience and insight necessary to know he wanted to continue working in the agriculture research industry.

He used his network of previous employers to see what they would recommend and the direction they would point him in. It was Dr. Bill Hamman who pointed Deering towards Ken Coles and Farming Smarter.

Following his phone call with Dr. Hamman, Deering immediately began looking into Farming Smarter. Having previously gone to a few Farming Smarter events through the College, it didn’t take long to form a conclusion.

Based off his experience at the events, and Dr. Hamman’s review of Coles being forward thinking with fantastic management, Deering knew he found the opportunity he wanted.

Growing the Team, Building the Skills

The Custom Research Crew (left to right): Ryan Cervo, Morgan Hetesy, Michaela Gateman, Isabel Degner, and Trevor Deering.

In April 2019, Deering joined Farming Smarter as a research intern thanks to the Career Focus grant.

“It took time to understand what Farming Smarter was about since it can get a little complicated, and for all of us to get a sense of each other. There are so many facets of Farming Smarter that it did take me some time to see what was going on and what I could contribute,” Deering comments.

“Regardless, I was excited to be a part of Farming Smarter,” adds Deering.

By winter, it was evident that Deering was going to stick around.

Through more than a handful of conversation over the 2019 growing season, Deering had identified the role he could fulfill within Farming Smarter and how he could expand the organization.

In this first season, Deering managed a few of his own trials while helping the other research leads with their work. The trials he managed were mainly herbicide and fungicide trials, which was enough to test his mettle without throwing him in the deep end.

Back then, the Farming Smarter programs were a bit more blended; the Agronomy Research and Field Tested teams were more involved with each other’s work. While we all help each other out at Farming Smarter, the teams were less compartmentalized as they are today. (A change which would come the following year in 2020)

This meant there wasn’t much time for the other team leads to handle the contract research to the degree they wanted to. Deering saw this as an opportunity for him to put his skills to the test and continue doing research.

Today, Deering manages the Custom Research program at Farming Smarter. This program works with industry retailers, and various other partners, to do independent, third-party scientific research. The program has grown significantly since Deering took over; it now has more than 20 partners and manages nearly 100 research trials.