Precision Ag Sales-Engineer
It’s no coincidence that I work with tractors and implements for a living, considering I dreamed of becoming a ship captain or an airline pilot as a child. I’ve always been fascinated with large machinery and the people who operate it.
Though I was exposed to agriculture at various points in my life, I didn’t grow up on a farm. I toured the precision agriculture program at Highland Community College and became fascinated with what they showed us — autonomous tractors, drones that mapped farm fields and lots of other cool equipment. I knew I wanted to learn more, and immediately set my sights on pursuing an associate degree there.
I’m now in a solid career as a precision ag sales-engineer for ModernAg Inc. in Wamego. I install, service and maintain GPS systems on a variety of tractors, planters, sprayers and even bulldozers or excavators. Adding GPS to these machines lets us add many time-, money- and labor-saving functionalities such as auto-steering and controls that allow more accurate seed planting or a more precise application of fertilizer and other products. I love working with the different types of equipment, and I find troubleshooting for customers very rewarding. The technology interests me even more today, and I plan to continue learning and become an expert in the field. I want customers to have confidence when they see my truck pull up to their farm.
My advice for young people who are interested in precision agriculture is to start preparing in high school. I discovered a passion for figuring out how things work when my sophomore science class studied electricity and simple circuits. Take advantage of classes like that and any agriculture or technology options your school offers. I also recommend learning to weld — I wish I had, because it’s a skill that would often come in handy in this profession.
Outside of school, stop by a dealership or ag technology business and ask questions. Don’t be intimidated; most people are extremely eager to show off the newest and coolest technology. Farm shows are also a great way to meet new people and become familiar with the companies in your area.