By Julian Golec, Ph.D., and Adekunle Adesanya, Ph.D.
Editor’s Note: This entomology today post is a sponsored post provided by Corteva Agriscience, a Gold Corporate Partner of the Entomological Society of America. The views presented in sponsored posts reflect those of the partner organizations and not necessarily those of ESA. Learn more about Corteva and the ESA Corporate Partner program.
We are both new field scientists at Corteva Agriscience. We are both entomologists and we want to share our experiences, so far, of working for this organization. Through this article, we hope to provide insight into working at Corteva Agriscience and help those who wish to work for the agricultural industry.
Julian Golec: world-class product development
I always knew I wanted to work for industry and was fortunate enough to join Corteva Agriscience as a Field Scientist in late 2019. I am currently based at our research and development station in Woodland, CA, where I am responsible for the field characterization and development of insecticides, nematicides and early stage biologics. In a nutshell, I coordinate and execute field trials to elucidate the efficacy and crop safety of new molecules on key western crops and pests.
I can confidently say that two days haven’t been the same since I started, and I love that because I’m not the type of person who can sit behind a desk all day. Some days I spend the whole day in research fields implementing and coordinating various projects by transplanting varieties of different vegetable crops, researching and identifying pests, carrying out spray trials and collecting data. Other days I’m in the greenhouse setting up controlled environment trials, breeding insects, and developing methods for various bioassays.
There’s no shortage of things to do, but it’s certainly engaging and rewarding work, especially when it works! I feel like I have a real impact on our product development, from getting dirty in the field setting up experiments and running them to presenting new findings to global program managers.
It’s hard to say what the most rewarding aspect of working at Corteva has been, but I think it’s a combination of Corteva’s passion for agriculture and people, plus working with such diverse teams. . Corteva is unique in the agriculture industry because it is the only pure-play agriculture company, which means our profits are reinvested into our pipeline to further drive the development of agricultural solutions for sustainable agricultural production, and that’s The objective of our company: to develop the best class of agricultural products.
However, it took me some time to acclimate to the industry. I’ve held several postdoctoral positions before, and the pace of academia is quite different. Don’t get me wrong, my background provided me with many desirable transferable technical skills, but some aspects of a position in industry required some acclimatization. As a new field scientist, I had a lot to learn and needed to do it quickly, but there was no shortage of internal support to help get me on the right track.
Corteva’s passion for people is demonstrated through its mentorship and coaching programs, which are available to new hires (and seasoned employees) to help them understand how the company works and familiarize them with their roles. It is also encouraged for new hires to contact employees across the company; and, because Corteva is a global company, it can be a great experience to reach out to people and gain insights, whether for your work or personally, from the diverse people that exist here.
This culture of openness and the desire to help everyone in the company achieve their goals has made the transition to Corteva very rewarding.
Adekunle Adesanya: a passion for helping producers
My current role at Corteva is as a Product Development Field Scientist for the California Coast. I am primarily responsible for conducting and managing field trials for new crop protection technologies relevant to crops grown on the California coast. I also design and implement research to improve the use of existing crop protection technologies.
My desire to be a scientist stems from my passion for helping growers solve pest problems that limit their productivity and yield. Joining Corteva as a field scientist gave me the opportunity to contribute to agricultural production while doing science.
I got my doctorate. degree in entomology and pest control from Washington State University. My graduate research focused on the fundamentals of insecticide and miticide efficacy and resistance in specialty crops. I have worked with growers to develop new approaches to sustainable pest management. This training prepared me for this career path at Corteva.
There are various experiences and awards that I am accumulating as an early career scientist at Corteva. I work with multiple stakeholders in regulatory affairs, synthetic and formulation chemistry, university faculties, regional extension workers, crop consultants, etc., to solve complex practical problems. This type of work interaction provides a cross-disciplinary experience that I desire.
At Corteva, there is a structured hands-on mentorship program that connects early-career professionals with senior scientists, industry leaders, and experts across multiple disciplines. There are opportunities for leadership and professional development. Most importantly, there is the opportunity to learn and gain experience in global systems thinking. During my year at Corteva, I gained a better understanding of the food and agriculture value chain and how consumer behavior shapes technology development and vice versa.
Corteva is a global company that offers career opportunities around the world; this is another major incentive to work here. Overall, I participate in the development and deployment of new technologies that shape the outlook for crop protection around the world and enrich the lives of farmers.
Innovate on a daily basis
The impacts we have had during our collaboration with Corteva Agriscience are significant. We are thrilled to work for a great agri-science company that provides innovative agricultural solutions. Here you will find a slide deck that represents some of the many products available around the world, ranging from crop protection to seed products. If you would like to learn more about working at Corteva or in the agriculture industry, please feel free to email us at the addresses below.
Julian Golec, Ph.D., is a field scientist at Corteva Agriscience, Woodland, CA. E-mail: [email protected]. Adekunle Adesanya, Ph.D., is a field scientist at Corteva Agriscience in San Luis Obispo, California. Email: [email protected]