Intern Highlight: Keegan Jones

Intern Highlight: Keegan Jones

I’m Keegan Jones, a junior at North Dakota State University, and my major is Mechanical Engineering. I never thought that I would end up in an agricultural research position, and the story of becoming a biological sciences aid is too bizarre to tell here, but what I will say is that I really enjoyed working as an intern for the Hulke Lab! In my time at the Hulke lab, I have participated in every step of their research process, and I have learned the many aspects and logistics of running a large scale breeding program. My boss, Brent Hulke, and my most excellent coworkers (Brady, Mike, and Brian), have taught me how and why certain line crosses are made, how crop planting is actually done, the importance of accurate field notes, the process of evaluating the resulting sunflower seeds for oil content and quality, to dealing with unforeseen mechanical issues of our equipment on the fly. I have been very fortunate for Brent going out of his way to give me small engineering projects throughout my time at the lab, which has allowed me to gain valuable experience related to my degree. I developed a seed crusher, which is used for prepping seeds for our gas chromatography tests, I designed a simple solution to lay out four reels of drip tape at the same time, and I’ve implemented a series of brushes on our combine to capture elusive seed when harvesting. The science is awesome, the working environment is always changing, and the people are the best! I know this all sounds rather cheesy, but this has been a totally radical place to work.


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