Ag Career Update
Alumnus Mark Dragich recently checked in about his activities since graduating with an MS from TPSS in 2008. He’s now an agricultural research associate at Monsanto, in the operations team of the company’s breeding organization. He leads a team in field technology implementation and also works on field trials for fertilizer, water use, and other agronomy-related topics to help maximize yields and minimize costs. As a grad student at CTAHR he worked in Janice Uchida’s lab, studying the management of fungal diseases in basil and papaya. He liked that, since he was dealing with real issues that growers had, and his work had the potential to impact local producers positively. What he does now is similar in that respect, he explains, but there’s much more diversity in the projects. Working in industry is also much more fast paced and requires much more responsibility than in grad school, so it’s more challenging and exciting. He would like to thank all the faculty in the Plant Pathology grad group and many in the Entomology group for their roles in fostering his development, especially Janice for setting high standards and finding applied projects for him to work on, Chris Kadooka for teaching the technical skills that he needed to succeed, Scot Nelson for having the most “real life applicable” classes and for his mentoring, and current MS student Gerald Crank for assisting with his experiments, even on the weekends!