Before Daniel McCormick found himself as a crop consultant in Newport, Arkansas, he worked for an independent consultant company in his hometown of Lake City.
When the summer ended, it was time for Daniel to pack up for Arkansas State University where he majored in plant science. He discovered a deeper interest in plant science and began looking for ways to pursue a career within the field. Eventually, the time came for McCormick to start looking for internships. Thanks to connections he made through school, Daniel was able to secure an internship with the company he currently works for as a crop consultant.
In his role, McCormick takes soil samples before or after each planting season, depending on the needs of the farmer. After the next planting season, he passes through the field and reports his observations, trying not to miss anything.
“Paying a scout, it’s a price-per-acre you need,” McCormick said. “You might see that fee at the beginning, but when you see what happens at the end if your scout does a good job, it pays for itself over and over. Year after year, it’s a different story, and we try to do the best for them. Learn their farm. Learn their habits. Combine their knowledge, and make something good.”
Each week throughout the season, McCormick returns to the field and makes more observations. With constant review of the land, McCormick is able to make the best recommendations based on the needs of the crop.
“There’s hard times in scouting; the heat, the long hours,” McCormick said. “[But] if your heart’s in it, you’ll enjoy it. If you find something you love, it’s not work.”
McCormick said the best advice he can give students is apply for internships and network.
“Get your name out there. Get under a consultant that can spread some knowledge for you. These guys have been farming for generations; they know how to farm,” he said.
To learn more about careers opportunities in agriculture, click here.
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