His class [Professor Steve Mason's AGRO 405] allowed me to look into the future. It gave me real-life experience and was easily the most difficult but beneficial and realistic class I took.
Alumni Spotlight Grooms rises to the top
By Anthony Vance
Marissa Grooms, a former University of Nebraska-Lincoln undergraduate from Valentine, Neb., won the second annual Engler Quick Pitch Competition last spring. Rising to the top in a field of nearly 80 applicants, Grooms pitched a business idea for a soil-sampling lab for area producers with a high level of customer service and won $1,000 for her efforts.
Shortly after winning, Grooms graduated with a B.S. in agronomy and started a job with agricultural giant Cargill. Cargill, one of the largest privately held corporations in the United States, provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial services, and products to 67 countries around the world.
Grooms believes the degree she received from Nebraska was well-rounded and beneficial in preparing her for a career in agronomy.
"I'm glad I made connections and took advantage of the opportunities offered, such as Agronomy Club and out-of-state internships in New York and Kansas. My professors were good mentors-they enjoyed visiting with their students and offered advice," Grooms said.
She chose the soil science option under the agronomy major and took as many plant-related classes as possible while still graduating in three years. She appreciated the opportunity to choose her classes and mentioned her favorite class as AGRO 405 taught by Department of Agronomy and Horticulture Professor Steve Mason.
"His class allowed me to look into the future. It gave me real-life experience and was easily the most difficult but beneficial and realistic class I took," Grooms said.
Now she is putting her skill set to work at Cargill improving the efficiency of food production, and her future is looking bright. Grooms is currently working as a sales agronomist for the company. She sells crop inputs such as fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides and herbicides, as well as meeting with producers and finding solutions for their operations.
"I'm in the office at times and other days I'm checking fields or visiting with producers, so it varies," said Grooms. "I really enjoy my work and I am thankful for the opportunities and experiences I had at Nebraska which helped shape my future."