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Tuesday, March 4, 2014
#psuaged14 Todd McMillen's Pioneer Internship: Not just for moving out West
We all know that when you put seeds in the ground they grow
and develop into plants. But, most of us don’t know the process of how seeds
have developed over time. Todd McMillen (@ToddMcMillen1), one of Penn State’s 2014 student
teachers, did an internship with DuPont Pioneer assisting in the development of
corn hybrids by increasing the genetic variability. It is a long process but
Todd was up for the challenge!
Todd McMillen 2014 Student Teacher
Working as an employee of Pioneer Hi-Bred International for
4 months, in New Holland, Pennsylvania, Todd planted plots of corn in different
breeds to help the cross pollination. He also assisted in disease scoring of
different corn varieties with their resistance of Northern Leaf Blight and Gray
Leaf Spot. These diseases that he was tracking have effected the corn
population in the husks of the corn making them look spotted. It is important
to track this so that farmers know about what is happening to their crops. He
also collected data on the corn varieties that have been on the marked for 10
years. While he was doing this internship, he couldn’t commute back and forth
from his home so he had to stay with a Mennonite family outside of Newville. He
said that they were very welcoming and that it was a very easy living with them
because they welcomed home with open arms.
One of the food plots that
Pioneer was testing.
Since his internship, he is now a student teacher at Big
Springs High School under the supervision of Mrs. Fulton and Mrs. Nailor. He
wants to leave his mark on the world by living for the moment and not letting
moving into different areas scare you or discourage you. Living with the Martin
family and taking the internship was one of the best times in Todd’s life. He
realized his passion for agronomic crops and showed him all of the opportunities
available in corn and soybean research. Todd will do great things in his future
through teaching and research.