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Plant Science Graduate Student Places First at International Meeting

By University Communications

Taylor Young’s love for plant science began in high school when she was involved with The National FFA Organization. Growing strawberries piqued her interest into the world of agronomy.

“Managing my small strawberry patch made me respect the hard work and knowledge our agricultural producers expend every day, no matter the crop being produced,” said Young, a graduate student at Missouri State University.

The experience inspired the path she would take in college.

In May 2017, Young graduated with a bachelor’s degree in environmental plant science with an emphasis in crop science and minor in agronomy.

Now a graduate student in the plant science program, Young was selected to attend the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America’s International Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, Nov. 4-7.

This year’s annual meeting focused on “Enhancing Productivity in a Changing Climate.”

Young shared her research on the effect of phosphorus fertilization on leaf nutrients of cereal rye for spring grazing. It was a two-year, year-round project.

Each fall, she planted cereal rye and watched it grow through winter. In mid-winter, phosphorous treatments were applied, and Young observed as they grew through spring.

“I spent the summers processing samples and running nutrient analyses,” Young said.

Her determination and vigilance paid off at the international conference when she presented in the Forage and Grazinglands division. She placed first.

“I felt proud to represent Missouri State, because it highlights the quality of research that can take place at non-land grant universities,” Young said.

Now Young is ready for the next step into her career field and beyond.

“I would love to get a job working in the field with producers to gain more experience with forage production and grazing systems,” Young said. “Eventually, I’d like to obtain my Ph.D. and teach.”