innovate is key

bees buzzing in the flowers

greenhouse plants grow big

Reflection. I have spent a great deal of each 40 hour week reflecting. I feel as though I am beginning to reflect on my reflecting. This has been a very enlightening, informing, and inspiring three weeks of my summer. Again, as I look back, my most memorable time was undoubtedly being a part of the Bayer hive and learning about their Bee Care Center. I have always marveled at the life of bees, but now know how much I don’t know about bees. This was a golden opportunity to not only pick the brains of apiarists. These individuals not only have hives at their house, but maintain and study the hives at the Bee Care Center. They were so helpful and willing to share what they love!

One great challenge, was keeping everyone who influenced our experience straight. Luckily, Bayer has systematically set up their emails addresses, so that helped. We had the opportunity to meet with sometimes 5 people in one day. Taking copious notes and keeping track of information proved to be tough. We found ourselves having the conversation:

“Who told us about crop yields?”

“That was so-and-so. Or maybe it was… Hold on… no it was…”

Although everyone was really great, and I have certainly made lasting connections, my biggest thanks has to go out to our primary Point of Contact, Danielle. She took us under her wing, and set up the most wonderful experience. As a communications employee, she is very well connected and found just the right people for us to shadow and learn from. Every day was jam packed with knowledge, content, and passion.

I think I mentioned before, despite my research, I did not fully understand what crop science entails. Bayer invests 10% back into their research and development. However, those efforts are not just about creating products for herbicides, pesticides, and seeds. They do so much more. I learned so much about agriculture and their educational efforts. They also invest in environmental safety, and encouraging their employees to be not only brand ambassadors, but be knowledgeable on the talking points challenging what they do. In less than a 15 minutes break with Plant Genome Engineers, it is so evident that they are well informed and just emit passion for crop science. Maybe they will take me back next summer.

This passion is contagious. My greatest take-away from this entire experience is knowledge. They have increased my agricultural knowledge by about 10,000% (although I didn’t have much going into this). I also talk a lot about equipping students to know what to do, when they don’t know what to do. I now have a plethora of experts just an email away as we strive to increase STEM in our classrooms. They know so much and are willing to share their expertise. I cannot thank them enough for their eagerness to share, teach, and allow us to explore their world.

Thank you does not seem enough.

Same time next year?