Ag Degree Programs Provide a Valuable Opportunity

From an early age, John Breker, who grew up on a small-grains farm in southeastern North Dakota, was fascinated by soils, so earning a degree in soil 
science at NDSU was a natural step.

A crop and weed science degree from NDSU was a perfect fit for Jodi Boe, who grew up on a farm in western North Dakota and discovered an interest in agricultural production, particularly weed identification.

Both parlayed their degrees into additional education – a master’s degree in soil science from NDSU for Breker and an agricultural economics degree from NDSU and a  master’s degree in weed science from Purdue University for Boe – and jobs at AGVISE Laboratories. AGVISE is a North Dakota-based company that offers agricultural 
testing services and agronomic support to farmers, crop consultants and agronomy retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

“My degree in crop and weed sciences provided the building blocks of my agronomy knowledge,” says Boe, an agronomist in AGVISE’s Northwood, N.D. location.

Both also took advantage of internships and extracurricular activities while at NDSU.

“Hands-on experiences interning during summers moved the basics into the practical, reinforcing what I learned in class,” Boe says.

She served as North Dakota FFA president and an Agriculture Future of America Campus Ambassador, and travelled for classes in Argentina, China, Austria, Italy and Germany. She also was a teaching assistant for professor Edward Deckard’s World Food Crops class.

Breker’s extracurricular activities included studying abroad in Puerto Rico and New Zealand, and serving as an Ag Ambassador, treasurer of the Collegiate Farm Bureau,  president of the Soil Science Club and member of the Agronomy Club. In addition, he worked with soil scientist Dave Franzen on updating soil fertility recommendations for  corn.

“I really rely on the knowledge and experience I had a NDSU,” says Breker, who provides customer service and technical support from the Northwood AGVISE office.

“These alumni reflect the tremendous benefits that are derived from the fact that they fully embraced opportunities for expanding their knowledge and developing leadership  skills while they were NDSU students,” says David Buchanan, associate dean for academic programs in the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources.

David Buchanan, 701-231-7426,

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