The two newest field agronomists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach both come from a farming background that includes years of experience helping other farmers.
Clarabell Knapp, field agronomist for Region 11 in south central and southeastern Iowa, began June 7; and Gentry Sorenson, field agronomist for Region 2 in northwest Iowa, began July 6.
Knapp earned her bachelor's degree in agronomy from ISU in 2020 and spent the past couple of years working for Helena Agri-Enterprises as a sales representative.
She says the opportunity to work for ISU Extension and Outreach is basically a dream job — one where she gets to interact with other farmers and help them find meaningful solutions.
"I always wanted to be in a support role to crop growers," she says. "I love meeting people and see how different people do different things. What better way to constantly learn than to be in an Extension program where you get to meet people and share resources?"
Knapp grew up on her family's farm south of Bloomfield, Iowa, where she and her sisters raised club lambs, and were involved with the row crop and cow-calf operation.
Sorenson grew up in Hancock County on his family's corn and soybean farm near Crystal Lake. He earned his bachelor's degree in agricultural studies at ISU in 1997, with a minor in agronomy. He earned a master's degree in professional agriculture from ISU in 2018.
He spent 10 years with DuPont Pioneer (part of Corteva Agriscience) as a crop research associate, and most recently was an agronomist for Landus Cooperative.
"I really have a passion for helping people, and I really love agronomy and transferring that information on to people who are looking for that information," he says.
Eleven field agronomists serve Iowa across 11 regions, and 24 state specialists answer questions and provide agronomic information statewide.
Erin Hodgson, the crops team leader and Extension specialist in entomology at ISU, says she is pleased to welcome both agronomists.
"I am so excited to have two new field agronomists serving in Iowa," she says. "Clarabell and Gentry have extensive experience in agriculture and will be great assets to our crops team. They are working hard to meet stakeholders and are ready to serve in their regions."