Discover CALS

See how our current work and research is bringing new thinking and new solutions to some of today's biggest challenges.

By Caroline Stamm '24 & Nicole Rossi
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Animal Science
  • Agriculture
  • Digital Agriculture
  • Field Crops
  • Soil

The Nutrient Management Spear Program (NMSP) works with farmers, farm advisors and state agencies to conduct research and advise on the nutrient management of field crops across New York State. This summer, the program welcomed Dairy Sustainability and Precision Agriculture interns, who were mentored by Postdoctoral Associates, the team's Crop and Data Specialist, a PhD student, and Cornell Cooperative Extension specialist Janice Degni. We sat down with students before and after the summer to document their growth!

Meet the Dairy Sustainability Team

Molly Mueller ’25 and Will Salamone ’22 had the chance to work with Field Crops Specialist, Janice Degni and NMSP Postdoctoral Researcher, Olivia Godber. Katie Bishop ’23 joined the Dairy Sustainability Team as well, working with Olivia Godber and Cayuga Milk Ingredients. Throughout the summer, the interns explored extension practices, improved their communication skills with farmers and learned the different nutrient management tools and techniques commonly used by farmers in the field.

Dairy Sustainability Team

Will Salamone ’22

  • Animal Science Major, Cornell University

“I was exposed to what extension does, as well as working with farmers in the field. I worked on several projects that dealt with field balances and nutrient byproducts. Knowing how to communicate with farmers is so important for this role!”

Dairy Sustainability Team

Molly Mueller ’25

  • Environment & Sustainability Major, Cornell University

“At the beginning of this summer, I was most looking forward to collecting on-farm nutrient management data. I was definitely able to do that and loved the hands-on aspect of work this internship allowed me to explore. I really enjoyed seeing how different farms operate and manage sustainability.”

Dairy Sustainability Team

Katie Bishop ’23

  • Environmental Science Major, SUNY ESF

“Everyone here has been so welcoming and helpful in answering my questions. It is so much more than working behind a computer and inputting data. I got great first-hand experience by going on all of the farm visits and connecting with people.”

three people talking
students talking with farmer
Katie Bishop

Meet the Precision Agriculture Team

Ibtida Ahmed ’24, Julianna Lee ’24, Nicholas Paschall ’24, and Shirley Zhang ’23 worked with Crop and Data Specialist, Manuel Marcaida III and Postdoctoral Researcher, Sunoj Shajahan. The team worked with sensor-generated crop yield data and improved their data analytics skills using corn and soybean yield data supplied to them by farmers.

Precision Agriculture Team

Ibdita Ahmed ’24

  • Computer Science Major, University of Buffalo

“I loved coding and processing data. It was tedious and took a lot of time, but was so worthwhile in the end. It was great to work with Sunoj Shajahan. He taught me a lot of new data techniques that I can apply to any future computer science courses I decide to take as well.”

Precision Agriculture Team

Julianna Lee ’24

  • Agricultural Sciences Major, Cornell University

“I enjoyed asking the mentors questions, working with others, and expanding on my data analytics knowledge. I realized how much of the work I learned this summer related to the agriculture science courses I’ve taken so far. Knowing your goal, who you’re communicating with, and understanding collaboration were all important lessons I was able to expand on in this role.”

Precision Agriculture Team

Nicholas Paschall ’24

  • Biometry & Statistics Major, Cornell University

“I learned a lot about agriculture. I don’t come from a farm background, so all of the farm visits we were able to go on meant a lot to me. I also learned a lot of new coding skills, and was able to expand on the number of ways I can represent different concepts learned from data analytics I was taught over the summer.”

Precision Agriculture Team

Shirley Zhang ’23

  • Biometry & Statistics Major, Cornell University

“I explored concepts involving data analytics and learned how soil management can be explained by yield. I loved the weekly field trips and learned about so many different tools and machinery used that were the basis to analyze all of my team’s data. I didn’t know that my data analytics and technology skills could be used in agriculture.”

Ibtida Ahmed presents poster
Julianna Lee points to poster
Nicholas Paschall walks in field
Shirley Zhang in front of poster

Caroline Stamm ’24 is an Animal Science major and student writer for the Cornell CALS Department of Animal Science.

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