Jenna Lee grew up on a farm in Marysville, Ohio. As the daughter of two 3rd generation Buckeyes, she always had an interest in attending The Ohio State University. She said campus always felt like home to her as an Ohioan. Listening to the campus chimes when she crosses the oval makes her feel at home.
Jenna was always good at math and science but was unsure what major to pursue in college. She wanted to stick with family tradition and continue in agriculture but was not sure what to specialize in. While attending an FFA event Jenna found out about agricultural engineering, and knew it was the perfect fit. She felt that agricultural engineering would challenge her while blending a variety of engineering styles she enjoyed.
After deciding to pursue agricultural engineering, Jenna found her home at Ohio State in the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering (FABE). She is also an active member of the Agribusiness Club and American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and serves as a College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Ambassador. She cites her involvement in campus organizations as part of being successful at the university. Specifically, she recommends getting involved as early on as possible and surrounding yourself with likeminded individuals.
One of Jenna’s favorite academic experiences at the university was getting to visit Waterman and being able to try some of the advanced Kubota equipment.
Being involved on campus helped made her aware of research opportunities, such as the Digital Ag program, where Jenna has been a student research assistant for the past two and a half years. The first project Jenna worked on was for the United Soybean Board. They were creating a new portion on their website called the Tech Toolshed. Jenna helped research a variety of apps and other technologies for farmers, before compiling them and having her work published on the Tech Toolshed.
Beyond Tech Toolshed, Jenna also worked on a number of other projects. She found she enjoyed helping farmers identify technologies that would assist them in their particular operations. There are a lot of digital and precision ag solutions out there, but not all of them right for all farmers. This passion and skillset led Jenna to be involved in projects such as the eFields publication, which publishes on-farm research from across Ohio to help farmers and their advisors understand how new practices and techniques can improve farm efficiency and profitability. This year, Jenna is taking one of the lead roles in the publication of eFields.
Jenna’s experience from Digital Ag equipped her with the technical knowledge needed to pursue one of her dream internships. Jenna spent this past summer interning for John Deere Intelligent Solutions Group in Urbandale, IA. She worked on developing how-to videos for their digital solutions, that have since been published on their YouTube. Additionally, she helped manage customer and dealer feedback from their online tools, furthering her passion for helping farmers find the right solutions.
Jenna recommends that students continue learning about what interests them. Additionally, she emphasized the importance of hard work and stated that “the amount of effort you put in is the return you get out”.
After graduation, Jenna is unsure what she intends to do. She hopes to either continue her education at Ohio State for graduate school or pursue a job in industry that will allow her to continue to assist farmers in implementing digital and precision ag solutions.
By Katelyn Moreno