Name: Jacob Looney
Hometown: Wheatland, IA
Major and Graduation Date: Agricultural Systems Technology, May 2022
Favorite ISU Class: TSM 210: Fundamentals of Technology or TSM 433: Precision Agriculture
Job Title and Company: Engineering Technician for John Deere Global Crop Harvesting Product Development Center (GCHPDC)
Major Job/Position Responsibilities: I assist in the testing of Prototype John Deere combines and front-end equipment. I work with various engineering teams to test durability and functionality of John Deere harvesting equipment. My job has me traveling to many field sites nationwide to run in all crop types and conditions. This allows us to get the most well-rounded research and feedback from customers. I communicate this feedback to the engineering teams to discuss areas to improve as well as areas where we are excelling. The research we do seeks to improve existing models and the launch of future models in the marketplace.
What you like most about your job/position: My favorite part of my job is the traveling. I get to travel all over the country and explore the world of agriculture outside corn and soybean production. I also get to work outdoors almost daily and operate combines in a variety of crop types and conditions all while expanding my mechanical/technical knowledge.
What advice would you give to current students pursuing a career in Agriculture and Life Sciences? Take advantage of internships and try to do a new one every summer. This helps to narrow down what you want to do in your field. Before deciding on John Deere, I worked with a John Deere Dealership, completed an 8-month co-op with Kuhn North America, and interned with Trackside Solutions for a summer. Although each experience had similarities being agriculture-related and working with machinery, they were unique enough to help me determine where I wanted to direct my focus and realize what I did not enjoy as much.