Partnering with Pioneer Hi-Bred to Amplify Extension Research & Message

Name and Position/Title:        
Clarke McGrath – Partner program manager, Corn and Soybean Initiative
Daren Mueller – Interim Coordinator, Corn and Soybean Initiative
Corn & Soybean Initiative Team

Fiscal Year Submitted:             

POW Title and Number:         
100 Corn and Soybean Production

Title: Partnering with Pioneer Hi-Bred to Amplify Extension Research & Message

Issue (Who cares and Why):
As land-grant universities across the U.S. continue to face declining state and federal funds, it is increasingly important to seek novel ways of delivering Extension services, information and outreach. In the area of crop production, partnering with agribusiness on research and projects is a powerful way to amplify ISU Extension’s agronomic research and information.

What Did You Do? (Outputs – these may include educational meetings, demonstrations or research, media, facilitating, partnering)
Last year, we brokered a new industry partnership with Pioneer Hi-Bred International – the first addition of a major multi-national agricultural business to the Corn and Soybean Initiative’s agribusiness partner ranks. Pioneer’s size and resources, along with its proximity to Iowa State, have opened many new opportunities for funding, project collaboration and message dissemination.

For instance, upon formalizing the partnership, we worked with Pioneer to organize a statewide collaborative research initiative involving Pioneer, a team of ISU Extension field agronomists and the Corn and Soybean Initiative. The effort aims to increase on-farm research in Iowa targeting topics of regional interest or importance. The collaboration also seeks to strengthen the partnership through stronger regional ties to Pioneer partners and affiliated businesses.

Results (Outcomes – was there a increase in knowledge, new skills learned, new decisions made, new practices implemented, increased profitability, new standards, enhanced quality of life)

As a result of the new partnership, Pioneer gave $10,000 to support collaborative on-farm research between ISU Extension field agronomists and Pioneer area agronomists on topics ranging from studying the value of new seed treatments to crop row spacing and soybean fertility.

ISU Extension field agronomists also increased efforts to work with regional Pioneer locations and businesses to deliver crop production information, while Pioneer provided support for a range of research and extension activities with Pioneer staff and customers.

With the external funding, ISU Extension field agronomists made 51 field calls and visits to Pioneer dealers; traveled more than 4,000 miles to visit and collaborate with Pioneer dealers or affiliated businesses; and spoke at more than 15 Pioneer-related meetings and events. This support allowed the ISU Extension field agronomist team to cover more territory and interact with more growers than they could have otherwise.

The research collaboration is also enabling Iowa State to address immediate needs and questions of Iowa’s growers. The results will provide answers necessary to make targeted and tangible changes in farmers’ fields leading to increased productivity and profitability.


Page last updated: June 19, 2011
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