Danielle Youngblut, a junior in agricultural business and advertising, knew Iowa State University was the school for her. Growing up on the family farm near Jesup, Iowa, Youngblut was exposed to many facets of agriculture including corn, soybeans, and sheep. In her free time, she helped her grandparents on their farm and cared for her 4-H livestock projects. Her involvement in 4-H and FFA exposed her to opportunities that agriculture and Iowa State offered. By the time she graduated high school, Iowa State University was the only school she was interested in attending.
Youngblut has taken an active role at Iowa State, joining the Advertising Club and Collegiate Women in Business Club. She is also a member of the Agricultural Business Club, serving on the Professional Meetings Committee. On this committee, she helps put together the nationally competitive awards and plan the ever-popular trivia night.
In the spring of 2018, Youngblut traveled abroad through Iowa State's Study Abroad Program. The program, "Brexit: Political and Historical Implications," featured stops in a variety of places including major cities such as Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England.
Youngblut is also currently a member of the Change-Maker Academy this year and looks forward to joining the Student Incubator program next year to grow in her involvement. "I decided to get involved with AgEI because I am interested in starting my own business and this program gives me a good place to start," she explains. In addition to the Change-Maker Academy, Youngblut also serves on the AgEI Student Leadership Team. As part of the team, she will help promote AgEI programs and assist in running events.
In early November, Youngblut participated in the ISU Innovation Prize weekend, where her team of six took first place in the ag tech category with their mock business, "Rock Finder." The business was aimed at helping farmers locate rocks in their fields. "The product is an attachment for planters and cultivators, comprised of a spring-loaded sensor. The sensor would record resistance (coming from rocks in the field) and transmit the location of each rock to an app," she explains. Once farmers return to the field to remove the rocks, they can retrieve all the GPS locations of the biggest rocks and the app would create the most efficient route to pick them up. "In our mind, the GPS would operate similar to Google Maps, but instead of stopping at different destinations, you would be directed to pick up the rock," elaborates Youngblut.
Youngblut doesn't slow down during the summer. During the summers of 2013 - 2018, she worked at RDM farms as an Operations Assistant, helping maintain three properties of roughly 600 acres. Her role involved helping with financial paperwork, providing training, keeping accurate records, and assisting with planting and harvest. This past summer, she worked at Syngenta as a Digital Agronomic Value (DAV) intern. This role required her to travel across Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota to collect images and data from fields using a drone. To do this, she had to work with software and obtain her commercial drone license.
We are grateful to have Youngblut as a member of the AgEI Student Leadership team this year and wish her the best of luck in her future academic career!