As an FFA member at Northridge High School in Johnston, Ohio, Matt Simmons knew he wanted a career in agriculture—specifically, working with its new technology.
“I’ve always been a ‘machines’ kind of person,” he says. “I realized that working with machinery, working with my hands, and doing something that betters the world—that feeds the world—is what I wanted to do.”
Today, Simmons is doing that and more as assistant manager of farm operations at Waterman Agricultural and Natural Resources Laboratory, operated by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).
In spring and summer, he and his co-workers plant, till, spray, and harvest. In fall and winter, they clean equipment, select seed, and plan for the coming year.
The increasing levels of technology involved, from recordkeeping software to computer-driven seed planters, “just fascinates me,” Simmons says.
And while Simmons is still relatively new to his job, having started in fall 2019, his history at the facility, and seeing it as a place to grow both literally and figuratively, goes back a few years before that.