Aaron Brandt joins the Fisher Delta Research, Extension and Education Center (FD-REEC), one of the four research, extension and education centers of the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR), on Oct. 11, as the director.
Brandt is no stranger to Missouri agriculture. He grew up in Linn, Missouri, working on his family’s farm.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity to join FD-REEC,” said Brandt. “I am excited to come back to Missouri and looking forward to playing an important role in Missouri agriculture.”
Brandt will help direct the unique research opportunities at the Center, which include projects centered on cotton, rice, corn and soybean. The FD-REEC includes five locations, for a total of 1,119 acres, in a 12-county area that forms the Missouri Bootheel. Scientists at the FD-REEC have gained recognition for developing improved soybean varieties, especially those with soybean cyst nematode resistance.
Brandt has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business, crop and soil science from the University of Central Missouri and a master’s in agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Currently, he is working as an agronomic research specialist at Bayer Crop Science based out of Harrisburg, South Dakota.
“While spending time in a high-tech research environment, I have discovered that I greatly enjoy being a leader,” said Brandt. “Especially when it comes to delivering high-quality results within agricultural research.”
“We are thrilled to welcome Aaron to the Fisher Delta Research, Extension and Education Center,” said Shibu Jose, associate dean in the CAFNR Office of Research. “Timely research findings are key to our stakeholders, and the FD-REEC serves a variety of crops and counties and stakeholders. Having a proven leader like Aaron in this position will be beneficial to our researchers, but also to the producers and landowners in southeastern Missouri.”
During his time at Bayer Crop Science, Brandt has sought out leadership opportunities. He joined the Commercial Corn Breeding organization as a research assistant and has now transitioned into the field-testing organization.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to play a key role in the personal development of colleagues through this role,” said Brandt. “As well as be part of the operational success of the research site by leading several key projects.”
Currently Brandt leads the site’s labor team, and is responsible for recruitment, hiring and managing summer employees. He is also serving as the site’s chief UAV pilot and manages the wheat yield testing program in South Dakota.
“Leading these projects has allowed me to grow my leadership qualities by giving me the opportunity to lead people and collaborate with other research sites.”