Q&A with Nick Wesslak

Nick is a field specialist in agronomy serving the northeast region.

A man is collecting samples in a corn field.
Nick collects field spore trap samples.

What do you do in your current role with the University of Missouri?

I am an agronomy field specialist based in Marion County. I cover the eight northeast counties of Missouri.

How long have you worked in this position?

I have worked in this position since April 2022.

Nick and a woman stand in front of a tractor to smile for a selfie.
Nick scouts field crops with graduate student Mellanie Carraher.

What is your favorite part about the work you do?

It is hard for me to pick one favorite part, so I will list a few. I thoroughly enjoy working with my Extension team. It is very much an all-for-one, one-for-all environment. I also appreciate my team’s patience with my high energy and youthful inexperience. I enjoy the relationships I get to build with farmers. Often, I find myself out in the field running into producers and getting to hold little agronomic chats. I love that from day to day I never exactly know what is coming my way for work, so I never get bored. I made up my mind in high school I was going to be an agronomist, and 10 years later, that dream came true.

How are you helping MU A&E Extension reach our #2xAg2030 goal?

Not only do I help deliver the latest research-backed agronomic information to my local Missouri community, but I also get to help generate some of that agronomic knowledge through in-field trial work and other on-farm field projects occurring in my counties and throughout the state. I work with several campus and regional extension professionals across the state to help Serve Missouri and Deliver Mizzou. I always try and figure out what a producer’s concerns are and then relay my field knowledge to my on- and off-campus and regional extension professionals.

Nick holds up fish that he caught in both of his hands while he smiles for a photo.
In his free time, Nick enjoys fishing.

What is something your CAFNR and MU Extension teammates may not know about you?

I love listening to many different types of music. Often, when I’m out working in the garden, it’s not unusual for me to roll out my 120-watt portable speaker and play everything from classic country to rap and heavy metal. I love eating crawfish and developed this taste for mudbugs while working in the Mississippi Delta down around Leland, Mississippi, which is the birthplace of Kermit the Frog. I’m also passionate about animals.

What is your hometown, place of high school graduation and degrees/universities?

I grew up in Toney, Alabama, which is about 30 minutes north of Huntsville. I graduated high school at Salem R-80 in Salem, Missouri. I have a bachelor’s in plant science with an emphasis in crop management and a minor in agricultural systems management. I have a master’s in natural resources with an emphasis in soil, environmental and atmospheric sciences. Both of my degrees were earned at the University of Missouri-Columbia. MIZ-ZOU!