Blair Bennis, senior in agronomy with a minor in economics, has always had a passion for agriculture. Although she grew up in the town of Delmar, Iowa, Bennis spent most of her free time on her grandparents cow-calf and row crop farm outside of town. After joining 4-H, she started a cow-calf operation of her own with the help of her dad and grandpa. Today, this operation is comprised of around 20 head of cattle. Bennis also participated in FFA, crediting her involvement in the program for sparking her interest in agronomy.
Bennis grew up traveling to Ames for ISU games and FFA competitions, eventually falling in love with the campus and the people. After deciding to pursue a career in agriculture, she knew she didn't need to look anywhere else. While at Iowa State, Bennis has served as both fundraising chair and current president of the Agronomy Club, member of Block and Bridle Club , and a member of the Soil and Water Conservation Club. Music is another important outlet for Bennis. She continued her singing career at Iowa State by joining the Cantamus Women's Choir.
Despite her busy schedule, Bennis found time to participate in Start Something College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and has been a member since last fall. "I decided that I didn't want to wait until I could take a class to be involved in Start Something CALS, so I reached out last fall and was able to attend the holiday celebration hosted by Bruce Rastetter," she explains. Bennis enrolled in Econ 334, Entrepreneurship in Agriculture, this fall after the class was highly recommended to her by a friend. Her business idea for the class, Top Yield Ag, is an app that allows farmers and agriculture professionals to ask their most pressing crop production questions. Answers are non-biased, supported by third-party research, and voted on by the Top Yield community. "Top Yield Ag will provide both farmers and ag-professionals with the ability to access research from universities, investigate the opinions of experts in the field, and share their expertise," Bennis elaborates.
Bennis credits Econ 334 for bringing out her creative and innovate nature. "I like that the class is more discussion based and allows for idea sharing. It forces you to think differently and break out of the normal class structure" she comments.
Outside of school, Bennis has held several internships, including a crop scouting position at Madden Ag Services and a chemical sales internship with Corteva Agriscience. After graduation, she will start a trainee program in seed or chemical sales with Corteva Agriscience.
We will her all the best on her future endeavors!