âI am delighted to come into ACRE as a third farm manager and see what I can bring to the table. ACRE has an excellent agricultural research base and an incredible team of research technicians, Bryan, Aaron and Evan, whom I have the chance to work with every day. I enjoyed seeing the variety of research being done on the farm and meeting the faculty, staff and student researchers, âsaid Stevens.
Stevens grew up on a farm in the southeastern corner of Nebraska. She attended the University of Nebraska, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in agronomy and a master’s degree in mechanized systems management with a specialization in precision agriculture. After graduation, Stevens worked as a crop consultant and helped with digital marketing. She then worked part-time for a professor in the Agronomy Department at Purdue while running a consulting firm specializing in web development and marketing materials for small farm businesses.
âI believe Rachel is the perfect farm manager to lead the next chapter of ACRE’s growth and success. The research committee was impressed with his solid background in digital agriculture, his innovative ideas and his ability to work in a highly functional team environment. His drive and determination are already paying off in our operations, âsaid Ron Turco, Head of Purdue Agronomy.
As digital agriculture and agricultural technology continue to change the industry, Stevens is eager for new research projects based on on-farm technology. One of its priority goals is to better track farm data, compile the data into a more usable format for researchers, and leverage it for practical farm management decisions.
Stevens also hopes to make the farm more accessible and applicable to those not involved in the research projects, including students and farmers in Indiana. From launching a summer internship program to organizing Purdue Extension events, she is excited to take on new projects that will keep ACRE relevant in the field of agriculture.
âAlong with the new research being done, I want farmers to know that what we do on the farm adds value to them as producers. We want to address the research questions that are important to farmers in Indiana and the Midwest as well as food security around the world, âStevens said.
âDigital agriculture and how we harness data to make sustainable decisions and be better stewards of our resources will be extremely important as we move forward. “