New ag agent joins Extension

Chad Guthrie has joined the Southwind Extension District as crop production and forage management agent. He's looking forward to introducing new research opportunities in this area.

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July 7, 2021 - 10:13 AM

Chad Guthrie Courtesy photo

It’s a busy time to start a new career in agriculture.

Chad Guthrie, the new agronomy agent for the Southwind Extension District, hit the ground running starting June 1.

Guthrie is in charge of a variety of issues that all come under the ag umbrella. Technically, his title is “crop production and forage management agent.” 

“It covers anything from row crops to forages to pond management to ag economics,” Guthrie said. “Pretty much anything a farmer is going to encounter.”

The county fairs will be his first real introduction to the area.

He’ll spend the next two weeks working at the Bourbon County Fair.

Then, it’s on to the Allen County Fair, which runs July 22-26.

“I’m kind of starting in Bourbon County and slowly inching my way west,” he said. “It’s hard to meet farmers right now because they’re out in the fields.”

GUTHRIE hopes his experience in the field of research will be a big bonus for local farmers. 

He spent the summers of 2019 and 2020 as an intern on a Monsanto research farm learning about test plots and other aspects of the research process. During this time, Monsanto merged with Bayer, creating a global ag giant in a $66 billion deal. Bayer, a German drugmaker and chemical giant, dropped the Monsanto name.

“I got to see a lot of things coming down the pipeline from a really large seed and chemical company,” he said. “I got to see how they test certain chemicals and certain seeds. What gets thrown out. What gets to stay.”

Guthrie said the experience gives him insight as to how universities and big companies conduct their research and release information to the public. 

“I can decipher what is marketing and what is real information, and relay that to the producers in the Southwind Extension District,” he said. 

Guthrie said he plans to establish research test plots in the area. K-State offers agronomy experimental stations in various parts of the state, but none locally. Instead, the majority are in Ottawa, Topeka, Hutchinson and North Central Kansas near Belleville and Scandia.

That information isn’t quite as relevant to farmers here, Guthrie said. 

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