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It takes hard work, ingenuity, and a dedicated team to successfully grow a crop year after year. Agronomist and Miss Central Valley crop queen Marcia Cripps’ passion for people and responsibility to care for the Earth fuels her work on the almond farm and mining operation she helps cares for. The Propane Education & Research Council recently partnered with her to share how sustainable farming practices, like using propane, are important in maintaining the success of ag operations today and tomorrow.
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Explain your role as an agronomist, particularly what you do on the almond farm and mining operation you work for. How do you help farmers be successful?
As an agronomist, I work with growers in the central valley of California by walking fields, taking samples, and interpreting those samples. I write a written recommendation for products like a prescription to help address nutrition and disease issues if they are existent. I help growers solve problems and make sense of their test results.
What fuels your passion for agronomy and taking care of the health of crops and land?
Being able to use my education and math/science skills to help some of the best people I’ve had the privilege of coming in contact with, continue to be in business. I am passionate about learning and I love that I can always learn at least one new thing a day.
What impact did your experience in 4-H have on your success and your career?
4-H taught me responsibility and gave me experiences that helped me gain soft skills that helped get me to where I am with skills I use every day. 4-H gave me lessons and relationships that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
What aspects about your daily work as an agronomist do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the people and the amazing growers and team I get to work with. I’d say the second best thing would be that I get to work outside and that my office never looks the same.
How does a fuel like propane fit in with your earth-friendly values?
I think propane is part of the solution when it comes to being sustainable and environmentally-friendly as an energy source especially in the agriculture industry.
Why is it important that farmers use sustainable and environmentally-friendly fuels and practices?
Farmers and every single person on this earth needs to be thinking about sustainability and how to be environmentally-friendly. It is everybody’s responsibility as an inhabitant of this Earth to make sure we leave behind an environment that the next generation can live off of.
Why is it important to you to help educate and support the next generation of farmers and agronomists via your social channels and other spheres of influence?
Everyone’s lives depend on agriculture and there is a demand for more young talent in this industry. That is why I have made it my personal responsibility to connect, specifically, kids to science through agriculture.
What would you say to an aspiring agronomist about how to be successful?
Be open and willing to learn and surround yourself with mentors and the agronomists you want to be.