December 2, 2020

Megan Phelan’s Career Takes Root at MaxYield

Megan Phelan MaxYieldWe will be at ISU’s Ag Career Day October 15th and at SDSU in Brookings, SD October 16th, discussing internships and careers at MaxYield.

When Megan Phelan received her diploma from Iowa State University’s (ISU) College of Agriculture and Life Sciences last December, she was surprised when Dean Wendy Wintersteen stopped her as she crossed the stage.

“In front of everyone she congratulated me on my choice to work for MaxYield Cooperative and said they are a really great company,” said Phelan, who earned her degree in agronomy and international ag studies. “That made me feel really good.”

Phelan joined MaxYield in early January of 2013 as an agronomy specialist level 1 trainee in the company’s West Region. After participating in extensive sales and agronomy training, Phelan headed to the fields this spring and summer to scout clients’ crops, assess weed pressure, and write up work orders so the right crop protection products can be applied. She also had the opportunity to ride along in a sprayer to learn more about that side of the business.

“Everyone has been really helpful,” said Phelan, who is based in Fostoria. “This strong support system has helped me transition quickly into an agronomy specialist mode.”

Growing in new directions

An Iowa native, Phelan credits her interest in agriculture to her family’s farming heritage. Although she started her college career as an education major, she switched to agronomy during her junior year.

“I made this decision one day while I was helping my dad plant our crops,” recalled Phelan, whose family farms near Perry. “As I was working with the seed, I decided I didn’t want to work in a classroom every day.”

Phelan knew she had made the right choice when she began taking ag classes at ISU. “I especially like the science of agronomy and enjoy going out to the field and diagnosing weed and insect issues.”

To expand her knowledge, Phelan joined ISU’s Agronomy Club and worked in research part-time at a company in Ames. Her interest in international agriculture also opened up opportunities to travel and study abroad in Ghana, China, and Brazil.

As her December 2012 graduation quickly approached, Phelan turned to the ag career office at ISU as she began searching for jobs in the seed industry and agronomy sales. Career Services Director Mike Gaul connected her with MaxYield.

“Mike had good things to say about MaxYield. As I looked at MaxYield’s website, I got a real sense of the people behind the company and liked their values. I also liked the fact that MaxYield could help me build a career in Iowa.”

People-first culture sets MaxYield apart

Since accepting MaxYield’s job offer, Phelan has enjoyed establishing her career in agriculture.

“I appreciate all the on-the-job training and have been learning a lot,” said Phelan, who has shadowed sales calls with team member Mark Eisenman in Britt.

What is the most enjoyable part of her job? Getting to know the growers in the area. “Farmers in this area are very progressive, and I learn from every one of them.”

As she continues to build her skills, Phelan has been attending many Answer Plot field days this summer and is looking forward to a week-long agronomy training seminar in Minnesota this fall. “MaxYield gives me the resources I need to provide solutions to our clients.”

This culture of excellence sets MaxYield apart from the competition, Phelan added. “When you’re looking for a job, I think a company’s culture is even more important than location, job duties, or anything else. I like the close-knit, family atmosphere at MaxYield. We’re encouraged to build our skills, and we’re well-respected here.”

Editor’s note: Phelan is an avid fan of ISU football and enjoys tailgating at Jack Trice Stadium. She also cheers on the men’s and women’s basketball teams at ISU.


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