students in the field

Crop Sciences Student Ambassador Jacob Felsman

Meet Jacob Felsman!

Jacob is a student in the Department of Crop Sciences, and a member of the Crop Sciences Student Ambassador Program. Read more about Jacob in the Q&A below.


Crop Sciences: Can you share your name and a little bit about yourself?

Hello everyone! My name is Jacob Felsman. I am from the small town of Pesotum, Illinois. I am currently a Junior in Crop Sciences with a concentration in Plant Protection.

Crop Sciences: Why did you pick the Department of Crop Sciences as your program of study?

Coming from a rural town in southern Champaign County around a farming community, my interest in agriculture and plants started at a young age. My fascination was cultivated by helping on my family's corn and soybean farm, visiting my cousin's tree nursery, tending to my vegetable garden and greenhouse, and participating in plant/crop-based projects in my high school agricultural classes. I choose to study Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois because I felt this major would encompass all the aspects of plants pertaining to agriculture I had aspired to learn about. As a junior, I am happy to say this dream has been fulfilled with the numerous opportunities the Crop Sciences Departments offers.

Crop Sciences: What is your favorite part of being a student in Crop Sciences?

FREE FOOD!! All jokes aside, the Crop Sciences department does provide really good food at events; however, it is not the only aspect that makes this major special! My overall favorite part of being a student in Crop Sciences is the newly renovated Turner Hall. The refurbished places' functionality provides environments great for learning and areas to catch up with friends or meet new people in between classes.

Crop Sciences: What do you do outside of the classroom for fun or professional development?

At school, I am in the Crop Sciences department's Field and Furrow club. I am also a member of FarmHouse Fraternity here on campus. Outside of the school year, I have had summer internships the past few years. I have previously interned at Bayer Crop Science and BASF Corporation. Besides what I am involved in at school and with work, I also enjoy a few hobbies. I like to spend my free time working outside in the garden and completing various woodworking projects.

Crop Sciences: What do you hope to do after you graduate?

Upon graduation, I am planning to attend graduate school. The specialty I would like to pursue my master's degree in is weed science or something similar. After completing graduate school, I hope to use my education to obtain a job that will allow me to research crop protection and work alongside clients. I want to help agricultural producers make informed decisions on crop protection programs suited to their needs to better safeguard their crops from pests and diseases.

Crop Sciences: What is one thing that you want people to know about Crop Sciences, the College of ACES, or the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign?

One thing that encompasses the Crop Sciences Department, the College of ACES, and the University of Illinois that I would want people to know is you are coming for education; however, you get so much more than just an education from coming to Illinois. When I say 'so much more than just an education,' I am referring to the networking, experiences, opportunities that you can pursue.

The University of Illinois has one of the best agricultural schools, including our phenomenal Crop Sciences department. The College of ACES is a world-renowned institution that helps develop and prepare students for what companies worldwide are seeking in job candidates. Activities such as career fairs, study abroad, internships, working in a research lab, undergraduate research, and seminars are all the opportunities the university provides for you to make yourself marketable.

The university, especially the Crop Science Department, has vast alumni and business network that stretches across the globe, helping you open windows of opportunity other schools can not. The campus location is also conducive for being near many companies associated with the crop science field in the Champaign-Urbana area. Just miles west of campus, six different agricultural companies have research stations. Those stations are run by AgReliant Genetics, BASF, Bayer Crop Science, Corteva Agriscience, KWS, Valent, and many other agricultural businesses. The companies are usually always looking for talented students to work part-time, hire for summer internships, and even employee after graduation.

Being a student studying Crop Sciences puts you in a position that allows you to seek and pursue the vast number of connections, experiences, and opportunities available at a campus, local, national, and international level. The Crop Sciences department at the University of Illinois empowers you to obtain so much more than just an education.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Undergraduate Programs in Crop Sciences, you can email ugrad@cropsciences.illinois.edu. If you’re interested in scheduling a time to talk with a Crop Sciences representative, sign up here.