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Josh Budka

former Field Technician

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currently on the road!


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I am leaving the group to pursue my dream of traveling the world. Some may call that becoming a bum but I like to view it as "gaining life experiences" haha.  I will be making videos about my travels as I go along, you can follow my adventures at . As I travel I would like to work in agriculture in as many countries as I can. Learning how people produce crops around the world is so cool. There is so much knowledge in this crazy world of ours and I can't wait to soak up as much of it as I can. I would also like to say a big thank you to everyone I worked with at Panzea. My last piece of advice is find your adventure and go outside.


My path to working on a corn genetics project was a rather curious one. I grew up living in small town Indiana and as one would expect my house was in the middle of a corn field. This would seem to have given me an early edge on knowing my career path but that was not the case. I grew up wanting to coach high school basketball as all Indiana children do. My first big break started when I got a job at a Christmas tree farm when I turned 16. I started out shearing Christmas trees, which is really just a fancy way of saying that we swing a big machete through the tree to create the triangle shape. The work was fun, and oh so hot but it helped push me into thinking about agriculture as a career choice.

When it was time to choose a college I still had no real idea of what I wanted to do so I stayed at home and went to a community college. This along with continuing to work at the Christmas tree farm convinced me that I wanted to work outdoors. Working outdoors had become an integral part of who I am. With this newfound vision in mind I went to Purdue to become a horticulturalist. While in my third year I took a class on plant physiology that changed everything for me. During the class I was assigned a group project to design an experiment on corn genetics with the help of a graduate student. I had so much fun and was so enthralled with the project that I asked to work for the project after the class was over. I enjoyed working on corn genetics so much that I switched my major before my senior year. It seemed like such a small decision at the time but asking to continue working on the project completely changed the direction my life was headed. That is the great part about life, you never know where you will end up next.

Why I Loved my Job:
I am glad that I ended up as a field technician because it allowed me to work outside while still giving me the intellectual stimulation that I needed. I got to work closely with plants and develop new techniques for making our experiments work better. I love that I am able to help the agricultural community continue to push the envelope forward. Agriculture is only going to be more and more important as world’s population continues to grow. It is so rewarding knowing that my work helps contribute in the most infinitesimal way to helping the global community.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Horticulture Science
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


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