By Jack Rabin
Anthony Noto, “AJ” to his friends, is a SEBS ’16 Biotechnology major. He received the Rutgers-FMC Corp. Crop Protection 2015 paid summer farm research internship. AJ spent the summer learning how to drive tractors, operate farm equipment and manage vegetable crops under commercial conditions. He also learned to design field studies, collect data and report on it as a professional. During the summer, he spent two weeks at the FMC Corp. Global Innovation Center in Ewing, NJ.
These experiences were made available by internship support from FMC Corp., a global agricultural chemical company, including FMC’s Sr. Herbicide Scientist Gurinderbir Chahal, Ph.D., who served as AJ’s mentor, and Extension Specialist in Vegetable Plant Pathology Andy Wyenandt, who served as his Rutgers field studies mentor.
This is a different path emerging than when AJ transferred from community college to Rutgers. He initially believed healthcare biotechnology and genetics might be his goals. His future now looks a lot like plant biotechnology, genetic engineering, and crop protection outdoors in the fields instead of cells in a laboratory.
After presenting his summer crop protection findings on controlling downy mildew in acorn squash, AJ sat down for a discussion with team members. An exciting side benefit of hanging out with talented industry scientists is comfortably exchanging wide-ranging views about the needs of agriculture, society, crop protection and the future of global food grown sustainably. AJ gets animated describing how the latest genetic techniques like “CRISPR” (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) will likely integrate with traditional crop protection plant pathology.
It’s an exciting time in these fields and AJ’s future is very bright.