Evan Buckner

Crop Science Ambassador

Why did you choose your major?

Growing up, I always felt I had a connection to being outdoors and when I got to high school, I started getting into science fair projects involving plant sciences. I remember one of the projects I did involved soybeans and I was just ecstatic for learning about their interactions with pathogens. This interest in now agronomy encouraged me to look more into that fields and participate in a statewide youth competition for soybean science research and ultimately into majoring in Crop Sciences here at the university  

What are you hoping to do with it?

The short answer is to help farmers feed the world (ha ha). On a much broader stance, I want to work in plant pathology helping farmers to overcome crop yield loss form pathogens by coming up with new genetic lines that are resistant to diseases and mixing in pest management strategies. It would be great to do this at the university level, but I’ll be more than grateful with anything that comes my way that in turn makes me happy in the end. 

How do you stay involved with your department?

I go to departmental club meetings, work in a plant pathology laboratory, go to seminars and spend time going to office hours. I’d like to say I do those things on a consistent basis, but the truth of the matter is that in college you’re going to find your time dissipating more and more. So, I try to integrate all of those activities on a varying week to week basis, but nothing beats getting involved more than getting to know your professors. 

What is your favorite class and/or professor?

I actually have two. My favorite class hands down thus far, is entomology under Dr. A. Downing. In the CSES Department it would have to be Principles of Weed Control. As academically engaging the latter is, it really showed me how broad and encompassing a major like crop sciences is and Dr. Norwsworthy is an amazing professor whose personal stories in the field add a great deal to the class. 

How are you an engaged U of A student outside of the classroom?

Outside of the classroom, I stay involved in as many things that interest me as I can. I’m a violist in the University Symphony Orchestra and various chamber music groups. I teach violin and viola for the community music school and help plan and participate in a variety of community events with my fraternity. 

What is your favorite thing about Bumpers College?

My favorite thing about this department is the classes. Every class in this department I’ve had has been extremely engaging with guest lectures, farm visits, and talented and skilled professors. I think that’s one of the unique things about agriculture in general is that everything about this field (no pun intended) is hands-on and community-engaging. 

Why did you want to be an ambassador?

This is going to be a hard one. I felt that there was so much I could add to my major, my department, and even my college that, for too long, I’d been too timid to touch on. In the broader sense, I do want to help people, but more so I want to help others find their place and feel welcome and wanted in the department and college. 

What is your advice for an incoming freshman?

College, especially during this time, is going to be a lot.  There are going to be a lot of changes and fast paced movements, but remember that every morning, when you look in the mirror, that the person looking back will always be the same. Adapt to new schedules, friends, and especially study habits, but don’t change what makes you unique and stand out amongst you peers. 

About Evan

Pine Bluff, AR

Crop Science Major

Pest Management Minor

Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences