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Evenson enjoys career as agronomy specialist

Evenson enjoys career as agronomy specialist

According to Travis Evenson, a job that combines agriculture, farming, and working with people has been “exceptionally rewarding.”

Evenson is an agronomy specialist at Wholesale Ag Products in Underwood, N.D., whose territory includes the central and western regions of the state. The business has evolved into one of the most trusted sources in the region for chemical and seed.

“It is a career for me at this point, and it has been exceptionally rewarding. I enjoy working with farmers and making product recommendations that help improve crop yields and quality,” he said.

Throughout the spring and summer, Evenson rotates through seed recommendations, scouting fields, and chemical application recommendations.

“It can require some creative thinking with the various management techniques and crop rotations,” he said. “Not only do you need to know what will work with the current field’s needs, but you need to think ahead to next year and be aware of residual [chemicals].”

He has gained knowledge and experience with different diseases and pests, along with understanding varying soils and farm practices.

“It’s an ideal career for someone who enjoys working outside, interacting with people, and being innovative,” he said. “Technology is advancing quickly and it’s fun to be a part of the change.”

Unfortunately, this has been a trying year for farmers across the state.

“We are experiencing the worst drought in decades in some areas in North Dakota,” he said. “There are a lot of tough-looking crops out there. Right now, at Wholesale Ag, we are trying to get guys by with as few expenses as possible and set them up as best we can for next year.

“Farmers are being faced with difficult choices; knowing they won’t have a good crop, but still recognizing the need to control weeds for the benefit of years to come. Spending money on a crop that isn’t going to produce is a tough call,” he added.

With his knowledge of farming in North Dakota, Evenson fits in well at the business.

He grew up on a family farm near Coleharbor, N.D., and found a passion helping his father raise crops. They grow small grains, canola, flax, and soybeans, depending on the rotation and year.

Growing up, Evenson preferred riding in a tractor or combine to doing homework.

“As a kid, my mom would put math problems on flash cards and make me go through them before I would get to drive the tractor,” Evenson said, with a laugh.

Farming and agriculture drew his interest all through school. Evenson went to Bismarck State College for a pre-degree in mechanical engineering, before transferring to NDSU.

“I wanted to work in agriculture. I was aiming for a test engineer with an equipment manufacturer, but after three years of engineering school I realized most of the job opportunities were out of state and a long way from the farm,” he said.

Just one year from a mechanical engineering degree, he decided to switch to agronomy and took an internship that summer with Wholesale Ag Products.

Now at 31 years old, Evenson has worked full-time at Wholesale Ag for 10 years. He is well respected as a crop specialist that can be counted on for his knowledge about agronomy and soils.

“Technologies are advancing every year, so if there is something we can utilize to be better, we should,” he said.

Evenson enjoys the challenges that come with agronomy services.

“You are outside every day going to different fields and seeing something new and different every day,” he said. “Western North Dakota has a vast range in soil types and crop preferences. Some areas get more rain than others and every farmer has their own practices. You learn a little bit of something from every farmer, and I enjoy that.”

Evenson builds on what he learns every year.

“If something is going on in one part of the state, you learn from that. Two years later, you may see that same thing happening in another part of the state,” he said. “You are able to take bits and pieces of everything you look at to round out your recommendations.”

He said anyone who loves farming and agronomy would enjoy a career as an agronomy specialist.

“I think my favorite part is building long-term relationships with such hard working people,” he said. “They put everything they have into the farm, deal with Mother Nature and other circumstances outside of their control, and continue to do what it takes to set themselves up for the next season. Farmers are resilient people.”

Evenson is married to Nicole, an executive vice president and ag loan officer in Garrison, N.D., and they have two children: Harper, their 3-year-old daughter, and Kaiden, their 1-year-old son.

When he isn’t working, Evenson enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.

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