Meet the Pioneer Agronomy Team

Meet the Pioneer Agronomy Team

More Than a Crop Doctor

Local, on-farm data and research transformed into actionable crop management insights – that’s what Pioneer’s Agronomy Sciences team delivers. These experts support the research efforts of local Pioneer field agronomists and deliver information and insights that help customers maximize productivity on every acre.

Our Agronomy Sciences Team

Meet the experts behind the Pioneer Agronomy Research Summary book, Forward-Thinking Farming webinars and our library of agronomic articles and resources.

Danny Brummel - M.S. - Pioneer Agronomy Systems Manager

Danny Brummel, M.S., Agronomy Systems Manager

Danny leads the Pioneer UAS/Drone Program and supports the execution, analysis and delivery of on-farm research trials that drive Pioneer Agronomy innovation. He earned his B.S and M.S. degrees in Agronomy from Iowa State University and holds CCA and PASp certifications. Danny started his career with Corteva Agriscience in 2019, where he managed disease screening trials and supported precision phenotyping efforts for corn, soybean, and wheat breeding programs. He also serves as chair to the Corteva Grows Science program in Iowa, promoting STEM Outreach in our local communities.

Matt Clover - PhD - Pioneer Agronomy Manager

Matt Clover, Ph.D., Agronomy Manager

Matt is responsible for helping guide on-farm trials planning, protocol development, analysis, and communication of trial results. Matt leverages his experience in soil fertility to bolster expertise of the Agronomy Sciences team and support Pioneer agronomists, and sales teams. Matt earned his Ph.D. in soil fertility from Iowa State University and his M.S. and B.S. degrees from the University of Illinois in Crop Sciences. He is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSSc). Matt came to Pioneer in April 2017 after a nine-year career in the fertilizer industry with various roles in agronomy and research and development.

Matt Essick - M.S. - Pioneer Agronomy Manager

Matt Essick, M.S., Agronomy Manager

Matt is from a small community in northwest Iowa and earned his B.S. in Agricultural Business and M.S. in Agronomy from Iowa State University. Matt joined Pioneer as a Management Assistant working at the Cherokee, Iowa, soybean production plant. He transitioned to a Pioneer Sales Representative where he gained hands-on experience in both sales and agronomy before becoming a Territory Manager for Pioneer. Matt transitioned to an Area Agronomist and then to a Product Agronomist before joining the Agronomy Sciences Team. Matt is responsible for the Northern U.S.

Grant Groene - M.S. - Global Seed Agronomy Lead

Grant Groene, M.S., Global Seed Agronomy Lead

Grant has been with the Corteva organization since 2010 when he began as a Field Agronomist in Eastern Kansas. He spent the next several years working as a Territory Manager and Product Life Cycle Manager, supporting teams in Texas and across the High Plains. Grant relocated to Iowa and began leading the Global Agronomy efforts in 2018. His primary responsibility is to plan strategic agronomy initiatives, facilitate agronomy trainings, and share best agronomic practices with colleagues across the global Corteva business. Grant graduated from Kansas State University with B.S. in Agronomy and an M.S. in Crop Physiology and Plant Breeding, and holds an M.B.A. from West Texas A&M.

Mary Gumz - PhD - Pioneer Agronomy Manager

Mary Gumz, Ph.D., Agronomy Manager

Mary is a native of northern Wisconsin and earned her B.S. in Agronomy from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and M.S. and Ph.D. in Weed Science from Purdue University. After working in the crop protection and seed industries as a Technical Service Agronomist, she joined Pioneer in 2008 as an Area Agronomist and later became Product Agronomist for northwest Indiana. She is now the Agronomy Manager for the Eastern U.S.

Mark Jeschke - PhD - Pioneer Agronomy Manager

Mark Jeschke, Ph.D., Agronomy Manager

Mark earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign and Ph.D. in Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mark joined Pioneer in 2007 and currently serves as Agronomy Manager. His primary role is development and delivery of useful and timely agronomy information based on Pioneer and university agronomy research. Mark authors and edits many of the agronomy resources available in the Pioneer agronomy library. Mark is originally from northern Illinois and is actively involved in the family corn and soybean farm near Rock City, Illinois.

Luke Northway - Pioneer Agronomy Systems Manager

Luke Northway, Agronomy Systems Manager

Luke double majored in Management Information Systems and Agricultural Business at Iowa State University and received his MBA from the University of Iowa. He started with Pioneer in 2007 as a support person for FIS and Pioneer® FIT Mapping System. He now works on the Agronomy Sciences team as Product Owner of Performance Explorer, Trials Planning, and mobile Trials Data Entry.

Ken OBrien -  M.S. - Pioneer Agronomy Science Leader

Ken O’Brien, M.S., Agronomy Science Leader

Ken serves as the Agronomy Sciences Leader for Corteva’s U.S. seed businesses. In his 16-plus years with the organization he has held various roles in sales and marketing leadership across both seed and digital/software product lines. His current role supports the field agronomy teams for our seed businesses to provide them with the systems, processes, and information they need in order to provide our customers with successful crop management and product placement information. Ken holds B.S. degrees in Agronomy and Plant Health & Protection from Iowa State University and M.S. in Agronomy from Iowa State University.

Todd Rowe - M.S. - Pioneer Agronomy Leader - Southeast

Todd Rowe, M.S., Agronomy Leader - Southeast

Todd is a native of eastern North Carolina and earned his B.S. in Agronomy from North Carolina State University and M.S. in Seed Technology and Business from Iowa State University. Todd held Agronomist positions with other companies prior to joining Pioneer in 2010 as Area IMPACT Lead at the Kinston, North Carolina Research Station. He is now the Agronomy Leader for the Southeast sales area.

As a Pioneer field agronomist in northern Iowa, Nate LeVan knows, “When it all comes together, that’s what makes agronomy work.” LeVan truly enjoys being a trusted partner with his customers. "My best day as an agronomist is when my customers have invited me into their operation and I get to be a part of that planning process," he says.

“Pioneer is always there to stand behind their products," LeVan says. "They’re there and that hasn’t changed for the past 95 years.”

LeVan works hard to stand behind farmers and the Pioneer® brand products they use. His favorite part of being a Pioneer agronomist is working with farmers to help them make profitable decisions and achieve their yield goals.


Photo - Man on Phone - in Field

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