Meet the Pioneer Agronomy Team

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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.

Dan Berning, Agronomy Manager, Western Corn Belt

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Dan earned his B.S. in Agriculture at Kansas State University. In the fall of 1989, he started his career with Pioneer as an Area Agronomist supporting the sales team and their customers in western Kansas and southern Colorado. He became the Pioneer Field Sales Agronomist in northeast and north-central Nebraska in 1994. In 1998, he was promoted to Field Sales Agronomy Manager for the Plains Sales Area. Dan has had the privilege of supporting the Pioneer sales team and customers across the Western Corn Belt in the roles of Technical Information Manager, Technical Services Manager, and now as the Agronomy Manager.

Follow him on Twitter: @danberning.


Matt Clover, Ph.D., Agronomy Manager

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Matt is responsible for helping guide on-farm trial 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 9-year career in the fertilizer industry with various roles in agronomy, and research and development.


Matt Essick, M.S., Agronomy Manager, Northern U.S.

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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.

Follow him on Twitter: @mattessick1


Mary Gumz, Ph.D., Agronomy Manager, Eastern U.S.

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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 the Agronomy Manager for the Eastern U.S. and a Packer fan and Star Trek nerd.

Follow her on Twitter: @drgumz.


Mark Jeschke, Ph.D., Agronomy Manager

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Mark earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. in Agronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mark joined Pioneer in 2007 and 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. He enjoys long-distance running and has run numerous marathons and half-marathons.

Follow him on Twitter: @markjeschke


Brent Wilson, M.S., Product Line & Agronomy Leader

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Brent Wilson serves as Leader of Product Management and Agronomy for the Pioneer brand in the U.S. In the past 30+ years with Pioneer, he has held various roles associated with crop management in both the sales and research areas. His current role is to support the team of Field and Product Agronomists with systems, processes, and information to advance the best products, learn those products, and position them with our customers with a high degree of crop management information. Brent holds a B.S. in Agronomy and Pest Management from Iowa State University and Master's of Agronomy from Iowa State University.


Follow him on Twitter: @brent_wil9131

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.



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