OSU Graduate Student has Passion for Hands-On Research
Monday, March 20, 2023
For plant and soil sciences master’s student Josie Rice, growing up on the floorboard of a tractor with her dad and grandfather is what instilled her passion for agronomy at a young age.
Not even the time when she got trapped up to her neck in quicksand in her father’s field deterred her interest in agronomy. After her father found her in trouble, Rice understandably wasn’t allowed to play in that particular field for a while.
After earning her associate degree in agricultural sciences from Northern Oklahoma College, Rice transferred to OSU where she received her bachelor’s degree in plant and soil sciences in 2021 along with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems.
Now as a graduate student in the OSU Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Rice said she can apply her lifelong passion for agronomy in research.
“I’ve always loved being hands-on and figuring out how things work,” Rice said. “My project specifically utilizes a modified relay intercropping system where soybeans are planted into actively growing wheat approximately 30-45 days prior to wheat harvest. This project is allowing us to focus on capturing more of the growing season. It also allows us to have better use efficiency of the land and be able to use crops more intensely in Oklahoma.”
Rice said she chose to pursue her master’s at OSU because she wanted to study with renowned professors. Dr. Josh Lofton, plant and soil sciences associate professor, works closely with Rice in her research.
“As graduate students we sometimes get thrown into uncharted territory,” Rice said. “Dr. Lofton supports and encourages us in all aspects of life, and I know without him I would not be where I am today and would not have the passion for research and academia that he has instilled in me.”
Rice believes the biggest life experience that has led her to where she is today is failure.
“I view failure as a building block for life because it tests your character, mindset, and determination,” she said. “The life lessons I have learned from failing have shaped me into the person I am today.”
Rice said her favorite part of graduate school is conducting research that may help others make informed decisions.
“I value that we get to learn from our failures and that we get to experience something new every day. I love the people I get to work with around the department because they help make me a better person daily.”
Upon the completion of her master’s degree, Rice plans to pursue a Ph.D. with a goal to work in academia, through extension or research.
In her free time, Rice enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, attending as many live music events as possible, and hanging out with her friends.