Former Student Helps Solve Everyday Problems In Agriculture

Brad Hopkins story1

Brad Hopkins evaluating a cutworm trial in Brazil

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—Former student Brad Hopkins’ work and lab experience during his time as a grad student has certainly paid off in his career.

Since he graduated with his Ph.D. in Entomology in 2009, he has helped producers improve crops as a field researcher and is currently working with seed treatments to come up with solutions to prevent damage to seeds and crops.

Hopkins also received his Master of Science degree in 2006, as well as his Bachelors of Science in 2004, all from the Department of Entomology. He currently works as a Global Biology Leader at Dow AgroSciences in Indianapolis.

As a grad student, Hopkins worked in Dr. Patricia Pietrantonio’s lab where his research focused mainly on pyrethroid resistance management in the cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa zea). From a research standpoint, he tested new technologies and assessed how they performed in the field. The testing of these new technologies allowed Hopkins to teach producers how they work and which ones will work best in increasing their profits.

As the Global Biology Leader and Technical Expert for Seed Treatments for Dow, Hopkins works with different clients including working with other companies that provide seed treatments to evaluate what Dow’s options are and to make recommendations to their seed brands globally. He also plans the company’s global internal research program and acts as a consulting resource to their seed brands for seed treatment.

Before he started at Dow as a field scientist, he worked as a crop consultant at Hopkins Agricultural Service, Inc. Hopkins said that the company specializes in crop consulting and contract research with producers of cotton and grain sorgum, as well as other crops in the area they covered.

“It was a tremendous background for doing field applied research and for my first position as a field scientist with Dow AgroSciences,” he said.

In addition to scientific skills, Hopkins said that his project management skills have helped him with his career the most.

“While the scientific education I received at Texas A&M always helps, it was really the non-technical skills that I picked up along the way that have helped the most’” he said.  “Good project and time management is one of the most important things that I learned while juggling all sorts of projects during my graduate studies that really has paid dividends in my job.”

He also said that taking on leadership roles during college were helpful in his career path.

“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to serve on many different committees and in a variety of capacities during school, and this also prepared me for working on a variety of different projects and being able to transfer my knowledge of entomology to different areas of study such as weed science, plant pathology, agronomy, plant physiology, etc,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins said that working in Pietrantonio’s lab and his education here at A&M has been instrumental in helping him with his career.

“My time as a graduate student was invaluable and I feel like Dr. Pietrantonio’s PhD program really prepared me for my job after school,” Hopkins said.  “There were many opportunities to present and publish my research, which got me ready for employment and also introduced me to many of the folks I still work with today.”

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