Student Profile

Ben Wier
Class of '10

Ben Wier earned an M.S. in agricultural production in the first Illinois PSM cohort. He is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. While a student in the Illinois PSM, Ben volunteered at the Wildlife Medical Clinic and interned with Monsanto.  Ben is a D.V.M. candidate at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

Agricultural Production Graduates


Kaylee (Williams) Hillinger - Class of '14

Kaylee Hillinger graduated from the Agricultural Production PSM program in 2014 with a focus in Animal Production.  She earned her undergraduate degree in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois.  During her undergraduate career, Kaylee realized that her background was heavy in research and science and she wanted to be a more rounded professional with business knowledge.  She states that she, “wanted to be more marketable as a potential employee in the animal health industry.” Kaylee’s internship was with Carthage Innovative Swine Solutions in Carthage, Illinois.  She is now a Territory Sales Manager with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.  Her advice to students is to “take accountability for yourself, your learning, and your experience.”  There are plenty of opportunities to make connections, network and better yourself as a professional if you take the initiative and reach out.


Arshdeep Saroa - Class of '13

Arshdeep Saroa is a 2013 graduate of the Agricultural Production PSM program, with a focus on Crop Production.  She obtained her undergraduate degree in Plant Breeding and Genetics from Punjab Agricultural University in India.  She chose Illinois PSM because she wanted to serve the life science industry both at the research and business development level.  Arshdeep completed her internship with Dr. Carl Bradley’s crop science laboratory where she applied fungicides for efficacy trials and rated plots for parameters such as plant vigor and sudden death syndrome of soybeans.  Her work also involved data collection, plot maintenance and processing wheat samples for DON analysis.  She is currently working as a synthetic biology applications scientist for Integrated DNA Technologies, the world's largest supplier of custom nucleic acids for academic research, clinical diagnostics, biotechnology and pharmaceutical development.  Arshdeep suggests that potential and current students “grab the opportunities as they come.  It might not be your dream at the time but it will give you new exposure and experience, which will take you a step closer to your dream destination.”


Eva Sztechmiler - Class of '12

Eva Sztechmiler graduated from the Agricultural Production PSM program in 2012.  Her undergraduate degree in conservation biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF), lead her to specialize in sustainability production while at Illinois.  Eva completed her internship at Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center in Nederland, Colorado.  In her role, she co-authored grant proposals, planned and implemented youth programs, and oversaw a gala fundraiser.  Eva now works for the Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District in New York. “Even though I thought I had gone to graduate school to study sustainable agriculture, what I really came away with was a sense of entrepreneurship, making your own opportunities, and networking.  In fact, if I had to associate one word with my graduate studies it would be networking.  Two years later, I can fully appreciate just how truly important it is, and just how valuable it was to sit through all of those seminars that drilled those keywords into our heads (entrepreneurship, networking, make your own opportunity.)”


Thadd Fosdick - Class of '11

Thadd Fosdick is a 2011 graduate of the Agricultural Production PSM program, with a focus in Animal Production.  Thadd added to his agriculture knowledge by completing his internship with Pioneer Hybrids as a production intern. His undergraduate degree is in Animal Sciences from Illinois.  Having a diverse background helps Thadd daily in his current role as Farm Manager for Farmers National Company in Bloomington, Illinois.  Thadd oversees the management of agricultural assets for absentee landowners and assists clients with real estate needs.  Thadd finds equitable leasing solutions for his clients and operators.  He is also an integral member of his family-owned farm, Fosdick Cattle, where they raise and show Limousin and Lim-Flex cattle.


Ben Wier - Class of '10

Ben Wier earned an M.S. in Agricultural Production in the first Illinois PSM cohort.  He is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University where he earned a bachelor's degree in biology.  While a student in the Illinois PSM. Ben volunteered at the Wildlife Medical Clinic and interned with Monsanto.  Ben is a D.V.M. candidate at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.



Agricultural Production students have had their Illinois PSM internship at:

  • Bayer CropScience
  • Beck's Hybrids
  • Carthage Innovative Swine Solutions
  • Consolidated Grain and Barge (CGB)
  • Dow AgroSciences
  • Illinois Farm Bureau
  • JBS
  • Lallemand Animal Nutrition
  • Monsanto
  • Northwestern University
  • PAWS Chicago
  • Pioneer Hybrids
  • The Maschhoff's
  • Tribute Farms
  • Triple K Feeds
  • Tyson Foods
  • University of Illinois Meat Science Lab
  • University of Illinois Plant Clinic
  • Veterinary Specialist Center at Illinois
  • Wild Bear Mountain Ecology Center
  • and others.

Agricultural Production graduates have been hired by:

  • ACGT Inc.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.
  • Deli Star Corporation
  • Dow AgroSciences
  • Farmers National Company
  • Integrated DNA Technologies
  • Monsanto
  • Prairie State Semen Supply
  • Purdue University Cooperative Extension
  • Soil and Water Conservation District of New York - Onondaga County
  • University of Illinois
  • U.S. Trust
  • Veterinary Specialty Center at Illinois
  • and others.


Agricultural Production graduates have accepted the following positions after graduating from the Illinois PSM:

  • Farm Management Specialist,
  • Production Research Specialist,
  • Extension Agent,
  • PhD Candidate
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Research Assistant
  • Sales Representative
  • Surgical Prep Technician
  • Territory Sales Manager
  • and more.
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