Students from across the U.S. join Pivot Bio each summer to get hands-on experiences in a high-growth ag startup.  As interns, they are valuable members of the Pivot Bio team and make lasting contributions on the company during their time here.

As they return to school for the fall semester, several of our 2021 interns reflected on their experiences and shared what they learned in the first of this three-part series.

During my internship at Pivot Bio, I spent a lot of time in demonstration plots near Purdue University, where I attend school. The goal of my agronomy internship project was to help quantify the amount of nitrogen that was replaced by the microbes in Pivot Bio’s newest product, PROVEN® 40. Each week, I pulled whole-plant samples for further lab analysis.GraceBeard

The lab ran full nutrient analyses, which provided in-season nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus levels to name a few. Once I got the data back from the lab, I was able to calculate how much nitrogen the plant was taking up each week and it was cool to see the progression week-to-week.

In addition to the sampling project, I also became a certified drone pilot and helped other Pivot Bio researchers gather UAV data for analysis.

While the full scope of this research won’t be available until after harvest, my project returned some promising early results and helped confirm that the Pivot Bio microbes could replace up to 40 pounds of nitrogen, which is how PROVEN® 40 got its name.

I didn’t really know much about Pivot Bio prior to my internship. A classmate introduced me to the company because they thought it might be a good fit given my interest in new, more eco-friendly farming practices. After some research into Pivot Bio’s mission of sustainable agriculture through sustainable alternatives to synthetic fertilizers, I was on board.

It’s awesome to make meaningful contributions to the sustainable ag movement as an intern. Products like this are going to be an important tool for farmers going forward, and I’ll be honest, the technology behind Pivot Bio’s nitrogen-generating microbes is just cool. There really isn’t a better word for it! 

It’s just so interesting how the microbes work in general. It’s something I had a vague idea of before, but this helped me grasp some definite knowledge of how it works.

I also enjoyed the opportunity to use what I have learned in the classroom in a practical setting. Before my internship at Pivot Bio, I had a basic understanding of the soil microbiome, but now I have a deeper understanding of how it works and what is possible.  It’s nice to see that the work I’m doing in school is going to pay off.

This is the first in a series of stories and experiences from Pivot Bio interns.

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