Connecting farmers with resources
YUMA, Ariz. (KSWT/KYMA) - Often times in agriculture, there are important positions that some people might not know about but should.
For this week’s Home Grown, we shine the spotlight on a man that to some may consider, the Rolodex of agriculture.
Meet Robert Masson, a Yuma County agriculture extension officer.
“I’m here to help the growers in the community solve their problems,” said Masson.
Masson has been working in the ag industry for about 12 years and has come full circle when it comes to being familiar with the needs of growers.
Before coming to Yuma, Masson worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the soybean breeding program.
And I hope I am not alone in my excitement when I heard where Masson worked next:
“After that, I got to work in the popcorn industry in Indiana. I was a popcorn scientist for a while,” said Masson.
He then began his journey in Yuma as a contract researcher.
Contract researchers help connect farmers with specialists when they have a certain issue such as a bug problem, or a plant disease in their fields.
“My background has been mostly in research and science and solving problems with science,” said Masson.
I asked Masson to give me an example of how he would use his knowledge of research to help a farmer.
“We were approached recently by a company that’s producing sesame. Like sesame seeds that are on hamburger buns. They were looking to plant about 200 acres here in Yuma County to be used as seed to plant in Mexico. So I am calling different seed companies to see if they would like to contract with them to grow that Sesame,” said Masson.
Another benefit to Masson working in other industries before coming to Yuma is the connections he has made.
“I have a good network, but I am also building upon it and dealing with new people every day,” said Masson.
Masson says he enjoys being able to connect farmers with others that are struggling with the same issues.
Together they can grow stronger, and let them know that they are part of something bigger than just themselves, and let them see that and introduce them to new solutions that they might not have seen on their own,” said Masson.
If you are a farmer or grower and could benefit from Masson’s help, you can contact him at the Yuma County extension office.