Ag Journeys

“I’ve always liked solving problems.”

Cody Whitebread

Hometown: Nescopeck, PA

Major: Biological Engineering

Minor: Off-Road Equipment

Research: Sustainable dairy cropping

Good at: Tractor pulling, fixing stuff, solving problems, friendship, hunting, fishing, being in it for the long haul

“The big city—that’s what I call it.”

“I come from a very small, rural town. I didn’t want to get thrown into this big place. You hear people from smaller colleges say that Penn State is such a big place, teachers aren’t going to have that one-on-one time with you.”

“But starting out at the Hazleton campus, I had smaller classes. I made friends there that I’m still friends with. And then coming here—I had an engineering class last semester with only eight people. We’re a small group of ag engineers, and we all became close.”

“I split my time between field research and the lab.”

“We fix it ourselves.”

“I knew I wanted to be an engineer. I grew up on a small crop farm. If something is broken, we try to find a way to fix it ourselves.”

Off the beaten path.

Cody’s minor in Off-Road Equipment gives him even more options.

“It’s specialized vehicles like tractors, of course. But it’s more than that. For example, next semester I’ll be taking a course in hydraulics.”

“Sometimes you’re going to feel like you’re stuck. Keep going.”

“I really enjoy being in the Penn State Pullers, the tractor pull club. The goal is to design and build the best pulling tractor for an international competition. We do quarter scale—it’s a lawnmower, pretty much. You have to think about how much weight you’re going to be pulling, where that weight is going to be on your tractor. You want to make it efficient.”

A great metaphor for life? No doubt.

“If I had to give someone advice, I’d say to just keep working hard. If you keep plugging through during the tough times, you can get through it.”