Lane Simpson, a junior in Technical Systems Management who grew up with a farm background in Yale, Illinois, has always had a passion for working with agricultural equipment.
“I love operating equipment and working on it while learning more about its functions. I also enjoy communicating with others to solve issues and keeping their downtime to a minimum,” Lane says. “Being in Technical Systems Management, I get the best of both worlds. I see the technical side of things by understanding how systems work while also managing these systems and helping others.”
Lane is active on campus as president of the Agricultural Mechanization Club.
“Our club stays involved with the community—we winterize customers’ lawnmowers for them to be ready to use in the spring,” Lane says. “We also host companies at our monthly meetings to talk to students about internships and full-time job opportunities. The club is a great way to interact with your peers as well as learning more about ag companies.”
Lane says growing and building relationships has been the most meaningful component of his time at U of I.
“Meeting new people and sharing experiences with others have made a huge impact. I have met a lot of great people, and many have helped me along the way,” Lane says. “It’s a small world. You never know who you may work with or for in the future, so it’s important to make good relationships and keep them along the way.”
While at the U of I, Lane has discovered the importance of the next generation to solving the world’s food security problems and implementing new technology.
“Having two internships with John Deere has familiarized me further with the corporate agriculture industry and how important it is for college graduates to enter the ag industry—we are the generation that will have to solve food problems in the future,” Lane says.