Andrew Lueck is back at Redwood Valley, but now he is in a different role.
After graduating from RVHS in 2012, Lueck went on to study at North Dakota State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in crop and weed science as well as a Masters degree in plant science with a focus on weed control.
Since that time, Lueck has been working in the private sector at Monsanto (now Bayer), and he also developed his own business known as Next-Gen Ag.
“I started my own company in 2017,” said Lueck, adding in that role he works with companies who contract with him to do field plot research.
Much of that work involves replicating certain trials in field plots to gather data that helps those companies as they develop new products and enhance existing ones. That could include gathering yield data or studying weed control. The idea, Lueck explained, is to provide third-party data that these companies can utilize.
After several years at his job with Monsanto/Bayer, Lueck opted to pursue other interests, which then led him to have a conversation with Rick Ellingworth, Redwood Area School District superintendent.
From that conversation, Lueck was offered a role as an educator in the local school district working in the agriculture and technical education programs where he currently is offering courses in everything from welding and wildlife management to agronomy, small engines and carpentry.
Lueck signed a one-year contract with the district, but with no experience teaching at the high-school level Lueck was not certain how things would go. So far, he said, things have been going well, although he admitted the learning curve has been pretty steep.
Lueck expressed his appreciation to other ag educators in the area who have helped him as he develops the curriculum for the courses he is teaching.
In addition, Lueck has also recently taken on a role as a farm business management instructor for Minnesota West Community and Technical College. In that role he will be working with farmers to help them find ways to best analyze their operations and to find ways to do things differently to be more effective and profitable.
Lueck said he has developed a much greater respect for teachers and for the profession in his new role, adding he is now seeing firsthand the challenges they face on a daily basis.
“This really is not an easy job,” he said.
Yes, Lueck said, he is enjoying the chance to work with students.
Lueck is also serving as an advisor for the Redwood Valley FFA Chapter, and that role kept him pretty busy this past summer.
In addition his family also keeps him busy. He and his wife, Katie, who is also a 2012 graduate of Redwood Valley High School and works at U.S. Bank in Marshall, have two children, Henry and Olivia.
Growing up on a farm, Lueck has always been involved in agriculture in some way, and he is convinced that will always be the case.
In his classroom, Lueck encourages his students to find their passion and then to pursue it.
After all, Lueck has had the chance to pursue his passion in agriculture, and like his students he is still learning and growing because he enjoys what he is doing.