Ashley Bandoni: A Renaissance Woman in Agriculture
“A lot of things influenced me to build a career in agriculture,” Ashley says. “One grandfather raised cattle and horses. My other farmed fresh market tomatoes. I think those two things helped lead me to where I am now, both in my hobbies and my career.”
Forging Her Way
In her early years, Ashley was very involved in agriculture through school. She was a member of FFA in high school and stayed active in college in young farmers and ranchers groups. She went to California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, where she now does campus recruiting for Syngenta on top of her other responsibilities.
click to tweet
“I never thought I’d be in sales,” she says. “It all sort of happened naturally, and it definitely fits my family’s lifestyle. It’s always interesting, too, because of the diverse knowledge I have to have. In California, we’re known for our specialty crops, which are astronomically varied. Syngenta has a huge line of products that I have to understand, so I can help my customers select the right solution.”
As a crop adviser for Syngenta, Ashley focuses on building relationships with her grower customers and helping them advance their operations.
“It’s really interesting to see how the relationships between consultants and growers are built,” Ashley says. “Maybe we did something the year before, like a trial, or we learned something new together. Being able to see what it’s done to improve a grower’s business is very rewarding.”
Keeping Her Hands Busy
A lifestyle rooted in agriculture keeps Ashley occupied. On top of working for Syngenta, she is also involved in the family almond farm. Her husband Mario is a fourth generation farmer, and the family farm is just down the road.
"Being married to an almond grower, I feel comfortable in my role at Syngenta where our goal is to 'think like a grower,'" Ashley says. "I’m able to relate to growers because we share that lifestyle. I strive to be a reliable resource both as a Syngenta representative and as a grower."
Active and Involved
Ashley clearly loves agriculture and is committed to the industry. She was featured on “FarmHer on RFD-TV” in the television series’ inaugural season and used it as an opportunity to inspire other women in ag.
Her ability to inspire and lead others in the industry certainly isn’t limited to her appearance on television. She recently served as president of the Merced County Chapter for California Women in Agriculture. She is also an active member of the Merced County Young Farmers and Ranchers, and a member of the 2016 Almond Board of California’s Almond Leadership program. Additionally, she is an advocate for stewardship and promoting the ways farmers are already being sustainable.
“In California, we’re known for our specialty crops, which are astronomically varied. Syngenta has a huge line of products that I have to understand, so I can help my customers select the right solution.”
“Almond farmers—and really, all farmers—are great stewards of the land because we depend on it,” Ashley says. “I like that Syngenta is a company that invests more than $1.3 billion in agricultural research every year. We’re very committed to finding solutions for growers to help them become more efficient to grow our food.”
Elijah Meck: An Ag Professional With a Passion for Bugs
This technical product lead aims to help growers through his love of entomology.