MINOT, N.D. — An agriculture research center in Minot is now being run by its first female director.

Shana Forster started her new position at the North Central Research Extension Center six months ago. She succeeded long-time director Jay Fisher.

Forster has worked at the center for about 8 years, first as assistant pulse crop breeder and later as an agronomist, specializing in cropping systems, the Minot Daily News (http://bit.ly/2dQdtbd) reported.

She previously worked for about five years as a biological science laboratory technician for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Northern Crops Science Laboratory in Fargo.

According to Forster, she didn’t always want to work in the agricultural industry. She recalled in high school she did not want to study agriculture or live in North Dakota.

“And here I am!” she said.

A summer job in a USDA laboratory at Mandan changed her mind about the industry, said Forster.

“I liked plants, and then I found this whole world of agriculture,” she said. “It’s the number one industry in North Dakota. You can have a very big impact.”

Forster said she was one of a few women studying in the agricultural field when she earned her bachelor’s degree from North Dakota State University. She also holds a master’s degree from the university and is currently working on her doctorate.

“I am always driven to do more,” she said. “I am always one who likes a new challenge, and this is challenging.”

Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com