Wilson/Kedley Cattle Company – Deven King

The Best of Both Worlds

I didn’t have the typical internship by any means. In fact the job just kind of fell in my hands when I got the phone call from the Wilsons, however, as the saying goes sometimes the best things in life are unexpected. I spent the summer working for Wilson/Kedley Cattle Company. By far the most beautiful cattle facilities I’d ever seen, a show barn kid like myself would have killed to grow up around an incredible set of cows. It sound like a lot of cattle work doesn’t it? That’s what I thought too, but that isn’t what the owners had in mind. To my surprise I quickly found I would get the opportunity to work with individuals in every aspect of the cattle industry.

Charlie Wilson, Owner, was the one who approached me with the idea. He was aware that I had recently switched majors and transferred to Kansas State. This was exciting for him as he felt my ability to write could be a huge asset for marketing the company and primarily the cattle. I was there to help picture all the cattle and pick the pictures we’d use. I decided which magazines we would advertise with and handled contacting people about designing the ad layouts. With my previous experience with the Black Hawk Livestock judging team, I was the perfect one to write about cattle descriptions and even take phone calls to describe cattle to potential buyers. While this doesn’t sound much more complicated then what your average cattle company sales team would do I got to manage a lot of other things too.

As a way of thanking customers both past and present I got to work on redesigning the company logo and then work with Purina on getting the cost of the hats sponsored. By agreeing to put there logo on the back we worked out a deal where they would pay for a certain percentage of whatever we ordered. While working with Purina on the hat deal I also got them to agree to host a fitting and feeding clinic that we would host at the Wilson facilities. They sent a representative out who discussed feeding techniques and what each product was meant to do while Charlie Wilson went over and displayed how to properly wash, clip, and fit a show animal. The turnout was tremendous. I invited 50 local people through Charlie’s Facebook page I was running, and just over 40 showed up. Once rumor got around about how educational and beneficial the evening was, the local county fair approached me about organizing the event again at the county fair.

This would prove to be a bit more of a challenge. Purina and Charlie agreed to the idea immediately agreed to idea but I would have to battle the hardships of the county fair board and how there sponsorships worked. If Charlie and the rest of Wilson/Kedley wanted to use this as a marketing strategy there were certain rules that had to followed so that Purina could also be there and the fair board could still advertise it. This taught me a lot about the inside relationships between a company and how money works when dealing with multiple companies on the same sponsorship, especially when considering insurance policies.

During my time in senior college I have focused on numerous animal science classes as well. Working at Wilson/Kedley gave me a chance to use not only what I’d learned from a communications major standpoint but also from animal science. In fact the first night I was here I was so excited I got to watch a C-section performed on a mature cow. In time I would get to give vaccines and keep records that would be given to buyers after their purchase. I also came up with rations and feeding plans with our local Purina dealer.

Although these are only a few of my experiences, I feel my time at Wilson/Kedley was extremely beneficial. Not only did I get to run their social media outlets and promote some of the best cattle you can find but I also learned about business relations and how giving back to people is ultimately the best way to promote a company. I loved my hands on time with the cattle and the chance to apply what I had learned growing up and in animal science. The people amount of people I have met had a huge impact on how I look at the industry and how I will communicate in future employment situations. I’m proud to still be working with Wilson/Kedley on all their social media and marketing needs. I would strongly encourage anyone to take an internship such as this one. It did not apply strictly to just communications but I think that’s what makes it so special, now I can convey what I know about other aspects of the agricultural industry with confidence because I’ve dealt with it firsthand not only on a personal level at home but with a different operation.

American Angus Association – Sarah Harris

I interned this summer with the American Angus Association as the communications and public relations intern. The application process was very fast paced and I was not sure what to expect when I got to Saint Joseph for the first day.

The original deadline to apply for this internship was March 1, and though I had thought about applying I did not get an application turned in. Luckily, a few weeks after the deadline Dr. Ellis forwarded an email from Jena McRell at the American Angus Association looking for more applicants for the position. I jumped at the missed opportunity and sent in my resume, cover letter, and two writing samples on March 23. I was amazed to get a reply the next morning — then set up a phone interview for March 25. I traveled to the Association headquarters in Saint Joseph, Missouri for an interview on April 2.

A few days after the interview in Missouri I was offered the position and accepted. A few short weeks later, I packed up and headed to Saint Joseph for the summer. My internship lasted from May 18 to August 13, and was packed with a ton of experiences in a very short time.

Day one I was given a handful of assignments to start working on including putting together a media kit for the National Junior Angus Show, media releases to write and some design projects. It was almost overwhelming. I had never written a news release and I got lost looking for the office where I was conducting an interview; however, I did learn the layout of the Association building very quickly.

The American Angus Association was host to six interns this summer in different areas of focus — The Angus Journal, Angus Genetics Inc., events and activities, and Angus Media. I feel like I had one of the best experiences, as I was able to work in every area rather than just one. Going into the summer I was not sure what I wanted to do with my degree in when I graduate in December, but my experiences with the American Angus Association have given me a better direction.

My favorite part of the summer was by far working with the production team for The Angus Report. I got to experience everything from running the teleprompter to writing scripts for the show. It was very fulfilling to see videos that I had shot and interviews that I had cut be used for an actual television show.

Throughout the duration of my internship there was never a dull moment and the workload never slowed down, which made the summer fly by. The National Junior Angus Show in July was another one of my favorite parts of the experience. A majority of the work I had done in the summer was leading up to the show and it was inspiring to see everything come together. In addition to seeing my designs displayed around the show ring, barns and printed in the show book, I was able to get a years worth of experience in one week. While at the show in Tulsa, Okla., I gained experience with social media coverage, news releases on winners and events, video interviews to be used for The Angus Report television show, photography, and writing personal interest stories.

I would recommend this internship to everyone — especially those who are not sure of what path in communications they want to go down. This internship gives you experience in writing, design, photography, videography and social media management along with a chance to travel to shows, farms and ranches. I learned so much and cannot express how blessed I was to have this experience with the American Angus Association.

Certified Angus Beef- Nicole Lane

Nicole Lane- CAB pic

Honestly, I almost said no.

I came this close to turning the Industry Information Internship with Certified Angus Beef down. I thought there just might be something bigger and better out there when I hesitantly accepted the position as a sophomore last December.

 

I’m so thankful that I said yes because I couldn’t have asked for a better summer internship. I spent my summer writing about cattle producers who raise the best beef on the market. I got to tell the story of incredible agriculturalists. I expanded my writing skills by learning to write lengthy feature stories then tell the same story in blog and video form. I wrote a lot and absolutely loved it.

 

I learned to appreciate my days in the office and love the days out on the ranch. One of my most memorable adventures included a several day road trip with one of my supervisors visiting beef producers from Kansas all the way to Wyoming.

 

My summer at CAB (from about May-August) was spent not only becoming a better writer, but learning about the cattle industry. I went from a girl who didn’t know the difference between a stocker and a cow-calf operation to being able to read and write about beef research articles (Do you know what the Warner-Bratzler Shear Force Procedure is? Because I definitely didn’t!).

 

After meeting Steve Suther (my boss) when he came to speak to ACT last year, I decided to apply for the internship. Over a year later I’m still taking writing assignments from him as a freelancer.

 

Working for CAB is an experience I would recommend to anyone who can write and wants to become a better writer. If you don’t like to write, scratch that, don’t love to write, then it’s not for you. Truly, the hardest part of this internship for me was just simply battling writers block. Well that and learning the cattle industry.

 

However, it was all worth it getting to see my byline and story on the glossy pages of the Angus Journal. Even more so, getting to meet the people at American Angus who work daily on the media productions I got to create content for was an experience in itself. As a CAB intern I got a backstage pass to see the inter workings of the Angus Journal and the Angus Report both of which my work appeared in.

 

Above all, what made my experience at CAB so incredible was the people I got to work with. Though most of our communication was digital or by phone, the CAB’s company culture was (and still is) something that is fun to be a part of. Getting to work on a team that challenges each other, truly enjoys what they get to do and are very passionate about beef was an incredible experience.

 

This internship solidified my love for writing about agriculture and expanded my animal science knowledge. It was the perfect example of a career that I would like to pursue someday. So much so that when my internship ended, my work with CAB didn’t. I’m lucky to still be writing for the brand and learning that someday I hope to make work like this a full time gig.

 

Think this sounds like something you would like to be a part of? Check out CAB’s website or click this link to learn more http://www.certifiedangusbeef.com/recruiting/Description.aspx?id=168&utm_source=Other&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=intern

American Hereford Association- Amanda Sales

It was to be the first real job I’ve ever had, dependent upon using programs I was merely an amateur at. Sounds scary, right? That may be how my summer at the American Hereford Association felt at first, but that isn’t how it ended. I would not have traded my internship experience aboard the staff of Creative Services/Hereford Publications, Inc. for any other summer adventure.

My interning journey began June 2nd and wrapped up August 20th. In those two-and-a-half months, I learned a lot of valuable communication skills, but more importantly, I discovered a lot of insight about my future career plans. Working in Creative Services, I coordinated the creation and production of a wide range of promotional materials and catalogs for cattle (and elk) ranches. This involved using Adobe InDesign for layout and even a little design of my own, communicating preferences with clients, and also using Photoshop and Illustrator to assist in the design. Previous to this summer, I knew just as much about my future career as the next person. Then I fell in love with the kind of work I did and, using my creativity and critical thinking skills, I knew by the end of the summer that this was exactly the line of work I want to pursue.

The biggest personal progress I saw during my adventure was understanding and using the Adobe programs. Without AGCOM210 (Principles of Layout and Design) on my transcript, I wasn’t sure how easily I would adapt. Luckily the tutorials and guided use in our slow periods at work gave me a solid foundation of the Adobe cloud.

Along with the skills attained this summer, there were a lot of exciting events that took place. I really loved traveling to the Junior National Hereford Expo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The purpose of my attendance was labeling photos for the photographer to have them uploaded to the website and ordering shop. Though I worked long hours, it was exhilarating to be around the show atmosphere. I had never attended a national show before, so it was all so new to see the proceedings of the show life. A lot of neat things happened right at our office too. The AHA office is stationed right next to the big convention center in downtown Kansas City, where a lot of things occurred this summer. There was the National Skills USA Competition, Ramadan and President Barack Obama’s arrival, but by far the neatest part was when the American Idol auditions were in town. The day the judges came, our office took the lunch hour to stand outside for the arrival of J-Lo, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. (Look for me on television!)

Even with all of the excitement happening, there were still a few things I would have wanted different. I mentioned earlier my experience pushed me to a conclusion about my future career, though I also want to incorporate more than desk work into my upcoming career. My internship was solely desk and computer work, which doesn’t entirely suit my personality. I want to be out moving around, maybe capturing my own photos for any print work I do in the future.

I am thankful for all the time spent at the Hereford Association this summer and all the staff I worked with and I believe I can owe this whole great opportunity to knowing the right people. My boss for the summer is someone I have known through county 4-H for many years, and she has been giving me helpful tips about Ag Communications since I announced it was my intended study pursuit. She encouraged me to job shadow at the office prior to college, and I did just that. Two summers ago, I went in for a day and met everyone and learned what the office was like. I think it helped tremendously for my internship interview, which was by phone, because they all had a face to put with my name and a previous encounter to judge my assimilation to the office.

If you are looking for an internship that works extensively with design, you are good at communicating ideas with clients, you have a background in the beef industry, and you want to learn a wide variety of basic communication skills, I recommend this internship for you. Be looking out for the application next February!

Certified Angus Beef Internship- Meg Drake

This past summer I served as the Industry Information Intern with Certified Angus Beef.  The internship was based out of Manhattan, Kan.

Certified Angus Beef, or CAB, is a not-for-profit organization that is considered a subsidiary of the American Angus Association.  CAB’s operational strategies and various business ventures are multi-faceted.

The company’s main purpose is to promote Angus beef and in turn generate more revenue for its producers.  They approach this operational goal from many different angles and work with different links in the production chain to accomplish their mission.  Not only does CAB license feedlots and restaurants but their marketing department also provides materials to those who wish to advertise the fact that they sell or produce CAB branded meat.

The Industry Information Division works mostly with producers and feedlots.  Their goals are to provide literature and information highlighting or featuring feedlots and producers that have done exceptionally well in terms of producing a high quality and consistent Certified Angus Beef product.

Some of my duties as the Industry Information Intern included meeting with and writing articles featuring producers, industry leaders, and even restaurant chefs.   On a day-to-day basis I was also assigned videos and transcriptions that had to be condensed down to 3-minute excerpts to be featured as “Angus VNRs” or video news releases that were later featured during “The Angus Report.”  I was also allowed the opportunity to record and serve as the voiceover for some of these VNRs.  Other duties included, but were not limited to, constructing news releases for various events, transcribing interviews, writing blog entries, and updating social media sites.

Throughout the duration of my time spent with CAB I not only learned many things about myself as a writer but I gained a better understanding of the value-added beef industry and learned what it was like to be a full-time employee.

Under my supervisor, and Director of the Industry Information Division, Steve Suther, I feel that I was able to advance my writing skills.  As an ex-Kansas State instructor and someone who has worked in the industry as a journalist for many years, Mr. Suther’s edits provided me with insights into style and how to make my writing more effective when trying to reach a specific audience.  I greatly valued his inputs and have kept all of my articles on file for future reference.

Other things I learned while interning with CAB were how to properly write for video broadcast and how to effectively communicate with producers for the purpose of conducting an efficient interview.  It is important when constructing a video script to first captivate audience members then provide information between excerpts as succinctly as possible.  It is also important that excerpts flow and when put together make sense.  In regard to interviewing producers, I learned that it is crucial to prepare ahead of time.  Familiarizing yourself with a producers operation helps when devising effective questions, it also shows he or she that you care about their business.  In many cases they are more open to sharing information with you and are more comfortable around you as an interviewer if you have done your research first.  Credibility is essential as a writer.

Upon completion of my internship experience I was able to discern between what I excelled in and what I didn’t care for as much.  I feel as though I learned a lot about who I am as a person and what kind of career path I’ll be pursuing in the future.

Areas that I enjoyed in particular were the broadcasting and social media components of the internship.  When searching for a job in the future, these two areas are ones that I can list as being comfortable with and proficient in.  I also enjoyed traveling and visiting with cattle producers.  Getting to interact with people that are passionate about the industry is another component I will look for when deciding upon a career.

American Paint Horse Association Internship- Nicole Woods

This summer I interned for the American Paint Horse Association as a Graphic Artist. My internship began in May and ended in August. The final week when applications were being accepted, my laptop crashed and I didn’t have all of the materials that APHA was requesting, however, I still applied.  I was first contacted by Art Vasquez, the Creative Director, and was asked if I’d like to intern with APHA. I accepted the invitation and two weeks later I was off to Fort Worth, TX.

            My first few weeks at APHA were kind of stressful but after I got acclimated from being completely on my own I really started to like my job. I loved that I had creative freedom and was given a clean slate each time I was handed a story that needed to be designed. The process for getting to design was, I would have to check a tray each day and then I would have to go where files were located. Within the file would be all of the necessary pictures and the story for me to import on to the pages. I used InDesign and Photoshop the most, however I was also taught how to do a little bit of web design for their new website.

Most of the designs I did for APHA were for three publications, their racing journal, the Paint Horse Connection and the Paint Horse Journal. These magazines reach about 60-70 thousand people worldwide. This was a great opportunity for me to get work published and seen around the world. Some of my other duties were to assist with internal projects that needed completed. A few designs I made were for the Youth World Show and even some for the Open Amateur World Show. I made flyers, banners and large checks that were given to winners in particular classes at the Youth World Show. I was also in charge of building client ads that went in all three publications.  Some of my favorite projects were building fresh client ads and also making four page spreads. Another thing I liked is I got to work in color, versus like in the newspaper industry everything is mostly in black and white.

While I was at APHA I was also involved with the re-constructing of the company. I was involved with giving my outside opinion about the company and also any changes that I would make if I were in the company. By going to meetings I got to see how different areas of the company worked together to make the company function and complete internal tasks.

What I learned most was how to be a team player. I also feel very blessed because I got to experience something that I have dreamed of since I was a child. Being involved in this company showed me what it would be like to work a full-time job and try and do things outside of work. I also learned that it is important to meet someone more than one time before you start to live with them, even if they are family. I am also glad that I was able to confirm that I have chosen the right career path for me. By working hard and persevering I feel that I was able to complete a task that I was told for a long time that I couldn’t do. That feeling is always rewarding.

Huncovsky Marketing Internship- Shelbi Stous

My internship was with Huncovsky Marketing began in September 2012 at the Kansas State Fair taking backdrop and candid photos at the livestock show. The following month, the company hired me again to shoot photos at the Kansas Junior Livestock Show in Wichita.

Huncovsky Marketing is owned by Quint Huncovsky and located in Manhattan. It’s a small business with 2-3 part time employees, and the office is located out of Quint’s home. Huncovsky Marketing is a full-service marketing firm specializing in agricultural products, mainly livestock. Services include email advertising, print media and digital media. Most business comes from cattle sale catalogs, email blasts, advertisement design, sale photos and sale videos.

My role with Huncovsky Marketing varies depending on what needs to be done. During the winter months when ranches are preparing for sales, I help photograph and video the cattle that will be sold. For example, last winter River Creek Farms hired Quint to take the photos and videos for their sale. Quint and I went to the ranch and set up a picture and video pen to shoot in. Each head of cattle is run through the pen individually. Sometimes my job would be to ensure the cattle calmly walked the fence line and then turn them around when they reach the end, or stop in a certain way that makes them look good for the picture. This sounds boring, but it’s actually a very tiring and difficult job. Sometimes there are 100 head of cattle we have to get through in a day, and not all of them cooperate. (I’ve only had to jump up on the fence twice to avoid being ran over by an upset heifer or bull.) Other times, I get to be behind the video camera and shoot the footage of the cattle. There are many details in taking photos and videos to ensure the cattle look their best so they look attractive to the people interested in purchasing them. After the shooting process, the videos need edited and published. Even if I don’t go out to the ranches to shoot, Quint still gives me the videos to edit. Each animal has an individual YouTube video anywhere between 20 seconds and one minute and 30 seconds and includes the ranch’s logo and the lot number for that specific animal.

For sale catalogs, my main responsibility is gathering pedigree information and EPD’s for the cattle. The ranch provides us registration information for each head, and the breed association website provides the individual information for each animal. Each animal that will be sold in the sale will have its own information in the catalog.

I found out about this internship through a friend who had also done some work for Quint. Because I worked hard at the two shows, he continued to ask me to work for him. I am very glad that I was able to work for Huncovsky Marketing because I discovered that livestock marketing is what I want to do in my future. I would like to work for Quint full-time someday, but right now he is not expanding the business enough to hire someone full-time. He hopes to expand in the next three or four years, but he has mentioned eventually bringing me on the team full-time. Not only did I realize that livestock marketing is what I really enjoy doing, but I gained livestock handling skills also. People may be hard to work with, but at least you can verbally tell them what you need them to do and they (should be able to) understand you. With livestock, you can tell them all you want, but they won’t understand. I’ve gained a lot of patience and understanding with these animals, especially cattle. I also learned valuable customer relation skills. Word of mouth is a strong way to gain business, and ranchers like to talk. For example, it’s great to do business with someone such as taking photos for their sale catalog, but if you can actually attend their sale, it shows that you not only care about your business, but you care about their business too. They probably will be happy and impressed that you attended the sale, and might continue to do business with you in the future and recommend you to other ranchers.

Like any industry, the livestock world has its trends. Some trends fade out, and some last for a very long time. After I started working for Quint, I was exposed more to the livestock world. I even got a job at one of the university’s animal units to gain more experience with cattle. I started to see more and more trends and ideas that people had, and could figure out if others were going to follow. There have been good trends and bad ones, but the good ones are really good, and the people who paved the way are greatly benefiting from it. I have learned to not be scared to lead the way in an industry. We shouldn’t be scared to try new ideas because they might take off and become more popular than anyone would have thought. Of course, it’s always good to think an idea through all the way and develop it fully before just throwing it out there.

Overall, my internship with Huncovsky Marketing has been a wonderful experience. I hope to return to Manhattan in a few years and work for him full-time. As much as I complained about the cold, windy and muddy picture pen, I will really miss going out to ranches to take photos and videos this winter!