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.

Kansas Department of Agriculture – Leigh Ann Maurath

Gov Brownback & Leigh Ann

WIBW & LeighAnn

My summer was filled with engaging conversations, caring individuals, an expanded understanding of Kansas agriculture, opportunities for growth and some of the best memories.

I interned with the Kansas Department of Agriculture through the Governor’s Office Internship program this summer. I was part of the marketing team and worked closely with the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s From the Land of Kansas Program. The Kansas Department of Agriculture’s headquarters are in Manhattan.

The From the Land of Kansas trademark program’s goal is to support businesses that grow, produce, process or manufacture products in Kansas. I learned there are many different ways they aim to help businesses achieve their goals. Growing up on a primarily row crop operation in western Kansas, I gained a better understanding of Kansas agriculture outside of row crops.

I heard about the internship from a friend who had interned at KDA the previous summer.

One of my favorite projects this summer was to write stories and craft social media campaigns for members of the program for our blog and social media outlets. I traveled to many different parts of Kansas to interview different companies. I learned how to make cheese from start to finish. I learned how one family is using their pumpkin patch to tell the story of agriculture. I learned about the buffalo producers in Kansas. I learned what the life of a vegetable producer looks like. I learned how a barbecue company sets out to be remarkable in all they do. And I was reminded through each visit, just how proud I am to call Kansas my home. The From the Land of Kansas program offers a helping hand to the people who make this state a great place to live and work.

This summer I refined my writing skills and ability to communicate with consumers through forming social media posts and campaigns. I learned what an eight-hour office day looks like and how to manage real world project assignments. I am thankful I worked with some phenomenal people who know the agriculture industry, are willing to answer questions and are filled with a desire to impact the industry.

I would recommend this internship to anyone interested in expanding their knowledge of Kansas agriculture, enjoys sharing the story of Kansas agriculture, and wants a very hands on internship. With each internship I’ve had, I learn a little bit more about what I want to end up doing when I graduate college. Someone told me this summer that you learn what you really like and what you really don’t like during internships. And someday, you’ll have a job that you really love full of the things you really like.

This summer, I got one step closer to that dream job.

To apply, check out the online application process at: https://governor.ks.gov/serving-kansans/internship.

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.

American AgCredit – Jackie Newland

This summer I had the opportunity to be the communications and marketing intern for American AgCredit. I was located in their Heartland Region in Wichita, Kansas. American AgCredit is an Ag lending bank and part of the Farm Credit system. My internship started on June 1st and ended on August 14th. While I was there, I was given a variety of tasks. These tasks would range from everyday office work to helping create a marketing plan for the upcoming year. I was also in charge of finalizing ads to be sent out to local fairs, coordinating various events, and speaking with numerous customers in both person and over the phone.

I first heard about this internship at K-State’s All University Career Fair. My situation was unique because I did not meet the requirements for this job, and I also did not originally apply for this job. Usually, American AgCredit is looking for individuals with a major in agricultural finance or agricultural economics. I had stopped by their booth at the career fair and just started talking to the lady representing it. Little did I know, that lady, Jennie Bracken, would be my future boss. I had apparently made a good impression because about a week later I received an email about participating in a behavioral based interview with them. After that, I did a formal interview and actually filled out the job application. Less than a week after my formal interview, I was offered the position. It just goes to show that you never know who you are going to meet, so always make a good first impression.

My internship definitely helped me learn more about my working style. I learned that I like to be given tasks, but then be left with my own creative freedom. As long as I have a general outline, I like to then make a project my own. I also learned that it is okay to ask questions. As an intern, asking questions is one of the biggest components of your job; if you aren’t asking questions, you aren’t learning.

The best part of my internship was the amount of traveling that I was able to do. My second week into the internship, I was flown to our headquarters in Santa Rosa, California for intern training. While there, I was able to experience a large variety of agriculture, from vegetables, to almonds (which they pronounce as “aamends,” extra emphasis on the ‘a’), to vineyards, and more. I was given more information during those two weeks than I ever thought was possible. After that I traveled to Greeley, Colorado where another branch of American AgCredit’s is located. It was an unforgettable experience to learn how diverse this company is.

My least favorite part of the experience was probably when it ended. I had gotten so used to 40 hour work weeks within those few months that I was not ready to enter back in to a full course load. All good things come to an end though, and I am just thankful for the time that I had there. Getting used to that type of routine and number of hours has helped me prepare for what life will be like after college.

This job has certainly given me skills that I will utilize no matter where I am. I have expanded my knowledge of marketing, which is an area that I had previously not had a lot of experience in. I have learned how to be more independent and accountable for my work. I have also learned how to work under strict deadlines. Above all, I was shown how far doing your best and submitting good work can go in a person’s life. Overall this internship has given me the tools to be successful in my future endeavors.

If you are interested in applying for this internship I recommend applying on their website at: https://agloan.csod.com/ats/careersite/search.aspx?site=6&c=agloan.

I would recommend this internship to anyone within agricultural communications. It helps if you also have an interest in agriculture lending or appraisal. I would also recommend this internship to anyone with a background in agricultural economics, agricultural finance or business. Each year the company takes two interns, and one of those interns could be you.

Encirca Services, DuPont Pioneer – Celine Beggs

I truly believe precision agriculture and big data will are the future of production agriculture. I have always been fascinated with the many different areas of precision agriculture, so it was only fitting that I was able to complete an internship with the Encirca Services team at DuPont Pioneer in Johnston, Iowa.

Encirca Services is a suite of services created by DuPont Pioneer. There are several different services that a grower can utilize in their everyday operations. Encirca Services encompasses a large rural weather network, variable seeding and nitrogen prescription, and a huge collection of field notes.

Through my internship as the Encirca Services Marketing Intern, I was able to complete many different projects that all helped me learn about the industry as well as gain professional experience. I worked on a pleather of projects that ranged from legal to research to marketing and advertising.

In the beginning, I had three main goals. First, I was asked to contact DuPont Pioneer Seed Representatives to promote the Encirca View Premium Weather Station from DTN/The Progressive Farmer. I was excited to help contribute to the growth of the largest rural weather network as I contacted and sold 150+ stations. Next, I was asked to create a social media campaign using some of the new marketing terms created by the advertising agency and the marketing team. Finally, I was tasked to create a weekly metric report that showed the growth of notes taken per business unit. I had little experience with Microsoft Excel until I started this project, but I eventually became proficient with the program.

Although I had three main projects, I was able to step outside of these areas and complete some smaller projects. One project was to create legal documents for the Encirca Services CSAs. Another project I was asked to help with was to take on a small role in an administrational position for a research project. I was also asked to help represent our service at the InfoAg 2015 Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. I was able to pitch our product to many of the precision agriculture industries best.

I learned about the internship programs offered by DuPont Pioneer through K-State’s All University Career Fair. The representatives did not promote a specific position as they promoted all internships across many different areas. After discussing the opportunities offered by DuPont Pioneer with a friend who previously interned with the company was it that I learned about the Encirca Services Marketing Internship position.

I would recommend this internship to someone who is interested in precision agriculture and wants to gain a broad view of a marketing position. I was lucky to see all of the different aspects that make up a marketer. An interested individual needs to be self motivated and is always willing to ask for help if the get stuck.

All of the internships for DuPont Pioneer can be found here: https://www.pioneer.com/home/site/about/careers/student-center/internships/.

Kansas Department of Agriculture – Dandi Thomas

This summer I interned at the Kansas Department of Agriculture as a Communications Intern. I was located in Manhattan, Kansas in the Manhattan office, which allowed me to stay in Manhattan for the summer. I started my internship at the beginning of May and am still holding the position.

I learned about this internship through the agricultural communications and journalism listserv and applied through the Governor’s Internship Program at the beginning of May. I applied for the summer internship, but they also have fall and spring internships as well.

Through college I had the opportunity to have several jobs, each one more pertinent to my major than the next. When I applied for this internship, I felt like it could suit me extremely well and get me moving in the direction I wanted to with my career and resume, more so than the campus jobs I had had in the past.

My internship was directly under Megan Macy, the Director of PR for the agency. My duties included graphic design, website design, social media management and content creation, as well as other communication duties.

In the beginning, I was assigned various projects for other departments at KDA and was told to work with their department heads. This proved to be very challenging for me. Though updating the documents and creating their web pages was fairly easy, teaching and helping the other departments about what communications does was very difficult. I found myself having to explain things many times and had to redo several pages because the communication between the department and myself was clouded and unclear. This first few weeks of my internship taught me a very useful lesson about working with people outside of communications, and how to help them create their vision even if they don’t know how to communicate what they want at first. This lesson will forever stay in my mind, helping me be more dynamic in the workplace.

Through the rest of my internship, I was given a few projects but was given the reins to make those projects what I wanted them to be. My passion is graphic design, so most of my projects were focused around becoming a better designer and creating pieces that can be transformed into other multi-media designs.

Another great experience I was able to have with KDA was the gathering of marketing materials for other departments. I was able to set up appointments with animal breeders and shelters across the state, and travel with Megan to take photographs of animals and facilities. This was a good experience to help me strengthen my photography skills and work with others while shooting photos.

To this date, I have created and worked on over 50 projects for the Kansas Department of Agriculture and have enjoyed the experience thoroughly. The networking connections and experiences that I have been able to have through this internship will be exponentially important to my career.

I would recommend this internship to anyone interested in creating great portfolio pieces and gain experience in social media, designing, and marketing.

Charleston|Orwig – Kate Hagens

This past summer I was hired by the agency, Charleston|Orwig as their social media manager intern in Austin, Texas. They are housed in Wisconsin with over 60 employees, but have their social media office located in Texas.

Charleston|Orwig is agricultural client based agency with their focus on the food system. They serve clients with projects such as integrated marketing plans to reputation management.

The Austin office was made up of three people, including myself. There was constant meetings via Skype and phone with other teams, such as the creative team.

Some of my duties as the social media manager included constant control of the agency’s social media handles, creating and designing posts, recording monthly analytics and creating an online campaign for Charleston|Orwig’s social media.

On a day-to-day basis, I reported to the office at 8:30 a.m. (after siting in morning traffic for 45 minutes to travel 9 miles). When there my routine included morning meetings, updating social media accounts, scheduling posts, blog writing and staying in the know of the latest news and information.

Working in a small office where you didn’t the opportunity to get up and walk down the hall to a meeting or to someone else’s office, I found myself quite restless. I took walks and even sat my laptop on boxes so I was able to stand. It’s something you don’t consider until you work in a one-room office space.

I have had past experience in agricultural writing, farm broadcasting and photography. I wanted to seek agency experience to understand the marketing side of companies. So why did a girl who had the comforts of Kansas ranch life give up her summer for bad traffic and a city known for its weirdness? Because I find it important to learn about personal strength and self-interest.

Where ever life may take you, I encourage everyone at some point and time to try sometime outside of their comfort box. If anything, this internship has prepared me for future employment and taught survival skills. They don’t offer college classes on how to check your oil and being financially independent.