Summer Internship Program
Sep 20, 2023
By: Michaela Chambers, Marketing Intern
My name is Michaela Chambers, and I am the Marketing Intern here at Superior Ag this summer. During my internship, I spoke to all the other interns about what they do on a day-to-day basis. I did this not only to familiarize myself with the internship program as a whole but also to educate others about Superior Ag’s internship program and encourage students like me to apply.
Every summer, Superior Ag offers a variety of summer internship positions to high school and college students. These positions are full-time and last the duration of the summer. The start and end dates are flexible to fit each student’s school schedule. During these internships, students are given opportunities to learn about the agriculture industry and specialized divisions within it. They learn the skills and work that it takes to keep customers happy and encourage them to continue doing business with Superior Ag. Depending on the type of internship each student has, they might spend their days in the field collecting tissue samples, at the airport helping with aerial application, at the feed store or feed mill helping customers and assisting with everyday tasks, or in the office completing a variety of different projects assigned by their respective supervisor.
This year, we have interns in the Agronomy, Accounting, Livestock Nutrition, Marketing, and Precision Ag divisions. Listed below are each of our interns and their divisions:
Amber Theising – Livestock Nutrition
Beau Rasche – Agronomy
Cole Koester – Agronomy
Dawson Begle - Agronomy
Dylan Gries – Agronomy
Garrison Sickbert – Precision Ag
Jacob Kissel - Agronomy
Jacob Uebelhor – Agronomy
Jason Welp – Agronomy
Jazlyn Sander - Agronomy
Jesse Bellman - Agronomy
Josilynn Bateman – Livestock Nutrition
Kiersten Woehler – Accounting
Landon Mullis – Agronomy
Luke Meyer – Precision Ag
Mattie Robertson – Agronomy
Michaela Chambers - Marketing
Reese Verkamp – Agronomy
As the summer begins to come to a close, each of these interns were asked to give some feedback about their internship. This feedback is meant not only for those who want to learn more about the internship program, but for Superior Ag as well to enhance the program further to provide the best possible experience for future interns.
“Superior Ag’s goal for our interns is to provide them with a real-world job experience within the agriculture industry. We hope to mentor and provide guidance for them to gain skills and knowledge not only in agriculture, but also in relationship building. We want our interns to have a memorable experience during their time with us. Those experiences could be the people they impacted, contributions to projects or friendships they made along the way. Maybe one day, they will become part of the Superior Ag team,” said Tawnya Fleischmann, Human Resource Manager.
Who can apply for an internship at Superior Ag?
Any high school or college age student! Although the majority of applicants we receive have a background in agriculture, it is not required. In fact, our Accounting Intern, Kiersten Woehler says, “Other than the friends I’ve met through 4-H/community, I don’t have a relationship with farming or agriculture.” We also have interns that might have experience in one aspect of agriculture, but they complete an internship in a division they aren’t familiar with. Reese Verkamp, an Agronomy Intern this year, is the perfect example of this. He says, “I am used to the animal side of agriculture. I wanted to learn more about the crops/agronomy side.”
Why did this year’s interns apply at Superior Ag?
When asked why they chose Superior Ag, the interns collectively said they wanted to gain experience in agriculture. Jesse Bellman, an Agronomy Intern, says he chose Superior Ag “to gain connections and experience.” Some of the other interns chose Superior Ag because it is close to home, it is beneficial to their college degrees and resumes, and it is a “great local cooperative,” (Josilynn Bateman, Livestock Nutrition Intern).
What specific things do interns learn?
Interns are given access to a realm of information from all the employees at Superior Ag. No matter the internship they have, they are given the opportunity to spend days touring other divisions and doing ride-alongs with employees from other divisions. However, each of our intern’s days look a little bit different.
According to our Agronomy and Precision Ag Interns this summer, they learned things such as how to growth stage corn and soybeans, how to take tissue samples, and how to take soil samples.
Our Livestock Nutrition interns say they have learned about what it takes to run a feed mill and feed store, and all the rules and regulations that must be followed when manufacturing feed.
Our Accounting Intern has learned more about agronomy and agriculture in general. She got the opportunity to tour the Huntingburg agronomy location during which she saw different chemicals used throughout the growing season.
As the Marketing Intern, I have learned what it takes to plan company-wide events, design and create promotional items from start to finish, and improve my graphic design and video editing skills. I also had the opportunity to ride along with a Superior Ag Division Agronomist this summer, during which I learned about analyzing and diagnosing problems in corn and soybeans.
All our interns learn valuable skills that they can use in their future careers and everyday encounters. For example, Jason Welp says he “learned to effectively communicate with all levels of management,” and Landon Mullis says he has “learned how to be courteous to customers while helping them select supplies they may need for their farm or household.”
What do our interns enjoy about their internship?
The answers I received to this question truly encompassed what it is like to work in the agriculture industry. “Working with everyone around the branch,” (Jacob Uebelhor, Agronomy Intern) and “learning new things and meeting new people,” (Luke Meyer, Precision Ag Intern) are among some of the interns’ favorite parts of their internship. Working in agriculture is all about building relationships and working together, and not only do the interns enjoy this, but they feel comfortable with their co-workers and customers. Allowing students to gain workplace experience in a positive, welcoming environment increases their ability to learn and retain knowledge. Reese Verkamp pointed out that “Superior Ag is always open to answer questions, break things down, explain things, and always willing to help you out if you need it.” Superior Ag’s willingness to provide help and guidance is something that all the interns notice and appreciate.
Do our current interns recommend an internship at Superior Ag?
There was an overwhelming consensus from our interns… YES! All the interns this summer have enjoyed their internship and would definitely recommend it to others. Mattie Robertson, an Agronomy Intern, says, “It’s a great place to work and learn more about agriculture. You get to see all the moving parts that people don’t think about.” An internship at Superior Ag gives students a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of everyday agriculturalists that they wouldn’t otherwise get. It is truly a great opportunity to expose yourself to new things throughout the summer.
After the summer internship is over, what’s next for the students? Depending on their progress in school, it is likely that they will be back next summer. We have had multiple students who return to their internship all or most of their summers before they graduate. After graduation, “one may find a promising career at Superior Ag,” points out Josilynn Bateman, a Livestock Nutrition Intern. In fact, there are multiple full-time employees that started out as summer interns during their education. So, Superior Ag’s Internship Program is not just a one-and-done employment opportunity. Depending on their performance and dedication, interns may find themselves with a job offer right out of college which is something all college students strive for.
Superior Ag’s Summer Internship Program is a great way for college students and some high school students to spend their summers. They are not only staying occupied for the summer, but they are investing in themselves and their future. If you are considering an internship at Superior Ag, I can confidently speak on behalf of all the other interns that we highly encourage you to apply, because you never know where one summer could get you.