November 23, 2020

Haley Banwart Shares Ag’s Story

Haley BanwartAs a student at West Bend- Mallard High School, Haley Banwart enjoyed writing, editing, and designing the student newspaper and yearbook. After completing her freshman year at Iowa State University (ISU), this ag communications and journalism major wanted to hone her skills at MaxYield Cooperative.

“It has been great to have an internship close to home and spend another summer on the farm,” said Banwart, 19, who is a two-time recipient of MaxYield’s $1,000 Ag Scholarship.

Q: What inspired you to study agriculture in college?

A: My parents, John and Kim Banwart, run a diversified farm with corn, soybeans, alfalfa, sheep, and a cow-calf operation. We give a lot of tours of our farm, and I’ve learned how important it is to share agriculture’s story with people who don’t have a farm background. During my freshman year at ISU, I enjoyed working on news releases for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and writing articles for the college’s STORIES magazine.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your MaxYield ag communications internship?

A: To be an intern at MaxYield is a true privilege. I’ve developed my communications skills and have gained a better understanding of what opportunities are available for me in my future career. This summer I’ve worked on MaxYield’s 2014 calendar and have enjoyed interviewing the tractor owners whose equipment will be featured in the calendar. I’ve also helped with event planning, filmed and produced YouTube videos of the 2013 MaxYield interns on the job, and written blog posts for MaxYield’s From the Field blog at

Q: How have you benefited by having Chad Meyer as your mentor at MaxYield?

A: Chad has helped me learn a lot about how cooperatives work and the importance of effective communication with clients. He’s always willing to answer all my questions, and he gives me lots of opportunities to challenge myself in a real-life business setting, which has been great.

Q: What are your career goals after graduation?

A: I’m interested in working in communications. My MaxYield internship has helped me narrow down which career path I would like to pursue. It has also strengthened my enthusiasm to be an advocate for agriculture. I think a local cooperative could be a good fit for me. I’d also like to help out as my family considers offering more agri-tourism opportunities at our farm.

Interesting facts about Haley:

• Haley served as president of the Fern Valley 4-H Club, exhibited livestock at the Palo Alto County Fair, was a member of the Palo Alto County 4-H Council, and participated in the 4-H Washington, D.C. leadership trip in 2010. She enjoyed seeing the World War II Memorial, which honors veterans like her grandfather, Ralph Banwart. This year Haley returned to the Palo Alto County Fair to host the dairy show and Bill Riley Talent Show.

• During her years in 4-H, Haley tried her hand at woodworking and welding. She made a new frame for an old porch swing from her great aunt and uncle’s farm near Cylinder, and the swing now graces her family’s porch.

• In her free time, Haley likes to ride her horse, work with livestock, and go fishing at Mulroney’s Pits near Rodman or Silver Lake, where her Grandpa Ralph liked to fish.

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