December 9, 2019

10 things I wish I would have known before accepting a MaxYield internship

By Emily Campbell

Accepting a new job, an internship, or a big promotion are important events in your life and they bring a lot of feelings with them. When I accepted the Client Relations and Communications internship at MaxYield Cooperative last October, I was incredibly excited but also a little bit anxious. I couldn’t help but thinking “Is this experience really going to be everything I’m expecting?” I knew my experience at MaxYield would be my last internship before graduation, so I really wanted every detail of it to be just the right fit for me.

Now that I’m here, I have nothing to worry about! My experience at MaxYield Cooperative has been a dream from day one. To help put the fears of the next potential class of MaxYield interns to rest, here are 10 things I wish I would have known before accepting a MaxYield internship:

 

  1. You will not be left to ‘fend for yourself’ on the first day. When I accepted this internship, I was worried that I would just show up on the first day and be expected to ‘figure it out.’ Fortunately, that’s not how it was at all. This first week was filled with comprehensive trainings, onboarding sessions, and time with our mentors to dive into goal and expectations for the summer. It is during these first few days that you build a foundation and roadmap for your summer, which will ultimately lead to a more successful internship.

 

  1. Your mentor truly cares about you and will do everything they can to make your experience a great one. I have heard horror stories from college classmates interning at other organizations who have been assigned mentors, only to find that those ‘mentors’ would rather be doing anything else than helping an intern. At MaxYield, each intern is assigned at least one mentor who is passionate about facilitating learning experiences over the summer and making sure their intern has a fulfilling experience! My mentor, Chad Meyer, even reached out to me before the internship started to work together to set goals and make plans. This helped me feel more comfortable and efficient in my first few days of the internship.

 

  1. There is no ‘office drama’. I think we all have this misconception that the larger a workplace is, the more drama it holds. And while that may be true for some organizations, that is not the case at MaxYield Cooperative. I had never worked for a midsize company like MaxYield, so I expected a sudden surge of ‘he said, she said’. I am proud to say that after working for MaxYield Cooperative, I still have no experience with office drama. It sounds a little cliché, but everyone at MaxYield is truly here to help each other and the company succeed. People are happy for each other, and it’s a really welcoming environment.

 

  1. You will be given all the tools you need to succeed, and then some. MaxYield is committed to providing their interns with all the things they need to have a great summer. Whether it be a company vehicle, laptop or iPad, desktop computer, a generous company uniform allowance, housing reimbursement, or anything in-between, MaxYield Cooperative will give you all the tools you need to do your job and do it well. They also tend to upgrade from year to year so interns get to work with some of the latest equipment. When I arrived in May, there was a brand new video camera for me to break in this summer!

 

  1. The people in the area are extremely friendly. I knew the team members at MaxYield would be friendly, as I had already met some of them and heard good things about the team prior to starting my internship. However, what I didn’t know was how MaxYield’s clients would treat interns. As it turns out, the people in the greater MaxYield Cooperative trade area accept interns with open arms! One of my best memories is traveling to a tractor owner’s house to interview him for our annual calendar. While there, we had coffee, I met the family cat, and got to hear about his trip on a veteran’s honor flight. Every person I have interacted with, client or not, has been very friendly and genuinely interested in me and my experience.

 

  1. There are a lot of cool things to do and places to eat here. Before arriving for the summer, I had heard a rumor that Pizza Ranch was like the only restaurant in Northwest Iowa. Birthday dinner? Pizza Ranch. Sunday brunch? Pizza Ranch. Wedding rehearsal? Pizza Ranch- you get the point. Now I don’t want to offend anyone but personally, I’m not a huge fan of ‘The Ranch’, so you can imagine my horror when I thought that every working lunch out would be around a pan of Cactus Bread. To my surprise, there are actually a lot of incredible local places to shop, dine, and do in the MaxYield area! Future interns, I highly recommend The Wagon Wheel and Miller’s to grab a bite, and Feed Mill Coffee Co. or Java 18 for a cup of coffee. In terms of things to do, Crown Salon is my go-to for a pedicure, and both the Kossuth County Speedway and Hancock County Speedway play host to great weekly racing action. Getting to experience the local business offerings of this part of the state has been one of the best things about my summer. Northwest Iowa is a pretty cool place!

 

  1. Even though MaxYield has many locations and over 200 team members, it still feels pretty small. “How will I ever learn anyone’s name? Will they even know who I am?” I have only ever worked for small companies or family businesses, so working for a midsize company like MaxYield was a new ballgame for me. I don’t know what kind of telepathy the full-time team members have, but it literally seemed like everyone knew me before I even introduced myself! This made me feel welcome at MaxYield from the minute I stepped into the office. It’s also been surprisingly easy to remember everyone’s name, face, job title, and even location. This has made corresponding with others in the company especially easy!

 

  1. We get to have fun at work, too! My biggest worry leading up to this summer was that it would be all work and no play. Even though I have a great work ethic and enjoy working, I still wanted to have a little downtime here and there. MaxYield Cooperative makes sure to integrate some fun into your summer, too! This “fun” comes in all shapes and sizes, whether it’s your mentor’s crazy stories on a long road trip, an office birthday party planned by our receptionist Deb, or an intern outing to a waterpark. Having fun and having a great summer learning experience go hand-in-hand at MaxYield, and your summer here will be an enjoyable one, for sure!

 

  1. MaxYield internships are well-rounded. At MaxYield you’re not just focused on getting as much work done as possible. There is emphasis on skill building, networking, professional and personal development, goal setting, industry knowledge, and fun (see #8), too. This is what makes your time at MaxYield more than just a summer job. Whether that’s taking you on an industry tour to the AgCo manufacturing facility or letting you ride along with a freelance photographer, there are a slew of ‘other’ experiences waiting for you at MaxYield!

 

  1. This experience is truly tailored to your needs. While some parts of the internship are standard from year to year, much of it is left up to you. What parts of the industry would you like exposure to? What skills do you want to build? Where do your career goals lie? Your mentor will work will you to find projects and experiences that fit your needs. I mentioned to Chad that I was interested in recruiting. Recruitment isn’t typically the forefront of the communications and client relations internship, but he was willing to work some related experiences in. Now, I have been involved in all parts of the intern recruiting process, and have even taken on a capstone project on recruitment tactics!

 

All-in-all, my MaxYield experience has been more than I expected. And, we have a spot for you in 2020! Contact Chad Meyer, Client Relations/Communications Director at cmeyer@maxyieldcooperative or check out the internship page on our website for more information on our internship program.

Interning at MaxYield Through the Eyes of Megan Brown

By Megan Brown

It was late October when I came to MaxYield Cooperative’s Corporate Office for an interview to be this year’s Grain Accounting and Finance intern. Shortly after that interview, I was offered the job which I accepted. I was beyond excited to be coming back home to work for a great company.

Fast forward to May 20th, which was my first day at MaxYield. My first two days here were used to inform us about safety and the company’s history and policies. I was surprised by my first two days here at MaxYield because I could already tell that everyone here was very welcoming, and that they all truly loved their jobs and wanted the interns to succeed.

On the third day, after we had finished all of our onboarding and safety training, it was time to get settled in at my desk and get to work. One of the first things Rick Abrahamson, one of my mentors, showed me was how to update and cancelled Price Later Contracts and Warehouse Receipts. This is something that I now do every morning to make sure that we stay compliant with state regulations. After that I learned how to enter outbound grain settlements into the computer system. I really enjoy entering these settlements, which is good because I usually do about 2 or 3 a day! I have also had the opportunity to work on various projects with different team members, as well as travel to some of the MaxYield locations.

One of the larger projects that I have had the opportunity to work on would be Connection Central, our online client account system. During this project I have had the privilege to work with Kayla Meyer, as well as meet with several MaxYield clients and talk to them about Connection Central. I have found this project to be very rewarding because I am able to see the change that Connection Central is making in the clients’ lives, and how it is making it easier for them to do their business.

Traveling to different MaxYield locations is another great opportunity I have had within my internship so far. I have had the chance to visit 4 different locations and learn from the leaders at those locations about what they do and what their location has to offer. This has been one of my favorite parts of my internship! I have found it very interesting to see all of the difference between the locations and have also learned a lot of different skills from the great people I have met.

It is crazy to think that I’m am nearly done with my internship here at MaxYield. Time has flown by and I am super excited to finish out the last few days of my internship and continuing to learn from the great team members here at MaxYield.

For more information on MaxYield’s internship program, including communications, grain accounting/finance, soil sampling/crop scouting, and agronomy sales, check out www.maxyieldcooperative.com/internships. Applications for 2020 internship positions will be posted later this summer!

MaxYield Cooperative interns begin to wrap up their summer with final presentations

From left to right: (Front) Megan Brown, Emily Campbell, (Back) CEO Keith Heim, Logan Besch, Hunter Gelhaus, Nick Hunt.

On Thursday, July 27th the 2019 MaxYield Cooperative intern class gave their final presentations to the senior leadership team. Each intern gave a 10-15 minute spoken presentation sharing information about the projects they worked on, what they learned, and what suggestions they have for making next year’s internships even better. Following each presentations interns were also asked questions about themselves and their experience at MaxYield. The interns shared positive feedback with the senior team, and enjoying the people they work with was a common theme throughout. MaxYield’s first extern, Tricia Reichert, also gave her final presentation at the meeting. Watch for a separate blog post highlighting her experience soon!

As our interns wrap up their last few weeks with us, MaxYield Cooperative would like to each of them for a great summer. We have learned a great deal through working with them, and we look forward to seeing where their futures take them!

 

2019 MaxYield Cooperative Interns

Logan Besch – Soil Sampling/Crop Scouting

Megan Brown – Corporate Grain Accounting/Finance

Emily Campbell – Client Relations/Communications

Hunter Gelhaus – Seed/Agronomy Sales

Nick Hunt – Soil Sampling/Crop Scouting

 

For more information on MaxYield’s internship program, including communications, grain accounting/finance, soil sampling/crop scouting, and agronomy sales, check out www.maxyieldcooperative.com/internships. Applications for 2020 internship positions will be posted later this summer!

“This is my dream job.” | Colby Kraninger’s Agronomy Specialist Trainee Story

Having a job and having a career you love are two very different things- Colby Kraninger, an agronomy specialist trainee at MaxYield Cooperative, prefers the latter. That’s why, after working for MaxYield Cooperative part-time and as an intern, he returned for a full-time opportunity in the agronomy department. A 2014 Okoboji High School and 2019 Iowa State University graduate, the Milford-native built his post-secondary plans around the goal of working for MaxYield Cooperative. “[While at North Iowa Area Community College] I worked in grain operations [for MaxYield Cooperative in Fostoria]- I wanted to be a grain originator at the time. I eventually realized I didn’t want to pursue a career in [grain]. When I graduated from NIACC, I realized I wanted to become an agronomist after working for MaxYield so I decided to continue my education at Iowa State.” In addition to working at the Fostoria location, he has worked in the dry fertilizer facility at Emmetsburg, agronomy operations in Dickens, soil sampling and crop scouting with SciMax, and most recently as an agronomy sales intern in the summer of 2018.

Coming off his time at NIACC and MaxYield, the agronomy major at Iowa State just felt like the right fit to Colby. “I like talking to people, and I feel like growers can trust me. Since I never had the opportunity to farm myself, I want to contribute to the industry by helping others improve their operations. I’ve just dreamed of being around agriculture my entire life.”

Since starting in his new trainee role, Colby has taken on a variety of responsibilities, from delivering seed to making crop protection recommendations and everything in between. His favorite part of his position, however, is the client interaction. “It’s the number one part of my job- I enjoy being able to use what I learned at Iowa State to help people.”

To help facilitate the transition from college to the full-time workforce, all trainees at MaxYield Cooperative are given a mentor to provide guidance and knowledge. Colby has two. “My mentors are Justin Zwiefel (Agronomy Specialist, Mallard) and Tom Evans (Agronomy Specialist, Superior). If it wasn’t for them I would be directionless in terms of my career. They help keep me on track and show me how to use our agronomy software, how to provide a good [crop protection and nutrient] recommendation, and other important skills.”

Other team members have also helped make Colby’s time at MaxYield great. He especially enjoys his co-workers at the Mallard Location. “The people I work with are really nice- there were two weeks in a row where we just took turns buying each other lunch. We joke around and like to have a good time, and everyone treats each other very well.”

It’s a pretty incredible feeling to wake up and be excited for what lies ahead. For Colby, that happens every day. “This career is pretty exciting. Everyday there’s something to look forward to. In the future, I hope to provide trust to [my] future clients and be equipped to provide them with solutions. Service is key.”

There’s a lot of agronomy sales opportunities out there for new college graduates, but Colby can recommend the MaxYield agronomy specialist trainee role with confidence. “If someone was looking for an agronomy position at MaxYield, I would highly recommend [the agronomy specialist trainee role]. The mentor program is great, and there’s a lot of opportunity to learn and pick up on things while you are starting you’re career which is really comforting. Your questions are always answered by team members in a polite way, and if you have a client question you can’t answer, there’s plenty of resources within the company that are only a phone call away.”

Can you see yourself doing what Colby does? We are hiring an additional Agronomy Specialist Trainee! Seeking a December 2019 graduate from a 2-year or 4-year school with a degree in agronomy, ag business, ag studies, or a related area. For more information or to apply click here or contact Chad Meyer at cmeyer@maxyieldcooperative.com. *Iowa State students: Find us on CyHire!*

The Right Fit: How Logan Besch Found His Place in a MaxYield Internship

The agriculture industry is full of things to learn and Logan Besch, a soil sampling and crop scouting intern from Whittemore, Iowa, wants it that way. A desire to learn is what brought the 2016 Bishop-Garrigan High School graduate to the Agricultural Education and Studies Department at Iowa State University. “I picked the [agricultural] studies [major] because the major I had at Hawkeye Community College was designed to lead up to it. Plus, I love how broad [ag studies] is and I can pick and choose what I want to get out of it.”

Logan grew up around the MaxYield brand, so it wasn’t a surprise when a high school friend had an internship at the cooperative. That connection is how Logan initially heard about the program. “He had [the soil sampling/crop scouting] internship and he loved it… I had an offer from [another area] cooperative, but MaxYield seemed like a better fit and a better opportunity.”


Helping clients by completing soil sampling, crop scouting, tissue testing, and more is all in a day’s work for Logan. Time spent with his mentors, Tim Bruns (agronomy specialist, West Bend) and Mike Hommez (seed solutions specialist, Central Region), is what he most looks forward to. “When I ride around with Tim, I learn so much from him. It seems like he is an expert on everything! Having mentors is great because of the knowledge you can gain.”

Working long hours and big weeks isn’t always easy work, and Logan sums up his summer experience with the word ‘Endurance’. “It’s like a quote I remember from the Bible: ‘friction produces endurance, endurances produces character, and character produces hope’. I hope [what I’ve learned in] this internship helps me to get a nice job after graduation.”

This internship has helped Logan to narrow down exactly what kind of career he’s striving for. With aspirations of staying in North Central Iowa and being an agronomist at a cooperative, his MaxYield experience has helped him prepare for that type of opportunity and is an experience he recommends to others with similar goals. “[Working at MaxYield Cooperative] is a good experience and you learn so much.”

For more information on MaxYield’s internship program, including communications, grain accounting/finance, soil sampling/crop scouting, and agronomy sales, check out www.maxyieldcooperative.com/internships. Applications for 2020 internship positions will be posted later this summer!

How a Pivot in his Career Helped Nick Hunt find his Passion for Agriculture

It’s funny where life can take you. For instance, Nick Hunt, a soil sampling & crop scouting intern, never planned on completing an internship with a cooperative. In fact, he never planned on pursuing agriculture at all. Hailing from Britt, Iowa, the 2017 West Hancock High School graduate originally planned on exploring a career in engineering, but it just wasn’t the right fit. “I went to Central College in Pella my freshman year for engineering and I didn’t really like that. [After that,] I went to community college [at North Iowa Area Community College]… I took a couple of different ag classes there. I took a soils class and I actually found it interesting so I then I decided to go into agronomy. Now I’m at Iowa State University, majoring in agronomy.”

The agriculture industry is bountiful with opportunities, and Nick found that out the easy way. “As soon as I switched to [major in] agronomy, the people I go to church with and others in the community found out; Britt’s a pretty small town, and when you grow up there everybody knows everybody. They told me that if I wanted to get into agronomy that I should talk to SciMax and MaxYield because they know what they’re doing. I got Rodney [Legleiter]’s number, I called him, and we set up a meeting.”

While at North Iowa Area Community College, Nick worked part time for MaxYield Cooperative. The choice to return to MaxYield for his first summer internship experience was an easy one. “I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do [with my career] yet. One day while Rodney and I were boxing [soil] samples I asked him if MaxYield had any internships. He let me know the deadline was coming up, so I put in my resume and decided to come back for another experience at MaxYield.”


After a pivot in his career, Nick realizes there is a lot he can learn from others in the industry. That’s why spending time with his mentors, Cody Ostendorf (Seed Solutions Specialist, Belmond) and Levi Quayle (Agronomy Specialist, Belmond), is so important to him. “I’ve learned a lot more from talking with them or asking questions as we drive by fields. They’ve told me ‘The stuff you learn here you’re not going to hear about in school. It’s just stuff you have to learn on the job.’ It’s been nice to pick up some of that knowledge.”

“Helpful” is the word that comes to mind when Nick reflects on his MaxYield experience. “I’m new to the area of study [of agriculture], so I’ve learned a lot in the short time I’ve been here this summer. It’s helped me to have an idea of what it would be like if I was an agronomist for a seed company or cooperative [in the future]. The most surprising thing about this internship has definitely been how important it is to [MaxYield] that [interns] have a great learning experience.”

Though it took a few tries, Nick feels like agriculture is the right fit for his future, whether he becomes an agronomist at a seed company or cooperative, or starts farming with his family in southern Iowa after graduation. Wherever he goes, he credits MaxYield Cooperative for helping him get there, suggesting this internship to other students looking to learn more about agronomy. “Everyone [at MaxYield] is helpful- they don’t treat you like an intern, they treat you like [a full-time team member]. It’s a learning experience, not just busy work.”

For more information on MaxYield’s internship program, including communications, grain accounting/finance, soil sampling/crop scouting, and agronomy sales, check out www.maxyieldcooperative.com/internships. Applications for 2020 internship positions will be posted later this summer!

The First Half of a MaxYield Internship through the Eyes of the Communications/Client Relations Intern

It was the evening of the day after Iowa State’s career fair when I sent an email off to Chad Meyer accepting his offer for this internship. After I got off the phone with my mom and dad, excitedly sharing the news with them, I thought for a moment, “I sure hope I’m not bored.”

Looking back, I have no idea what I was thinking. With a MaxYield Cooperative internship, you don’t have time to be bored! Each day at the corporate office in West Bend, Iowa has been a unique, challenging, and enriching opportunity, and I have learned so much in my experience here. Now, I know what you might be thinking: “How you can you have a great summer internship in small town Northwest Iowa?” In fact, I thought the same thing. But hang tight, folks, as we journey through a review of the first few weeks as an intern at MaxYield Cooperative!

When I first arrived on May 20th for company onboarding, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I did not know any of the other interns and I had never been a part of a first-day training at a job. In prior roles, I had just sort of shown up and gotten started, so the idea of taking a day or two to get acclimated to the company was new to me. We began with safety training led by Tom Winkel, MaxYield’s Safety Director. I am sure right now you are imagining a boring slideshow with a monotone presentation, but to my surprise, it was actually fairly enjoyable! Tom made a point of making the training fun, where appropriate, and also took it as an opportunity to get to know us a little bit better. Later, Chad Meyer, my mentor and Communications/Client Relations Director, and Diane Streit, Human Resources Director, joined us for lunch and an overview of basic company policies and procedures. Our onboarding continued into a second day when Patti Guenther, the Learning and Development Leader, introduced us to MaxYield’s history and values. Patti is very passionate about helping team members succeed, including interns, so this was a great opportunity to set our individual goals for the summer and gear up for what was ahead!

Once onboarding was complete, Chad helped me hit the ground running on a number of projects. In addition to helping you grow your skillset in your area of study, MaxYield is also committed to giving interns a variety of professional development opportunities. To cap off my first week, I traveled to Paulsen, the marketing and advertising agency in Sioux Falls that designs and publishes our My Solutions magazine. Getting to meet and network with their team was an enriching experience, and learning more about the work they do there was a great way to wrap up the first week of my MaxYield experience. I even got to meet the guy who has animated the bugs in the Raid bug killer commercials!

belmond fire departmentBy the second week, I had jumped right into my duties as Communications and Client Relations Intern. I traveled to Belmond, Britt, and Clarion to make donations to fire departments and 4-H programs on behalf of MaxYield Cooperative. I also journeyed across Northern Iowa and Southern Minnesota to interview the owners of the tractors that will be featured in the 2020 edition of our annual tractor calendar, another project I am responsible for. Learning about the tractors and hearing their stories has been one of my favorite parts of the internship!

It was during this time that I also began work on my two large, ongoing projects for the summer: evaluating our marketing strategies and evaluating our recruitment tactics. I started by interviewing senior team leaders at MaxYield to get more insight on the cooperative’s marketing efforts and by chatting with college professors, career services experts, and student organization leaders to learn more about how other companies are recruiting students.

During the second week of June our freelance photographer, Greg Latza, came to the MaxYield trade area. The photos he took at that shoot will not only accompany stories in future issues of My Solutions, but will also be featured in social media posts and this blog. Getting to know Greg was a lot of fun and it was amazing to just sit back and watch him work! It was also during this week that Chad and I traveled to Emmetsburg for the Farm News Ag Show. Although I’ve been to numerous farm shows in my life, this was my first time prepping for such an event. Another highlight was getting to visit the radio station in Algona and learn about how radio advertisements are made.

If for some reason you are still worried I was bored, fear not, because the last week of June was completely packed with events! Each year, MaxYield Cooperative co-hosts the MaxYield Seed IMCA Northern SportMod Nationals at the Hancock County Speedway in Britt as a seed client appreciation event for the east area. Being a HUGE race fan, I had been looking forward to this night since I accepted the internship. My duties mainly took place leading up to the event, promoting it on social media and working to get all the details with the east area leaders ironed out. I had a blast getting to know the MaxYield clients and DeKalb, Asgrow, and Winfield representatives that attended the event. One of the most ‘exciting’ things I got to do during the night was throw out the hats, t-shirts, and other freebies into the stands! I thought my ‘stuff throwing skills’ were good enough to make me the next member of the Harlem Globetrotters, although the people in the stands may beg to differ…

This week also brought our freelance writer, Darcy Maulsby, to MaxYield country. She interviewed MaxYield team members, board members, and clients to help her prepare compelling stories for the next issue of My Solutions. Getting to hang out with Darcy has been a high point in this internship for sure. Being a writer and blogger myself, I was in heaven by talking writer-talk with Darcy and learning from her over lunches during this week. Getting to see how she conducted interviews was also a great experience for me, and will help me as I continue to complete intern and tractor calendar interviews. She has even written books that I’ve seen in Barnes & Noble- you can’t tell me that’s not cool.

The summer has quickly marched on since then, and it seems we are already halfway through the internship! It’s hard to believe that I am on the downhill slope of my time at MaxYield, and I know our grain accounting, agronomy sales, and soil sampling/crop scouting interns have also had outstanding experiences. For me, I have a feeling the second half of this internship is going to be even better than the first. Check back near the end of the summer to hear about the rest of my experience!

For more information on MaxYield’s internship program, including communications, grain accounting/finance, soil sampling/crop scouting, and agronomy sales, check out www.maxyieldcooperative.com/internships. Applications for 2020 internship positions will be posted later this summer!

It’s all about Knowledge: How Hunter Gelhaus is using his MaxYield Internship to prepare for his career

Hunter Gelhaus, MaxYield Cooperative’s Agronomy/Seed Sales Intern, will tell you that the agriculture industry is ‘where it’s at’. In fact, there was no doubt in the Lakota, Iowa-native and 2016 North Iowa High School graduate’s mind that ag was something he wanted to pursue. When he arrived at Iowa State University, Hunter knew that the agricultural business major, with an agronomy minor, was the right fit for him. “I’ve always grown up on the farm and I really just wanted to see more of the business side of it.”

When the time came to find a summer internship, Hunter relied on the positive feedback he’d heard from past interns at MaxYield. “My brother-in-law was also a sales intern for MaxYield when he was in college. He spoke very highly of his experience here. I decided to intern [at MaxYield] because of the people within the company- they’re used to having interns and they have a very good reputation in the industry.”

Once Hunter arrived, he fit right into place with the seed and agronomy team. On any given day, he is working with seed, crop protection and nutrition, scouting, research, or working at the learning plot, and while enjoys them all, his favorite is working with growers. “The very best part of my internship is getting to work with clients and helping them find solutions [for their farming operations].”

Another favorite part of his internship? Spending time with his mentor Matt Keel, the Seed Solutions Specialist based out of Britt. “I always like hanging out with Matt and learning from him. He’s taught me a lot about agronomy and things [in sales] I’ve never thought about. I’ve really benefitted from working with him.”

The learning gained this summer has been the most impactful thing Hunter is taking away from his time at MaxYield, summing up his experience as “knowledgeable- I’ve gained more knowledge in this internship about agronomics than I have in school or previous internships.”

Following his graduation from Iowa State University in May 2020, Hunter will have a full plate in terms of his career goals. “I want to stay in North Central Iowa. I’d like to do something on the chemical or seed side [of agronomy], whether it be seed sales or being a chemical or seed [company] rep- I really like seeing ‘why’ certain chemicals perform the way they do in certain places. I also farm, so I’d like to continue to farm and grow [my operation].

When asked if he would recommend this internship to other students, Hunter agreed with no hesitation. “[When looking for internships] definitely consider MaxYield, because you’ll be treated as a professional, not just as a summer worker. [The most surprising thing about this internship] has been how nice and welcoming people are to the interns, and you really feel like a part of the team. It’s nice.”

For more information on MaxYield’s internship program, including communications, grain accounting/finance, soil sampling/crop scouting, and agronomy sales, check out www.maxyieldcooperative.com/internships. Applications for 2020 internship positions will be posted later this summer!

Finding Opportunity in Her Own Backyard: Megan Brown’s MaxYield Experience

Even though Megan Brown, a 2017 Bishop-Garrigan graduate and current student at South Dakota State University, grew up with MaxYield Cooperative in her backyard, she never planned on interning at the co-op. But when the current Jackrabbit saw the MaxYield booth at SDSU’s career fair, she decided to learn a little more about what the company offered. “I knew growing up [near West Bend] that [MaxYield] had interns, but I didn’t really look into it until I saw Chad [Meyer, Client Relations and Communications Director,] at the job fair.”

As a student majoring in agricultural business and minoring in accounting and agricultural marketing, with experience on SDSU’s National Agri-Marketing Association’s (NAMA) competition team, Megan knew the Corporate Grain Accounting internship was just the fit for her. “I decided to intern with MaxYield because it was close to home, but I also have a lot of opportunities to learn about future careers and how my major fits into the cooperative world.”

Getting to experience her position both in the corporate office and out at cooperative locations has been a favorite part of Megan’s experience. “One of my favorite parts [of the internship] is definitely going out to see locations- I get to see how what I’m doing in the office with contracts and settlements starts, not just the paperwork side. But, I also really enjoy doing the contacts and settlements and all the paperwork that comes with it!”

Megan has a large group of mentors, including Rick Abrahamson & Kayla Meyer (Corporate Grain Accounting), Cory Thilges (Controller), and Susan Post (CFO). She has gained a great deal of knowledge through her mentors, who make an extra effort to make sure she understands the work she is doing. “They always sit down and explain what I’m doing before I start. My mentors are friendly and are genuinely curious about my life. They want to get to know me as a person- I’m not just ‘some employee they have to work with’.”

This friendliness, which Megan has found throughout the entire cooperative, has come as a pleasant surprise. “I didn’t expect them to be mean or anything, but everyone is friendly. People just come up to me and ask ‘Oh hey, Megan, how’s your day going?’ Everyone is really here to be your friend.”

To Megan, the best way to describe this summer has been ‘Eye-Opening.’ “Growing up [on a farm,] I experienced the farmer-side of working with a co-op. Now I’ve been able to see when my dad brings in grain, what happens with that grain in the elevator and everything that has to do with farming from the cooperative’s perspective.”

Megan isn’t quite sure what the road after college graduation will look like. She does know, however, that her summer at MaxYield is giving her a taste of the life she may want after she walks across the stage. “I want to be in a smaller town where I can see that the work I’m doing matters… and be able to work in the ag industry, whether that’s working at a bank in lending or working at a cooperative.”

All in all, Megan is grateful for the experiences she’s gained this summer and is excited to see how her time at MaxYield propels her into her next adventure. “If you have the opportunity and the interest in being an intern at MaxYield, definitely take it. You learn a lot and you also get to experience the company culture as a whole. Their brand is something MaxYield really prides themselves in and you can see that from just being in the office or out in the field with the team. They are really passionate about everything they’re doing and they inspire you to want to be a part of that.”

For more information on MaxYield’s internship program, including communications, grain accounting/finance, soil sampling/crop scouting, and agronomy sales, check out www.maxyieldcooperative.com/internships. Applications for 2020 internship positions will be posted later this summer!

Going Out With a Bang: How Emily Campbell is making the most of her last internship

maxyield ag communications internIt might surprise you that an Agricultural (Ag) Studies major from Iowa State University is this year’s Client Relations and Communications intern at MaxYield Cooperative. But Emily Campbell, an ISU junior from Hamlin, Iowa, has used the wide variety of subjects covered in her course of study to her advantage. From agronomy to animal science and communications to economics, the classes and the people of the ag studies major just felt like home to Emily. “I chose [ag studies] because of the diverse, well-rounded educational experience it offered. I also loved the family feel of the Agricultural Education and Studies (AgEdS) Department. It was just the right fit for me and my goals.”

Although she initially planned to be a field sales agronomist, Emily found after her first agronomy class that it was not the path for her. Instead, she found she had a love for communicating and opted to add a public relations minor to her degree. Her love for writing, speaking, and messaging directly translates to the clubs she has been involved in at ISU, including Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, CALS Connections student publication, and the National Agri-Marketing Association club and competition team. She also enjoys helping with AgEdS department transfer orientation events, sharing her passion and knowledge about ISU with newly admitted transfer students.

Arriving at a MaxYield Cooperative internship is actually a journey that started on the third day of Emily’s freshman year. “I first heard about this internship while attending the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Freshman and Transfer BBQ during my first week of my freshman year. Although I enjoyed my visit at MaxYield’s booth, I ended up pursuing a different opportunity for 2018. Then, my good friend Katie Decker had [the Client Relations and Communications] internship last summer. When she returned to ISU in the fall and spoke highly of her experiences at MaxYield Cooperative, I decided to give it a chance.”

It wasn’t her friend’s praise that made MaxYield Emily’s frontrunner internship in the fall, however. Strangely enough, it was actually the interview process that made her realize that MaxYield was the place she wanted to be. “[In the interview,] I wasn’t being asked generic, ‘tell me about a time when’ questions. Instead Chad Meyer, who I interviewed with, really focused on getting to know me and what my interests were to see if the internship was a good fit for me. This showed me everyone at MaxYield really cared about me and my goals before I was even offered the position.”

On any given day, a combination of writing, social media, videography, photography, and recruiting projects are a part of Emily’s agenda, but her favorite part of the job is actually pretty simple. “I love getting to represent MaxYield Cooperative with clients and at a variety of community events. One of the things I do is travel around the trade territory, and sometimes even beyond, to listen to the stories of clients and people who have been positively impacted by MaxYield Cooperative. One week I traveled to local fire departments to present donations from MaxYield for impactful projects, heard from a former MaxYield intern about the tractor he has proudly restored to prepare for the annual tractor calendar, and chatted with our team leaders to learn about how they are marketing their departments both internally and externally. That’s what’s cool about this internship- you’re really focused on learning the story of MaxYield and then retelling it to others in a variety of mediums.”

Emily credits much of her positive intern experience to her mentor, Chad Meyer, the Client Relations and Communications Director at MaxYield. Even in the first few weeks of her internship, Chad was making opportunities available to Emily to explore her interests, try new things, and network. “Chad has positively impacted my intern experience in a number of ways. He has worked for MaxYield for a large part of his career, so he understands how to communicate to cooperative stakeholders and I’ve learned a lot from his expertise. He’s very skilled at handling internal and external matters delicately, assertively, and tactfully all at the same time, so I’ve taken away quite a bit from a public relations aspect, as well. I think the most important, though, is probably the fact that my goals are put ahead of almost everything else. Chad has allowed me to tailor my schedule and intern projects to meet my needs. He has also encouraged me to share my thoughts and ideas, which has made me feel like I’m part of the team at MaxYield.”

Chad has not been the only team member who has made Emily’s MaxYield experience positive. “The most surprising thing about interning at MaxYield Cooperative has definitely been how friendly everyone is. I don’t know too many places where on the second day you can have lunch in the break room next to the CEO and have a conversation about using plastic grocery sacks as lunch bags- which actually happened. The team at MaxYield has made an effort in making sure we all feel like we fit in, and that has made a huge difference in my experience as an intern here.”

“Fulfilling” is the one word Emily feels encompasses her intern experience, and rightfully so. “Everyone wants to do something that matters. At MaxYield I’m not just fetching coffee and opening mail. Here, the work you do matters. Every project, every meeting, and every person makes a difference.”

After she graduates from Iowa State in May 2020, Emily hopes to find a job in public relations and communications at a cooperative, agricultural non-profit/commodity organization, or privately-held seed company in Iowa. She would also like to stay somewhat involved in her family’s 5th generation row crop operation in rural Audubon County. Wherever she goes, she knows her intern experience this summer will help her reach her full potential. “Everything you do at MaxYield impacts someone, including yourself. The growth you experience in the internship program is phenomenal, as are the people you meet. If you intern at MaxYield Cooperative you will not regret your experience!”

 

For more information on MaxYield’s internship program, including communications, grain accounting/finance, soil sampling/crop scouting, and agronomy sales, check out www.maxyieldcooperative.com/internships. Applications for 2020 internship positions will be posted later this summer!