June 17, 2019

MaxYield Internships: What Are They All About?

Welcoming, fun environment, team oriented, like family, a great experience. These are just a few ways summer interns describe their experiences at MaxYield Cooperative. The internship program at MaxYield is to be commended for the hands-on experiences available to students, and the opportunities it opens for them. This summer, seven interns were hired in the areas of crop scouting and soil sampling, seed and agronomy sales, and communications and client relations. Each intern is assigned to one or two MaxYield team members who serve as their mentor throughout the internship. The mentorship program provides a look into the mentor’s job on a day-to-day basis, and the mentor’s role is to make sure the internship experience is unique to the student’s interests and goals.

The crop scout and soil sample internship at MaxYield is the perfect opportunity for students to learn the basics of agronomy. The crop scout and soil sample interns all agreed that a needed trait for the internship is a desire to work hard, but it doesn’t require a farm background. With the rainy weather this season, all of the interns spent quite a bit of time with their mentors learning about weed and pest identification. In the short spurts of dry weather, they were working hard taking grid soil samples. The soil samples are used for SciMax Solutions variable rate programs to determine where and how much fertilizer is needed in a particular field. Cody Tjossem expressed that he enjoyed that he stayed busy in his internship. Much of the work was very hand-on, and provided great learning experiences.

The seed and agronomy sales internship was also affected by the late spring and wet weather, but interns say it wasn’t necessarily a negative thing for them. Intern Leah Bunkers says she benefitted from the difficult weather because she didn’t miss out on the busy season that would’ve normally taken place before the start of the internship. She commented that these difficulties brought reality, and gave her a sense of what it would really be like to be in the business. Though it made for great learning experiences, the difficulties with weather gave the interns a taste of the stress that tough times put on farmers. Both of the seed and agronomy sales interns expressed the importance of keeping a positive attitude through these times, and always working hard to keep the client happy.

The communications and client relations internship is jam-packed with many different projects throughout the summer. A few of these include coordinating the antique tractor calendar, shooting and editing videos featuring MaxYield interns and team members, and creating marketing materials such as brochures and flyers. Intern Katie Decker added that her favorite part of the internship was job shadowing industry professionals and field trips to learn more about careers in the communications field. This internship is quite busy, but Katie commented that it’s important to effectively manage any down-time to plan ahead for projects. An intern in the communications and client relations position gains experience through practice in writing and editing. This internship is perfect for a student seeking to build their professional skills and define the areas of communication in which they would like to pursue moving forward.

Internships at MaxYield Cooperative stand out from others due to the real-world approach that encourages interns to think and act like full-time team members. The flexibility in creating an internship that is unique to each student allows interns to work with team members in various departments based on the types of things they’d like to learn more about. MaxYield truly lives out their motto, “We See More in Your Fields,” by viewing interns as the future, and investing in them to develop leaders in agriculture.

 

Tyler Hoffman: Soil Sample & Crop Scout Intern at MaxYield

Tyler Hoffman is not one to shy away from hard work. He’s definitely had to put this to the test this summer with short time frames to get the necessary work done as a soil sample/crop scout intern at MaxYield. From Graettinger, IA, Tyler grew up on a farm and will be a junior at Iowa State University majoring in agricultural business with a minor in agronomy. In his free time, Tyler enjoys watching Netflix, going to the gym and playing intramural sports at Iowa State.

Describe a typical day in your internship.

This year has been so different from most, so it has allowed me to do a greater variety of things within my internship than an intern might do on any other given year. When the weather is dry I’m out taking soil samples. During the wet weather this year I’ve been with my mentors, Matt Keel and Levi Quayle, doing things like crop scouting, checking weed pressure, talking to clients, and learning more about the seed sales side of the business.

What have you enjoyed about your internship?

I love being outside, and my soil sampling and crop scouting internship has allowed me to do that, weather permitting. I also enjoy talking with MaxYield clients, so when it’s too wet to soil sample I’ve enjoyed traveling with my mentors to meet with clients.

Would you recommend this internship to other students?

I would recommend the soil sampling/crop scouting internship to students looking for an internship that will give them a good foundation for a start in the agronomy field, or really any agriculture-related career.

Doreen Shaw Retires from MaxYield Cooperative

Frank Uhde, East area leader, presents Doreen Shaw with a retirement gift at an event held in her honor on July 20th at MaxYield’s Meservey location. Shaw served as Client Care Leader in Meservey for 37 years.

Shaw began her career at Farmers Co-op Service Center in Meservey in 1981 when it was owned by Klemme Co-op Grain. She became a part of the MaxYield team when the location was acquired in 2005.

Shaw looks forward to spending more time with family in her retirement.

President of Iowa State University Visits MaxYield Cooperative

On Wednesday, July 18, MaxYield hosted Dr. Wendy Wintersteen, President of Iowa State University, and Dr. John Lawrence, Vice President for Extension and Outreach. Chad Meyer, client relations/communications leader shared MaxYield’s mission of recruiting for internships and trainee positions on campus, and Harry Bormann, grain team leader discussed crop conditions in the territory and the impact of the farm economy on our communities. We appreciate their visit to MaxYield!

Leah Bunkers: Seed & Agronomy Sales Intern

Growing up working in her family’s full-service, independent elevator, Leah Bunkers knew what she was in for when she became a seed and agronomy sales intern at MaxYield this summer. Leah loved the customer relation side of her family’s business, which led her to pursue a degree in agronomy, because it would allow her to work directly with clients. The Granville, IA, native will be a senior at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD, in the fall, majoring in agronomy with minors in ag business and precision ag.

What are some of your daily responsibilities?

Not many days are the same. Since I started my internship in May, I’ve done tissue sampling every Monday, scouted fields when the weather allowed (which was not very often), and have done work on the computer by helping to get new map technology set up. Once a week, all of the interns meet with the seed team leader to talk about problems we are seeing in fields around the territory and learning about how we can help farmers eliminate them in future years.

Who are your mentors and how have you benefitted from having mentors in your internship?

My mentors are Cody Ostendorf and Jon Kaduce. They have very different teaching styles, but that has benefitted me because I’ve learned a lot from each of them. Their experience in the industry and knowledge over a wide-range of subjects has opened up my learning to a broader range of topics.

What kinds of qualities does someone in your position need to have?

Being able to relate to the client is the number one quality to have. This comes with having a positive attitude day-in and day-out. Those bad days are going to happen but you have to move past the negativity, put on a smile and make a connection with the client.

Jason Hinkeldey: Soil Sample & Crop Scout Intern

 

Jason Hinkeldey’s roots in agriculture run deep. He will be a sophomore at South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD, pursuing a degree in agricultural business with minors in agronomy and precision ag. When asked why he decided to pursue a degree in agriculture, he said that he really never saw any other path for himself. The Alta, IA, native has a goal of returning to his family’s farm to become a 5th generation farmer.

Describe some experiences you’ve had at MaxYield this summer.

Most of the time I’m out grid sampling and using technology to help farmers understand what nutrients are present in their soil and how to prepare for years to come. I enjoy working with growers directly because I get to compare what I’m seeing in their fields to what they’re seeing.

Who are your mentors and what role have they played in your internship?

My mentors are Amanda Pederson, who is an agronomy specialist and Chris Warren, a SciMax Solutions specialist. Amanda has taught me a lot about weed identification and modes of action in herbicides. With Chris, I have learned about variable rate technology.

How has your internship at MaxYield prepared you to be a good candidate for future internships?

I think my soil sampling and crop scouting internship has prepared me for future internships because MaxYield holds such a high standard. MaxYield allows me to gain-real world knowledge, which I think will be valuable when searching for my next internship.

Merlyn Brown Retires from MaxYield Cooperative

MaxYield Cooperative CEO, Keith Heim (left), presents Merlyn Brown with a gift of appreciation for his service to MaxYield.

Merlyn Brown retired after 46 years serving in the cooperative system. He started in 1972, working at the co-op in Crystal Lake, Iowa.

He has worked in the Garner-Klemme area since Feb. 1990, first at Farmers’ Co-op Society in Garner. Since 2005, he has worked for MaxYield Cooperative in the same area, driving truck for our transportation team.

We wish Merlyn the best in his next season of life.

Ovation for Olson follows the Northern SportMod Nationals

Tony Olson took home the $2,500 top prize from Hancock County Speedway’s Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod Nationals on July 10. (Photo by Katie Decker)

BRITT, Iowa (July 10) – Tony Olson didn’t get to see the end of an exciting Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod Nationals main event but he did get to take home the $2,500 top prize.

Olson was running at the front of the field Tuesday at Hancock County Speedway when contact at the white flag between challengers Doug Smith and Jake McBirnie ended with the latter in the front stretch wall.

Damage to the wall was deemed too substantial to resume and conclude the race under green. McBirnie’s car kept moving and he was scored in second place; Jake Sachau, Smith and Matt Looft completed the top five.

Sachau and Olson had started on the front row of the scheduled 30-lapper and ran side-by-side in the early going, Sachau low and Olson at the very top. Olson got the edge in that duel and was running in front of Sachau, McBirnie, Smith and Johnathon Logue before a caution came with 11 laps left.

Several more yellows waved before the final caution with the white flag out.

McBirnie had started 22nd, Looft 20th in the MaxYield Seed-sponsored special. Forty-nine Northern SportMods were entered.

Ryan Ruter started 11th and dominated the second half of the IMCA Modified feature, earning $1,000 along with a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot berth.

Derek Green dominated the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car main event and Cody Nielsen backed up his $1,000 feature win the previous Friday with another IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock victory.

The Northern SportMod Nationals had been postponed from June because of inclement weather on the original race date.

Cody Tjossem Brings Unique Interests to Internship

Soil sampling and crop scouting intern, Cody Tjossem, from Sutherland, IA, will be a sophomore at Iowa State University majoring in Agricultural Business. While it is typical of soil sampling and crop scouting interns at MaxYield to study ag business or agronomy, Cody’s minor in supply chain management makes him unique. “I knew I wanted to study agriculture in college, but I also enjoy building things. Supply chain is about collecting the supplies and creating an end product as efficiently as possible,” Cody shared. In his free time, Cody enjoys boating on Lake Okoboji and golfing.

What have you enjoyed about your internship?

Being outside and always staying busy are what make this internship stand out among others. I get the chance to tag along with my mentors, Megan Phelan and Brian Cable, which allows me to see what they do on a day-to-day basis and gain a greater variety of experiences.

What is the work environment like at MaxYield?

I would describe MaxYield as being friendly. Everyone here is always willing to lend a hand, teach me something new, or help me out when I’m not sure where I’m going.

How has this internship helped to define your career goals?

The crop scouting and soil sampling internship has been a great way to for me gain the agronomic base knowledge that is needed for any career in agriculture. Learning this has been important, but science doesn’t excite me as much as other fields. I’m interested in learning more about different positions within equipment companies, and how my interest in supply chain management could be utilized in the field of agriculture.

Colby Kraninger: Seed & Agronomy Sales Intern

Seed and agronomy sales intern, Colby Kraninger, is new to the internship program, but he’s definitely not new to MaxYield. For Colby, MaxYield is like family. The senior in Agronomy at Iowa State University has been part of the MaxYield team for a few years. Starting in 2014, Colby has helped at the Fostoria grain dump, Emmetsburg’s dry fertilizer facility, and at the Dickens liquid facility, before becoming an intern this summer. Colby says the opportunity to work in these diverse and busy environments have helped him to gain a wide skill set and a greater understanding of the co-op system. Colby grew up on a farm in the Okoboji area. Away from MaxYield, Colby enjoys restoring tractors, ice fishing in Minnesota, and helping with wheat harvest in Indiana each July.

What has been your favorite part of your internship?

This internship allows me to work directly with MaxYield clients, which is my favorite part. I really enjoy the face-to-face interactions that I haven’t had through my previous jobs at MaxYield. Through working with clients, I also get to learn about the different agronomic technologies that MaxYield utilizes.

What kinds of qualities does someone in your position need to have?

Someone in the seed and agronomy sales internship needs to have good communication skills because you are working with clients so much. You also need to be able to work with others and maintain a positive attitude while doing so.

What about MaxYield makes you want to keep coming back?

I feel comfortable here. I think I could go to any of MaxYield’s locations and feel like it was my base location. MaxYield has provided me with several opportunities for advancement in my career and I have had some great mentors that have spent a lot of time with me to help me learn.