January 20, 2021

MaxYield Cooperative Intern Spotlight: Tanner Schiefelbein

When Tanner Schiefelbein was growing up in Cedar Falls, his family didn’t have a lot of ties to production agriculture. Schiefelbein loved to hunt and fish, however, and spent time at the farm of a family friend who allowed him to hunt on his land.

“I had a lot of conversations with him about farming,” said Schiefelbein, 19, who will be a junior at Iowa State University (ISU) this fall. “He’s a fifth-generation farmer and took me under his wing.”

When Schiefelbein told him he was thinking about studying agriculture in college, his friend’s advice was simple. “Get as much experience as possible in agriculture so you can find the right career fit,” said Schiefelbein, who is majoring in ag business and economics at ISU.

When Schiefelbein began looking into ag internships, one of his instructors at Hawkeye Community College in Waterloo suggested MaxYield. The more he looked into MaxYield’s internship program, the more he liked what he saw.

“I went to MaxYield’s website and read about previous summer interns like Nick Hunt,” Schiefelbein said. “That prompted me to start the conversation with MaxYield, and here I am.”

What you’ll find here: Plenty of opportunities to learn about many aspects of agriculture. “I want to get the most I can out of this internship,” Schiefelbein said. “I’ve learned a lot of agronomy and have really enjoyed learning how the country grain elevator system works.” Schiefelbein also appreciates his mentor, Cody Ostendorf, a MaxYield seed solutions specialist. “Cody gives me a lot of freedom and doesn’t micromanage. I’ve appreciated the agronomy information he has shared with me, and I’ve enjoyed learning how he interacts with clients.”

What you won’t find here: A lack of support. “Everyone at MaxYield is so helpful,” Schiefelbein said. “The team definitely has your back.” This was especially encouraging for Schiefelbein, who hadn’t lived away from home prior to this summer. “I was excited to try new things but was a little nervous about moving away from home. MaxYield made the transition easier.”

How I’ve customized my MaxYield internship: No matter what interests me, the MaxYield team helps me learn more about it. I’ve learned more in a short time here than I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’m really not much of an office guy, so I like working outdoors and being hands-on.

How I’m providing solutions at MaxYield: I’ve been doing soil sampling and other agronomy work. While some students might not like soil sampling, it’s actually enjoyable. You have a lot of freedom, and it’s nothing to be stressed about.

What motivates me: I like the small-town atmosphere at MaxYield. I don’t feel like I’m just another employee. It feels like family here. I’ve gotten acquainted with the other summer interns, so that helps you feel like you’re part of the team, too.

How my MaxYield internship is setting me up for success: I know I want to stay in Iowa and work in agriculture for my career. I was telling my dad all this on a fishing trip in Minnesota. My MaxYield internship has showed me I’m on the right track. If you’re a community college student and are worried you can’t compete for internships like this, don’t shy away from a MaxYield internship. You can compete with the four-year-college students. My advice is to look for opportunities like this that will help set you up for future success.


Cody Ostendorf, MaxYield seed solutions specialist and mentor for Tanner Schiefelbein:

Tanner is very good at visiting with MaxYield clients. Some of this comes from his job working at a tire store in high school and college. He’s determined and eager to learn. He’s interested in everything agronomy and more, such as how a grain train is loaded.

I like working with interns like Tanner, because they offer a different perspective of the work we do. I want to make sure they have a great experience at MaxYield, just like I did when I was an agronomy intern 10 years ago. My MaxYield mentors helped me build strong relationships with the MaxYield team and MaxYield clients.

The MaxYield team is receptive each year to improving our internship program. We want to keep the program nimble so it can adapt to students’ needs. We always want our internships to offer students a wide range of learning experiences. Not all our interns grew up on farms, and we want to help them all find their niche in agriculture.

For more information on MaxYield’s internship program check out www.maxyieldcooperative.com/internships. Applications for 2021 internships are live NOW!

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