February 25, 2021

MaxYield Helps Iowa Lakes Students Discover Variety of Ag Careers

Kristin O'Connell, Dakota Kraninger, Brandi Goodman

Kristin O’Connell, Dakota Kraninger, Brandi Goodman

In agriculture, nothing beats real-world experience. That’s why MaxYield Cooperative offers many on-the-job training opportunities for Iowa Lakes Community College students each year. This summer, we were pleased to welcome Brandi Goodman of Whittemore, Dakota Kraninger of Milford, and Kristin O’Connell of Cushing.

“Working here gives you a whole new perspective about how many job opportunities there are in agriculture today,” said Goodman, who started working at MaxYield’s agronomy facility in Algona in late May. “It really opened my eyes.”

The MaxYield team also appreciates these ambitious students’ valuable contributions, said Chad Meyer, client relations/communications team leader. “We learn from them as they ask questions and remind us of the basics of why we do what we do. These students also highlight how year-round recruitment efforts are extremely valuable to MaxYield.”

• Grain piques Brandi Goodman’s interest. While Goodman grew up in town, she discovered that she wants to pursue a career in agriculture after working at MaxYield this summer. “MaxYield is a really good place to start,” said Goodman, 20, who will be a sophomore at Iowa Lakes, where she’s studying ag business. At MaxYield’s agronomy facility in Algona, she helped run the fertilizer mixing equipment and assisted with crop scouting. She also worked at the West Bend seed warehouse and the Whittemore location. “I’ve really enjoyed working at MaxYield,” said Goodman, who plans to enter the workforce after earning her degree from Iowa Lakes. “People work as a team, and it’s like a family here.” After gaining an insider’s perspective of the cooperative system, Goodman can picture her future in rural Iowa. “I’m interested in working at a cooperative, particularly on the grain side.”

• Kristin O’Connell tries new roles. O’Connell started her on-the-job training last fall at MaxYield’s Dickens location, before working at the Mallard location this spring and summer. She has handled a variety of duties, from running the scale to assisting MaxYield’s agronomists with field maps and more. “I’ve always been interested in agriculture and like working with people,” said O’Connell, 19, who will be a sophomore at Iowa Lakes, where she’s studying ag business. “I like how the MaxYield team has encouraged me to try a variety of things, and I’ve enjoyed meeting MaxYield’s clients,” added O’Connell, who is interested in working at MaxYield’s Emmetsburg location to gain even more experience. After she graduates from Iowa Lakes, O’Connell can see herself working at a cooperative like MaxYield. “I absolutely love the people at MaxYield, who are like a second family.”

• Dakota Kraninger envisions his future in northwest Iowa. From the time he started working with MaxYield in March of 2014, Kraninger knew he was in a good place. “Everyone is great to work with,” said Kraninger, 19, who will be a sophomore at Iowa Lakes, where he’s studying ag business. “Whatever you want to do, they try to find a place for you to learn.” Kraninger wanted to know more about agronomy, so MaxYield gave him the chance to treat seed at the Spencer location this spring. He also assisted the agronomy team at Emmetsburg with orders for fertilizer and crop protection products. “The people at MaxYield answer your questions, and they don’t micromanage you,” said Kraninger, who appreciates the opportunity to continue working with MaxYield this fall. After he graduates from Iowa Lakes, Kraninger wants to start his career in northwest Iowa. “There’s something for everyone in agriculture, and I’d definitely recommend working at MaxYield.”

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