February 28, 2021

Spencer Shaw, agronomy/seed internship

Spencer Shaw was familiar with MaxYield since he grew up on a farm near Meservey, Iowa, however, he was still in for a surprise this summer.

“While it’s a big company, it’s also a team,” said Shaw, 21, a 2014 graduate of Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School. “I like the family atmosphere here.”

As the Iowa State University (ISU) senior prepares to graduate with an ag business major and agronomy minor, he considers his MaxYield internship time well spent. “With any internship, you get out of it what you put into it,” said Shaw, who is the son of Chad and Ranae Shaw. “MaxYield’s team members know what they’re talking about and are here to help you, if you’re willing to learn.”

Q: What inspired you to study agriculture in college?

A: Since I grew up on a farm, I’ve been around agriculture all my life and like learning more about it.

Q: What have you enjoyed about your MaxYield agronomy/seed internship?

A: I’ve been working with the R7 Tool that combines local field data and precision agriculture. I also helped with soil sampling and have been collecting plant tissue samples every Monday. MaxYield holds agronomy training sessions for the interns and trainees. These programs usually last an hour-and-a-half to two hours, and we cover everything from crop growth stages to modes of action with different crop protection products.

I’ve also done on-farm visits, mainly in MaxYield’s eastern territory, and like working with the clients. You can learn a lot about many different things with a MaxYield internship. I’m interested in learning more about grain merchandising, along with agronomy and seed.

Q: How have you benefited by having Matt Keel and Cody Ostendorf as your mentors at MaxYield?

A: Matt is fun to be around and I’ve learned a lot from him, since he’s very knowledgeable.  Cody is super smart and I’ve learned so much from him about seed and crop protection products.

Q: What are your career goals after graduation?

A:  I’m keeping my options open, although I like agronomy the best. I enjoy going out to the field and seeing how I can help the crop. I like to help farmers find the solutions they need.

Editor’s note: Shaw is a member of ISU’s Ag Business Club and likes to attend football and basketball games at ISU. In the summer of 2016, he went on the Wheat Run from the Texas/Oklahoma border through Kansas and Colorado up to Idaho, where he helped harvest a 1,300-acre field on a mountain. While Shaw worked 70 to 100 hours a week, he’d do it again. “You see some really amazing country out there,” said Shaw, who drove a LEXION combine and was part of a five-member crew. 

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