2016 Corn and Soy Mentor Tour


During the course of this year, 10 University of Nebraska-Lincoln students are getting the chance to learn more about the agriculture industry as part of the Corn and Soy Collegiate Mentoring Program. Through this programs students learn about state and federal policy issues affecting agriculture, what the Corn and Soybean Checkoffs do, the importance of the commodity membership organizations, as well as future opportunities in agriculture. A highlight of the year is the Corn and Soy Mentor Industry Tour. This tour gives students an opportunity to utilize their agvocacy skills, gain knowledge, network with industry professionals, and explore careers in different ag related fields.

All 10 members of the corn and soy mentoring program were able to attend. Mentors include:

  • Caylee Lorenz
  • Jaythan Scheideler
  • Paige Wacker
  • Katie Harrell
  • Megan Hamling
  • Zachary Gray
  • Alexander DeWald
  • Mary Bohaty
  • Wyatt Williamson
  • Kyle McGinnis

The tour took place August 18th and 19th around the Omaha and Lincoln area. The first stop was at a Hy-Vee store in Lincoln where students had a chance to visit with an in-store dietitian. Here the group was able to learn about consumer trends in food choices, frequently asked questions about foods containing GMOs and other “hot topic” questions, as well as how important it is to be an agvocate.

Prairieland Dairy near Firth was the next stop of the tour where the mentors were able to see how a dairy farm operates. The hour and a half long tour was led by one of the founders of the dairy. The mentors were able to see many facets of the operation including the milking parlor. For many this was their first experience with a dairy farm.

The afternoon of the 18th was spent touring the DeKalb Monsanto Plant near Waco. Some of the students had been on detassling crews but had never seen the other side of seed corn production. Unfortunately, the group was there a week or so too early to see the plant in full swing, but it was amazing to see everything that goes into getting those bags of seed out the door. The students were also able to talk with the tour guides about the different job opportunities available with DeKalb and Monsanto.

To start the Friday portion of the tour, the group met up with the Pork Mentor students at the Union Pacific Harriman Dispatching Center. The group was given a “behind the scenes” tour of the dispatching center and learned just how important rail transportation is to the agricultural industry.

Finally, the tour concluded at Werner Trucking in Omaha. This stop gave students an opportunity to learn more about the trucking industry and how it relates to agriculture as well as speak with the Director of Government Relations about the current issues the trucking industry is facing that can also translate to the agricultural industry.

The 2016 Mentor Tour gave students an opportunity to learn more about the agricultural industry and how many companies are indirectly related to agriculture. Wyatt Williamson, a member of the program, said that “The bus tour was a great way to see the agricultural industry from top to bottom.” The 2016 Mentor Program would not be possible without help from the Nebraska Soybean Board and the Nebraska Corn Board.

Want to hear from a mentor? Check it out! http://necga.org/?p=1689&preview=true