Seven college students are beginning internship programs supported by the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA). Although these internships may vary in scope, location, and duration, each is designed to provide students with an overview of Nebraska’s corn industry through real-world professional examples and experiences.
“While the Nebraska Corn Board has been offering these internships for many years, the COVID pandemic meant many of our students had to work remotely or postpone their internships last summer,” said David Bruntz, chairman of NCB and farmer from Friend. “I’m pleased our selected students will have a much more typical experience this summer. These internship opportunities are really designed to help support the future leaders of the agricultural industry. It’s always exciting to meet these students early in their professional careers and see how they develop and enhance the industry over the next several years.”
Each of the interns will work at various locations across the U.S. with key cooperator partners of NCB. Students will be based in the offices of the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), U.S. Grains Council (USGC), U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), NCB, and NeCGA. Most of the internships will complete at the end of the summer but three will run throughout the entire year.
NCGA is hosting two of the interns. Chloe Higgins is majoring in economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She is interning with the NCGA office in Washington, D.C. Danie Brandl is interning with the NCGA office in St. Louis, Missouri. Brandl is majoring in agricultural education at UNL.
“Throughout my internship experience, I would like to gain knowledge of how NCGA works and how it advocates for farmers,” said Brandl. “I would also like to gain more experience and knowledge that will help me in the agricultural industry.”
Malina Lindstrom is interning with USMEF in Denver, Colorado. Lindstrom is majoring in animal science and agricultural and environmental sciences communication at UNL.
Two students are interning with USGC in Washington, D.C. Patrick Baker is a political science and global studies major at UNL and Payton Schaneman graduated from UNL earlier in May with a degree in agribusiness. While Baker’s internship will end in August, Schaneman’s internship experience will last for an entire year.
“Through growing up in a rural Missouri farming community, I have been exposed to agriculture and farming for my entire life,” said Baker. “In going to college and exploring my own passions of international relations and foreign policy, I began to realize the importance of Midwestern farmers in relation to American exports. In learning about the work that the U.S. Grains Council does to connect farmers to foreign entities, I knew that I wanted to learn more and get hands-on experience with this organization.”
Two of the internships are located in Lincoln and are year-long experiences. Sophia Svanda is an agricultural and environmental sciences communication major and is returning for her second year interning with NCB. Wesley Wach is majoring in agricultural economics and works with NeCGA. Both students attend UNL and will spend the next full year assisting with the coordination of communications and promotional efforts with their respective organizations.
“In just a year, I have already learned so many things from my internship experience,” said Svanda. Through different projects assigned to me, guidance from the staff and board members, and conversations with farmers and other advocates, I’ve gained many new skills and knowledge that I didn’t have before. My time with Nebraska Corn has already given me so much, and I am certain by the time this experience is over, I will walk away fully prepared and ready to be a leader in the ag industry.”
In addition to the students gaining real-world experiences throughout the summer and helping fulfill the duties and missions of their respective organizations, the interns are also able to gain valuable insight on possible future careers.
Each intern will document their learning experiences through progress updates and social media posts. To keep up with the students throughout the summer, visit nebraskacorn.gov or follow the Nebraska Corn Board on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.