Farmers Coop Society has been offering paid agronomy summer internships for nearly 10 years. Our program is designed to offer students interested in agriculture some real-world experience and knowledge. Not only are they learning about different jobs and roles in agronomy, but they are an essential part of our FCS team. Our interns support our agronomists during this fast-paced season. FCS strives to hire locally so we can continue to support the next generation of farmers. This past summer, we had four northwest Iowa interns, and one was a returning intern from last year!
Rebecca grew up on a family farm outside of Sheldon, IA and has been helping her father and her siblings on the farm her entire life. She will be a Junior at Iowa State University and is majoring in Agronomy with a minor in Business. Rebecca always wanted to go into the agriculture industry but wasn’t exactly sure what area until she talked to her Sheldon FFA Advisor, Gene Bomgaars. Mr. Bomgaars introduced her to agronomy and helped her line up a job shadow with Ben Van Beek (FCS Agronomist). Mr. Bomgaars also introduced her to Cody Van Drie (FCS Elite Lead Consultant) who talked to her about the FCS internship program. This past summer, Rebecca worked out of the Sioux Center agronomy office with one of our Agronomists, Mark De Kam. She enjoyed being out in the fields and working closely with the plants. The project she focused on was field health. She looked at field maps and scouted those areas with low health to see why they were flagged as low health, bringing the information back to the agronomists. Rebecca said the thing that has surprised her the most was seeing first-hand how fast-paced everything is for the Agronomists. The plants grow so quickly, and there’s so much work that has to be done in a very short amount of time. Rebecca’s plans for the future aren’t set in stone. She is considering going out of state to work for other cooperatives to expand her agronomic crop experience.
Daniel grew up on his family farm outside of Sibley, IA. He currently attends South Dakota State University, starting his Junior year this fall, majoring in Ag Systems Technology with a minor in Agronomy. Daniel has been involved in agriculture his entire life and has no plans for that to change in the future. He wants to stay in Northwest Iowa and work in Agronomy but is also interested in Precision Ag. This past summer, Daniel worked alongside our Sanborn-area Agronomist, Ben Van Beek. He was able to see how Ben is upfront, straightforward, and honest with his customers and how FCS Agronomists truly look out for their customers' best interests. Daniel’s summer project was completing foliar trials on our test plots and an Ion Stryke tissue and soil sampling project. This was his first experience with mixing chemicals and spraying on his own, and he really enjoyed the process. Daniel expects to see really good results from the Ion Stryke testing but he’s still waiting on the final results. He also worked on some foliar trial testing with N boost for our test plots. The corn is growing fast and looking great so he is anxious to see what the final yield will be on the plots.
Jacob was a second year intern and was excited to be back at FCS! Jacob grew up at his family farm outside of Melvin, IA. He will be a Junior at Iowa State University, majoring in Agronomy. This year, you could find Jacob in Boyden helping Jesse Evans (FCS Agronomist) or in Little Rock helping Shane Kleinwolterink (FCS Agronomist). Jacob loved being out in the fields and really enjoyed working alongside our Agronomists to find the best solutions- for farmers. Jacob researched a few different technology options to help Agronomists scout fields, comparing them to see how FCS could best utilize them. The three different technologies he explored are Soil Maps, satellite imagery, and drone imagery. Jacob’s plans for the future are to continue to be involved in the family farm operation as well as working as an Agronomist for a cooperative in northwest Iowa. He enjoyed the opportunity to interact with customers through the FCS Agronomy Intern Program.
William also has the experience of growing up on his family farm west of Rock Valley. He’s been able to farm with his family as well as branch out on his own in the past few years. William is a Senior at Dordt University and is studying Plant Science and Ag Business. He wanted to intern at FCS to gain insight as to how a cooperative works and the other side of the agriculture business. Needless to say, his eyes were opened after the spring and summer we just experienced. William worked in our Ireton location with our Agronomists, Mike Tiedeman and Aric Den Herder. The projects he focused on were nematode soil sampling as well as Ion Stryke tissue and soil sampling. He really enjoyed being able to work with the other interns on soil sample projects. As a farmer, he was able to truly appreciate the level of dedication and commitment FCS Agronomists have to their customers and the hours they work during the spring and summer months. His future plans are to continue to farm but is considering working for a cooperative alongside that.