In early-May, seven students studying at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln began summer internship experiences offered by the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Corn Growers Association. These internships vary in scope and location, but are designed to provide students with an overview of Nebraska’s corn industry through real-world professional examples and experiences.
“Nebraska Corn is always encouraged by the next generation of ag professionals,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “Through seven different internship experiences, we’re able to help students see how vast our state’s corn industry can be. Interns may be familiar with the production side, but we’re able to take that knowledge a step further and introduce them to other important topics such as policy, promotion and international trade.”
Five of the seven internships are located outside of Nebraska and last throughout the summer. These five internships are with cooperating partners of the Nebraska Corn Board.
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) is hosting two of the interns. Jacy Spencer is majoring in agricultural economics and is interning with the NCGA office in Washington D.C. Renae Sieck is with the NCGA office in St. Louis, Missouri. Sieck is majoring in agricultural education.
“Much of our college education is theory and discussion without true application,” said Spencer. “Internships represent a critical area of growth that can set many students apart from their peers. They also help students to discover where their true passions lie.”
Michaela Clowser is interning with the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) in Denver, Colorado. Clowser is double majoring in agricultural economics and animal science at UNL.
“This internship provides me with once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will push personal boundaries and create professional connections and develop new perspectives,” said Clowser. “Working for USMEF will challenge me to learn more about global marketing and the barriers that come with international trade.”
Two students are interning with the U.S. Grains Council. David Schuler is working at the international headquarters in Washington D.C., and Stephen Enke is gaining international experience in the Mexico City office. Schuler is studying animal science and Enke is majoring in business administration.
“After graduation, I plan to attend law school and study international trade and policy,” said Enke. “Gaining an inside perspective on our trade relations with Mexico and how these relations impact both farmers back home and consumers in Mexico is important. It’s an opportunity to understand the lives of those I hope to help when creating policies that will shape our nation.”
Two of the internships are year-long experiences and are located in Lincoln, Nebraska. Catherine Jones is an agricultural and environmental sciences communications major and is interning with the Nebraska Corn Board. Brooke Tempel is majoring in agricultural education and works with the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. Both internships assist with the coordination of communications and promotional efforts with their respective organization.
“This internship will challenge me to step out of my comfort zone,” said Tempel. “Not having the opportunity to grow up on a farm myself and see firsthand how producers operate will give me the opportunity to learn from our state's producers and see the impact they make on our society.”