AGEC Students’ Internships in Horticulture, Landscaping, and Turf Management

Written by Kendell Combs, Junior, Agribusiness Management & Agricultural Communication

A few AGEC students had the opportunity to branch out into horticulture, landscaping, and turf management over the summer. Through their experiences, they enhanced their corporate business etiquette and gained new specialty knowledge in this sector. They all emphasized that their internships provided them with quality training beyond a traditional classroom setting.

Joshua Kessler (Senior; Agribusiness Management; Rossville, IN) was a sales assistant for Acres Group, a landscaping company. During the internship, he supported the sales staff, went on sales walks with customers, and sat in meetings learning from more established individuals in the industry. “I believe some of the most important skills I learned from the internship are relations and communication within a business setting. Communication is an important skill to learn in the business world and will be an important tool to have moving forward.” Joshua enjoyed learning about the landscaping industry and thinking through real-world business situations and how to overcome them. Learning and working through problems with Acres Group offered him further insight into challenges of the landscape industry. He was able to see how business professionals approach challenges and eventually overcome them.

Hannah Wallace (Senior; Agribusiness Marketing; Elburn, IN) was with the Ball Horticultural company in West Chicago as the landscape marketing intern. She worked with the landscape business manager to develop four different surveys that were sent out to different sectors of the horticulture industry. She assisted service reps in training employees by giving tours of the gardens on the company’s grounds. “I really enjoyed learning about a sector of the agriculture business that I’ve never had experience before.” Coming from a family of commodity farmers and a background in horses, she acquired great knowledge of plants in a very short amount of time. Hannah’s favorite part of the internship was interacting with her fellow employees and learning about the important role the horticulture industry plays in worldwide agriculture. She was able to broaden her knowledge base and grow a deeper appreciation for the horticulture sector.

Garrett Mitchell (Sophomore; Agribusiness Management; San Diego, CA) interned with Diamond Designs, a company in San Diego, CA. Not only did he work on baseball and soccer fields, but he also helped complete an extensive spot sodding job at the Olympic Training Center. Learning something new was a daily occurrence for Garrett. “One of the most interesting parts of my internships, and one that relates to my major, is what I learned about different fertilizers, types of grass, irrigation and how to make them work together to produce a beautiful and successful playing surface.” Garrett believes that he would not have had the experience he did this past summer without the education he received in his first year at Purdue and without Purdue emphasizing the importance of internships. “Learning in the classroom is amazing but being able to put it to use in real-life experiences makes it more worthwhile.” 

As you can tell, this sector of the agriculture industry can offer many job responsibilities depending on your interests. Each student stressed the great amount of knowledge they gained through the tasks they were completing and how impactful that was to them.

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