Pork Production Internship Yields Valuable Life Skills, Builds Network for AgEcon Sophomore

m france with pig

Last spring Makinzie France (Applied Agricultural Economics; Macy, IN) began her search for a meaningful internship. On the verge of finishing her first year of college, she sought a position within the agricultural industry that utilized experience she already have while also giving her the opportunity to grow. "I wanted to work for a company that values their employees and ultimately valued me as an intern. Kalmbach does just this. I can combine my passion for agriculture and my love of swine." 

After seeing an ad on Facebook about the internship, Makinzie attended the Purdue career fair where she was able to learn more about the position. In order to be considered, Makinzie began with an application and was then contacted for a zoom interview. "After a short time, I got a call back about an offer and then accepted it. Around April I got emails about the training/orientation and day I would start. The orientation was going through pay, requesting time off and safety videos. In terms of training in the sow unit I worked alongside the other team members and slowly learned how to do task on my own." 

This summer, Makinzie headed Auglaize Pork, located in Waynesfield, Ohio where she has served as one of the swine interns. "My position is just like any other team member at the barn. I do daily feedings, treat sows, help with farrowing, and weaning piglets. I have also had the privilege of leading trials with calcium and how it impacts sows during farrowing." 

When asked to share one thing that she has learned through this internship, Makinzie explained the challenges that each new day brings. "One thing I have learned is that working with livestock you will have a new challenge every day. While most things will be the same day in and day out you will always have a new challenge waiting when you show up the next day." 

m. france  m france

Through her internship, Makinzie has also learned how to professionally handle situations in the workforce. "Throughout my past jobs I have worked with only 2 or 3 people whom I knew on a personal level, whereas working for Kalmbach I am working with 10+ people on the daily. I have also been able to make connections that will last a lifetime in my professional career." 

As she finishes out her internship and gets ready to return to campus, Makinzie acknowledges that the people she worked with had the biggest impact of all, something she won't forget. "While the information I am learning is so valuable, it would not have been such a great experience if I had worked with mediocre employees. The people I have worked with have impacted me in so many ways and I will forever remember that!"