Farm Service Agency Internship Provides Hands On Experience in Agricultural Finance
Michaela Stiver (Agricultural Finance; Roann, IN) has spent her last summer before graduating college as an intern for the Farm Service Agency (FSA). Her internship, which began this summer and will continue through her senior year, has been full of new experiences and professional development opportunities. Michaela first learned about the internship when her high school Ag teacher reached out to her about the opportunity. Upon exploring the job opportunity, she knew it was the right one for her.
The interview process was a lot different than other jobs she had applied for in the past. "I applied for the job and waited for my background check to come back and I was offered the job. I then went through a lot of federal paperwork, fingerprinting, and making sure all references checked out. I really didn't have any training before starting my internship. I have done various trainings in different branches of FSA Office and started doing other trainings in my local office as soon as I started."
Michaela's official title is FSA Intern, and while she is currently located in the Wabash County office, during the school year she will work out of the Jasper County and State office occasionally. She was originally supposed to work out of the state office, but the Wabash office is much closer to her hometown, so the FSA allowed her to work there.
As an intern, Michaela's responsibilities include recording acreage for farmers, making sure all the proper paperwork is signed and filed for farmers to be eligible for funding. One thing Michaela found interesting during her position were this all the programs offered by the government and all the way they truly try to give farmers the best opportunities. Thankfully, COVID-19 has actually not had a very large impact on Michaela's internship. "Our office allowed farmers to still come in to work with us and I was able to travel to other offices with no restrictions so that I could learn as much as I could from new people."
Even though she will be able to continue her internship into the school year, Michaela has already noticed several ways she has grown as a professional in this position. "I have grown professionally through this internship by working hand and hand with producers on a daily basis, I learned how much there was to learn from my boss and how he handled himself with producers and other employees throughout the office, and simply just talking on the phone and/ or emailing with producers and other employees on a daily basis. Some things that I will always remember about this internship are the great co-workers and boss I had the opportunity to work for, all of the knowledge about various programs offered to producers, and I will always remember that this internship assured me that I am in the right career path I should be in."