Summer internship in crop industry allows student to learn multiple aspects in the ag industry
As someone who did not grow up around crop production, but fell in love with it while at Purdue, Lindsay Roberts (Agribusiness Management; Rossville, IN) decided to spend her summer as an intern for Indiana Crop Improvement Association in Lafayette, IN. Lindsay mentioned, “I chose to do a summer internship to broaden my experiences within the crop industry…I found it very important to immerse myself in any new opportunities that became available.”
Lindsay was able to learn about this position with Indiana Crop Improvement Association through the College of Ag Career Fair. Since she had heard of the company before, she jumped at the chance to speak with them. She noted, “I was drawn to this position because of the opportunity to learn about multiple different aspects of the seed industry.”
Indiana Crop Improvement Association is the certifying agency for all Indiana seed as well as quality and genetic testing for seed from corn to wildflowers. As their single intern Lindsay was exposed to their native lab, main office and field inspections. “My main duty is organizing field inspections from the point the producers send them in to when an inspector closes a field. This involves collaborating with farmers, supervisors, and inspectors to ensure every field is accounted for, so they are inspected accurately.”
Throughout her summer, Lindsay really enjoyed talking with producers to better understand their goal for their seed fields. Her favorite memory was getting to travel through the northern part of Indiana to meet with customers while learning how to certify a hay field and do bloom inspections on soybeans. This internship taught Lindsay to be open to changes and willing to learn on the fly. During the summer there were changes in the company which made her role expand thus requiring a lot of adaptability. She also mentioned, “ask questions when you are learning something new because there are no dumb questions.”
Looking forward, as she returned to school, she stayed on with the company to help in the lab. She stated “This experience has taught me A LOT about the seed business whether it was small grains, corn, or soybeans. In the future, I hope to have a career that works closely with producers to help them better their business and production.” While she enjoyed this internship, next summer she plans to look for an agri-marketing internship to get a grasp on another aspect of the industry that interests her.
When asked for her advice to other students, Lindsay said, “APPLY & TALK! Do not waste your time or blow off the career fair thinking you’re not good enough. The companies are there specifically to hire someone like you, and it never hurts to build your network.”