My name is Garrett Schardt, and I am a Prairie Valley Intern for the eastern half of Nebraska. Most internships will stick you at a certain location for the summer, but that is one thing unique about my internship. I have an area that we cover rather than working out of just a location. One thing I love about this job is that I am doing something different almost every day. I have done so many different tasks throughout the summer. I have a project that I am working on that consists of going to Prairie Valley growers and asking them a variety of questions. Considering this is a new brand, there are a lot of different opinions on the brand, which I find very interesting when collecting all of this data. A decent amount of my time has been consumed by these grower surveys. Another plus side to this project is that it has allowed me to get on farm and connect with a variety of different growers.
Throughout the summer my mentor and I go around to different locations that sell Prairie Valley and check out the plots with the surrounding salesman. This is very interesting to me because we get to travel to different plots throughout Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado. You can see the difference soils and climate can make, and see how the different hybrids fare in these areas. This just proves how important seed placement is. It is also very interesting to see the different characteristics that the salesmen are seeing with the hybrids. Since this is a new brand, they are still learning everyday about the hybrids in their areas. There is lots of training done at the different growth stages to keep tabs on the progress.
Outside of that, I have done all sorts of other things. I have done things like scouting fields, putting up corn hybrid and soybean variety signs, doing flag tests for emergence testing, root digs to compare roots, as well as several other things. This is one of the positives about this internship, I am always doing something different. I am a person that gets bored doing the same thing day after day so doing different things makes it a lot more fun and interesting.
Overall, this summer has been a great learning experience as far as the plant side of things goes. I had never heard of Prairie Valley before this summer, and now I know the different hybrids as well as a few interesting things about the brand as a whole.