My name is CADEN SCHUSTER, and I am interning with the Prairie Valley team this summer. Next fall I will be a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where I am majoring in Ag Econ with minors in agronomy and precision agriculture. Last summer I also had the chance to intern with the cooperative, just with a different position. I was the precision ag intern with the Owners Acres team. I think working here last summer has helped speed up the learning process, since I have already learned a lot about how the company operates, I can just pick up where I left off.
So far this summer we have been doing all sorts of different things in the couple weeks I have been here. Most recently, I have been running around to the different agronomy locations throughout the area and helping them set up our new Prairie Valley Hybrid Evaluations app. This app is going to be a great tool for the team to help organize and gather data they are obtaining from all the Prairie Valley plots located around the region. Another item we are starting to begin is our Field Focus training series. The Prairie Valley team hosts a bunch of these training sessions at different plots and locations throughout the retail locations. During these we will bring out all the dealers from around that area to a plot nearby, and we walk through the plot just talking about all the different hybrids we can see. We let the dealers ask the questions that they need help with and use these sessions as a tool to help them become more knowledgeable on the seed that they are going to be selling.
Some other things that I have done the last couple weeks is help with a few seed deliveries, and seed box returns. The best part about doing those is being able to get out on the farm and see other farmers’ operations and how they run. Coming from a farming background myself I always find it interesting learning how each farmer has their own way of doing things because that is what works for them and their operation. I also have started putting together some signs that are going to be put at the seed plots. This can be a little tedious and not the most exciting thing in the world, but it is something that needs to be done and they look really professional when they are all up in the field.
My goal for this summer was to kind of just be a sponge and just soak in as much information as I could because I knew I was going to be around a lot of people who know what they are talking about when it comes to anything related to agriculture. It has only been a couple weeks and I have already learned so much new information, it makes me excited to keep learning new things as the crops continue to grow. Each week you have to be on the lookout for something new, whether it’s comparing two different hybrids against each other, looking for diseases or insects, or just the basics of scouting a field. No two fields are going to be the exact same, and that’s what makes it interesting to me. There is always an opportunity to learn something new each day, and I do my best to take advantage of that.