Hello everyone, my name is Molly Carraher and I am an intern based out of Grand Island. I will be entering my sophomore year at Wayne State College this fall majoring in Agribusiness. I grew up on a farm outside of Spalding, NE where we have a cow/calf, row-crop, and hay grinding operation and grew up surrounded by agriculture, but had never been fully exposed to the coop side of the operation. That being said, I was lucky enough to be able to experience just about every area where Aurora Coop supports its growers. I started my summer off in the grain division with Travis Kester, moved to Animal Nutrition with Dr. Jeffrey Folmer, and am now finishing out my summer in Agronomy with Ron Jakubowski.
As I mentioned, my first few weeks were spent in the grain division. Throughout that time, I got to learn all the ins and outs of how the division works. I quickly learned that most of a grain merchandiser’s day is spent on the phone connecting with their customers. I spent the first few days calling truckers just to get some experience with calling; then I began building a customer list of my own. Throughout that time, anytime that Travis had a free minute we would do “grain 101” which I really enjoyed. Along with that, I spent a couple of days being the scale lady when they were loading out trains. Lastly, every once in a while, I got to go outside with the elevator guys to see what their days consist of. I’d say my biggest takeaway from the grain division is that it takes the whole team working together to make it work. The communication must be spot on, and I was able to experience firsthand just how well the division does this.
After grain, I went to Animal Nutrition. The bulk of my time there was spent working at livestock shows. Aurora Coop provided the feed store for both the National Boer Goat Show as well as the Charolais Jr. National show at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds. I did not show as a kid, so this was something completely new to me. It was really fun getting to talk with customers, all while learning about what Aurora Coop has to offer for the show industry. Once the shows were over, I spent a couple of days at the feed mill learning some basics of rations alongside Jeffrey Folmer. In addition to that, I was able to go on some farm calls with a few salespeople which I really enjoyed. Beyond that, I would help the office ladies at the mill when needed.
The final part of my internship is Agronomy, which is where I’ve been for the last two weeks. In that time, I have learned so much more than expected. I have been out with Ron scouting fields almost daily which is my favorite aspect thus far. With that, it is fungicide season so throughout my time in agronomy we have attended a few informational fungicide meetings alongside growers. Beyond all of that, I was able to attend a 4Rs nutrient field day, spend a couple of days with the office manager in Wood River, and meet with Ward Labs in Kearney.
As I hope you can tell, this summer was an experience I’ll always be grateful for. I learned more than I could’ve ever imagined and met a lot of really great people along the way!