AGRONOMY INTERN: Michael Richardson

Aurora Cooperative 6 years ago

his summer I am doing the majority of my internship at the Minden location, but I also spend time once a week down at our Franklin location. One of the best things about this internship is that every day is different. There are never two days that are the same, largely due to weather circumstances but also just the fact that we have so much going on during the growing season.

Here at Minden we have two sprayers that are always moving from field to field treating different issues on grower’s fields. The push to finish the ground applications was exciting as all of our trucks and equipment at the location were busy, not to mention the countless number of farmers coming in for last minute products or just to fill their own tanks. Not only did we have tender trailers going out and supplying the sprayers with the essential elements that keep them moving day in and out, but we also have tanker trucks supplying fertilizer to pivots and individual tanks seemingly nonstop. Spraying season is a busy time of year for everyone.

These activities alone keep us very busy and allowed for very few idle moments, which we all enjoy. However, as many of you have experienced on your own farms, we have had rather abnormal weather conditions in the Minden area. At the end of June, we had a tornado forming within a few short miles of the shop. Then in the first part of July, the area was struck with a significant amount of hail, leveling and severely tattering some of the local fields. We have spent a lot of time out in the fields assessing the damage with our customers. Walking these fields and seeing the damage to the crops that were on their way to a very successful year flattened in just a few short minutes was eye opening. Some fields had large holes in the stalks and through the leaves, while others had been stripped of the leaves all having a high percentage of green snap. It was devastating to see.

As we are about half way through the summer, I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Aurora Cooperative. From meeting with different farmers to attending different training events and meetings to scouting fields, I have learned more than I could fathom here in just a short period of time. I love witnessing and being a part of this company’s extreme dedication to their growers and local communities. I am looking forward to meeting more growers in this second half of my internship and getting to know more about them and their operations.