Friday, July 31, 2015

Ethan Knight: A Word from a Summer Intern

By Ethan Knight, MKC intern

Having grown up in Moundridge, Kan., MKC has always been a part of my life. My first memories of MKC was when I was a younger. I would walk up to the old service station to hang out with my dad after school. As soon as I could drive, I started helping out my Grandpa on the family farm and this was where I first came into contact with the agronomy side of MKC. Much of our time was spent at the co-op asking questions about crops, cattle and other various items. My time was also spent hauling our grain to the elevator where I was greeted by friendly people, a candy sucker and a refreshing soda. When my grandpa sold his farm I decided working for MKC as summer help would be the next best thing. A set of great co-workers and management each year kept me coming back for the past two summers.

As a senior at Bethel College, I made the decision I wanted to see more of MKC. My summer internship has really done a great job of fulfilling that want. I am an intern at the Moundridge location under Location Manager Brad Wedel. I was excited to be met this summer as an intern with more challenges and responsibility. I enjoy working with grain but I also enjoy the diversity of the other daily tasks. I like working with my hands in the shop, and repairing and maintaining the equipment. I've had the chance to help out at the ammonia plant where I learned to fill tanks. I also had the opportunity to visit growers with an MKC field marketer and see what their role is in helping them be more successful.

It has been really neat to see all the components that make up MKC. Being able to visit other MKC locations and also speak with and hear from various MKC partners in business has only added to my summer experience. It has been exciting to see how MKC has grown in my lifetime and even in the four summers I have worked for MKC. I am excited to see what the future of MKC looks like. I have learned a lot about the cooperative system and have gained valuable experience this summer. I am definitely excited to see what the future holds.

Ethan Knight

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Nathan Larson: A Word from an MKC Intern

By Nathan Larson, MKC intern

My name is Nathan Larson and I am the MKC agronomy and sales intern at the Groveland location.  I am going to be a senior at Kansas State University this fall and I am majoring in agronomy with an emphasis in consulting and production. I grew up on a small farm near Kensington, Kan., consisting mostly of livestock and wheat. Growing up on a farm is where my love and passion for agriculture began and why I decided to major in agronomy. 

This summer, I have been all over central Kansas getting the opportunity to do just about anything under the sun. I have helped out the agronomy department at Groveland when I can, but most of my time has been dedicated to scouting fields and relaying what I find to the MKC field marketers. When I am not scouting fields, I am working on my summer project which is over nitrogen stabilizers in corn and grain sorghum. I am trying to determine how well they work and what the return on investment would be for a producer. Trying to figure all this out requires me to take soil and tissue samples every two weeks.  In the coming weeks I will also have to do yield estimates for the fields being tested.       

When I started college, I had no clue what area of agriculture I wanted to pursue a career path in but then I came to MKC. Last summer, during my internship with MKC, I did a little bit of everything from grain to agronomy to precision agriculture to field marketing, trying to figure out what I exactly wanted to do. It was a great experience and by the end I decided I wanted to learn more about being a field marketer. Fast forward to this summer. It has been another great experience and I have focused more time on what I eventually see myself doing for a career in the future. Being at MKC has really taught me a lot and I look forward to what the rest of my summer holds.

Nathan Larson

Friday, July 24, 2015

Zane Sloan: A Word from a Summer Intern

By Zane Sloan, MKC intern

I grew up on a family farm in northwest Kansas and agriculture has always played a major role in my life. Our farm is located between Sharon Springs and Weskan, and consists of irrigated and dry land acres for crop production and pasture for cattle grazing. In the fall, I will resume classes at Kansas State University. I anticipate graduating in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business with a minor in agronomy.

I am considered a general agriculture intern for MKC and have spent most of my summer working at the Lindsborg location. I’ve had a variety of experiences working with both agronomy and grain departments. With the exceptionally wet conditions this spring, I hit the ground running when I arrived in Lindsborg. A few activities I assisted with were loading feed, mineral, chemical and fertilizer orders, and treating soybean seed with insecticide and fungicide.

I am no exception to those who grew up on a family farm when answering the question, “What is your favorite time during the summer?” My answer is always wheat harvest. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to see a different view of harvest this year while working at the Falun seasonal location. It took some adjustment from working in the fields during harvest to being at the elevator. I enjoyed learning about the similarities and differences between my farming background and the producers’ operations in this area.

My project for this summer is updating the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for all products used or sold by MKC. With the guidance of Shane Eck, my mentor and Lindsborg location manager, I am excited to use the knowledge I’ve obtained from my internship. I have enjoyed being able work with and learn from Shane and other MKC employees this summer. 

Shadowing employees from MKC and TMA has helped me develop a wealth of knowledge. It has provided me with many opportunities and network connections that are unparalleled. I am excited for what the rest of the summer holds and helping out in any way possible.

Zane Sloan 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Jeff Hadachek: A Word from a Summer Intern

Until I was selected for this internship, the co-op was never more than a place my family hauled our grain. Having a family farm outside of Cuba, Kan., I have a diverse understanding of agriculture, but I knew I had a summer full of new experiences awaiting me as an intern for MKC.  

As a Groveland location intern, I have see staff members who are always willing to help and customers who truly represent central Kansas’s agricultural communities. For a town that only contains a church and the elevator, Groveland is a surprising hub of agricultural activity. I’ve developed an understanding in seed treatment, grain elevator management, and agronomy sales and decision-making.

My project for the summer is leading an audit over the anhydrous ammonia efficiency at MKC. Nathan Eck, Groveland location manager, is serving as my mentor and has provided guidance and clarity every step of the way. I look forward to the new experiences and assistance I can offer the
rest of the summer.

My favorite part of any summer is wheat harvest and this year was no exception. During the busiest two weeks of harvest, I assisted at the Buhler elevator. Harvest consisted of long, hot days, but it wouldn’t be harvest without lack of sleep and some heat. I most enjoyed getting to know the producers. It made me realize any Kansas small town is the same across the state: friendly people with a passion for agriculture. Kansas has seen another successful wheat harvest come and go and it was a pleasure spending it with MKC.

After this summer, I will return to Kansas State University for my sophomore year. I am majoring in agricultural economics with a quantitative option and an international agriculture minor. Through the inspiration of this internship, my career goal is to conduct international market research upon completing my degree and potentially attend graduate school.

This internship has provided me a better understanding of production agriculture and the industry as a whole. For so long, working on the farm was just a job to me. I never put much thought into the complex processes or the bigger purpose I was serving. My internship has made me realize what separates agriculture from any other industry: it’s not just a job, it’s a passion. Farmers and everyone involved in the agricultural industry don’t think twice or complain about working 15 hour days, because it’s what we enjoy doing. 

Jeff Hadachek

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Taylor Oller: A Word from an MKC Intern

My name is Taylor Oller and I am an MKC agronomy intern at Haven this summer. I am from the small town of Partridge, Kan., and currently enrolled at Kansas State University to pursue a degree in agricultural education with a minor in agronomy. My summer internship has given me opportunity for many first hand experiences and knowledge I believe will help me along my education and career path. I have also met and worked alongside many amazing people who have helped me with my endeavors this summer.

Growing up, I always helped my parents at harvest time even if it was mostly riding along in the wheat truck. Like every summer of my life, the beginning of my internship revolved around wheat harvest. I helped everywhere from working the scale, grading the wheat, learning how the elevator runs and even complete a summer project over Haven’s harvest time efficiency. I have worked as a scale girl before, but nothing with this much depth and learning along with it.

I also had the chance to receive a broader view of the agronomy side of the MKC. I had the opportunity to help plant a test plot, learn about our chemical and fertilizer processes, and even got to ride in a spray rig. All of these are new experiences have opened my eyes to the field of agronomy as a whole.

I am incredibly grateful for all of the knowledge and opportunities MKC has given me this summer. My mentors and co-workers are always there to help me and answer my questions. When MKC employees say, “Shared growth. Shared success.” they are not messing around. When one person grows, we all grow. When one person succeeds, we all succeed. This has been one of the biggest takeaways from my internship thus far. There is still plenty more to learn this summer and I cannot wait to see what is in store!  



Friday, July 10, 2015

Ross Niehues: A Word from an MKC Intern

My name is Ross Niehues and I am the MKC precision agronomy intern this summer. So far, this summer has been an extremely rewarding experience that continues to outdo itself each and every day. As the first intern to specifically work alongside MKC’s precision agriculture department, I have been met with many new experiences allowing for a unique and enjoyable story to tell every evening when I return home.
            Growing up, I was constantly finding something to do outside. My favorite activity, by far, was spending the day with my uncles at the family farm near my hometown of Seneca, Kan. I imagine my parents were bewildered when I begged and pleaded to go out and pick up rocks in the field with my uncles. As I became older, I was fortunate to have a job with a small cattle operation where I could spend time outdoors while I worked. While attending Kansas State University, where I will be a senior this fall, I realized I wanted to pursue an opportunity to work outdoors while gaining a deeper knowledge of agriculture.
            MKC, along with my mentor Ross Benisch, precision agriculture specialist, have provided the agricultural knowledge I was in search of. For my primary summer project, I have been collecting data from our variable rate seeded fields by conducting stand counts and will soon be estimating yields. Next, I will analyze and prepare a spreadsheet and summary of my findings. The data collected will then be presented to the grower and MKC field marketers. My goal for this project is to better educate the grower and field marketer of potential issues in the field and ultimately help advance their operations. In addition to this project, I have started to grid sample a field and create corresponding maps. I will present the results to the grower as he begins to build his field in the coming years. This additional project will give me valuable experience using computer programs to interpret the soil test and accurately prepare prescriptions the grower can use to increase the yield potential.
            I look forward to work each morning, and enjoy never knowing what is in store for me. I have experienced first hand MKC’s slogan of “Shared Growth, Shared Success” and the employees genuinely believe in
and live this motto. This will be a summer I cherish for years to come and I look forward to everything MKC still has in store for me until fall.

Thanks for reading,

Ross Niehues

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Jacob Berglund: A Word From an MKC Intern

By Jacob Berglund, TMA intern

Growing up, I was always asked what do you want to be or do when you grow up. Until now, I have always struggled to answer that question. But I now know I want to be in agricultural sales.

I grew up on a farm in Louisburg, Kan., which is about 30 to 45 minutes south of downtown Kansas City. I am currently a junior at Kansas State University majoring in agricultural technology management with a minor in agronomy. My family farm relies mostly on cattle, and right now that’s treating us pretty well. Though the farm is a great place, I decided if I wanted to land my dream job of being a salesperson I was going to need to know how to do more than fix fence and drive a tractor. Luckily, MKC and TMA were generous enough to offer me an internship with them this summer.

So far, this summer has been an interesting one to say the least. I’ve had the opportunity to meet new people, visit many new places and experience many new things while working with TMA. Most days I visit the countryside with field marketers who teach me the ins and outs about grain marketing. I’ve also learned a lot about what it takes to build trust with a customer and how important it is to have a rapport with your customers. As one of the field marketers told me, “Customers need to be able to trust you because you are dealing with their means of support.” Building customer relationships is what TMA and MKC strive to do every day and they will go out of their way to meet the needs of the producer.

As a summer intern we have the opportunity to work on a summer project. I chose to take samples of grain and test them for protein, test weight and moisture. The objective of my project is to gain a better understanding of what the cooperative has in our grain bins. The higher the protein the more money it is worth per bushel. With the help of my mentor Devin Schierling, TMA grain marketing manager, I have completed my testing and I am currently working to get my data on a spreadsheet to send to MKC location managers. So far it has been a great experience and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer has in store for me.

Have a great Fourth of July,
Jacob Berglund