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 inand 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,