As I mentioned in my last column, I am interning at NEW Cooperative in Fort Dodge, Iowa for the summer. I officially started my internship on May 7, 2014. I am the communications intern and will be working in a variety of areas within the company.

NEW Cooperative is a member owned cooperative with 22 locations throughout the state of Iowa. NEW Cooperative focuses on grain marketing and storage, feed, fertilizer, crop protection and seed resources. NEW Cooperative employs about 400 employees while remaining farmer focused and member driven. NEW Cooperative offers different internship areas such as agronomy, operations, communications and information technology. This summer there is 14 interns, however, this number continues to grow every summer.

I plan on completing a series of columns regarding this internship throughout the summer to give the readers a “look into” an internship. Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture Career Services strongly suggests students participate in internships to improve several different areas. These areas might include networking and soft skills. Most internships range from 10-12 weeks and are normally 40-hour weeks depending on the internship type and company. My internship will be 12 weeks with 40 hours per week. I will also be receiving 6 college credits through a class at Iowa State called Agricultural Education 412. To receive 6 credits I have to complete 12 weeks/40 hours per week. Additionally, I have to journal weekly and complete a series of assignments to create a portfolio to showcase different competencies I improved over the summer. I will focus on my teamwork, initiative taking, communication, leadership, problem solving, decision-making, creativity, critical thinking, and active listening skills.

My communications internship is located out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, which is NEW Cooperative’s headquarters. My main project for the summer will be creating a recruitment video that will feature NEW Cooperative’s internship program. This video will be used at career fairs and on the company website. A NEW Cooperative overview video is also planned for the summer. I get to help my supervisor with company golf outings that are held in July at 3 different golf courses. I will also be taking a lot of pictures for use in newsletters, website, social media, and power points. Other duties include: newsletters, marketing and promotion items, county fair activities, social media, and annual meeting planning.

I am excited to get into the full swing of things at NEW Cooperative. I hope to learn a lot this summer in several areas. Look for my next column on how my internship is going and what I have completed so far!

Kayla Degner was born and raised in rural Lytton, IA on a diversified grain and livestock family farm. She graduated from Rockwell City-Lytton in May 2012 and currently attends Iowa State University studying Agricultural Communications. Her past involved many agriculture venues. Kayla has a strong interest in advocating to the youth involved in agriculture.

Contact her at [email protected].