Savannah Peterson – National Corn Growers Association – St. Louis

Intern Updates

8/4/2022

My time at NCGA has come to an end and as I reflect on the opportunities this internship has planted, I am truly honored. I remember being so overwhelmed when I first moved to the big city of St. Louis. However, the relationships I have made in the corn industry the past 10 weeks made it all worth it.

The staff in the St. Louis office is so knowledgeable. The different projects each person has challenged me with helped me understand more about the wide world of corn. Through the course of the summer, I got to work with all departments- from marketing to communications- and each one taught me something different about the magnitude of this industry. For me, the most challenging task I had was writing a portfolio on the Research Ambassadors because I did not understand any of the scientific language they used. Thankfully, they were all so good at simplifying their projects and helping me learn.

During the heat of July, I had the opportunity to take on D.C. with some of the industry’s best leaders. Sitting in on the Action Team meetings opened my eyes to a broader world of corn. Growing up on my family’s operations I understood the overall picture but learning more about the science behind carbon, irrigation, seed development- its fascinating. I also sat in on hill visits and helped Nebraska corn farmers advocate to state representatives on issues important to the future of corn production. I loved getting to share with the Nebraska delegates more about my summer internship and what is happening across the national organization.

Recently, I attended the Leadership Academy conference. It was so encouraging to be in a room full of corn industry leaders passionate about bettering themselves. Each session focused on how to better handle professional settings and conflict. I also got to go to my very first MLB game and, even better, the Cardinals won! I am looking forward to the next session where we get to travel to D.C. to learn more about the policy side of advocating.

Now that summer is over, I want to thank Nebraska Corn for this unique opportunity to serve corn growers. I wish I could share all the lessons, memories, and opportunities I explored this summer, but I hope this is enough to show my true gratitude.

Savannah in the National Corn Growers Association
Corn team in an elevator

7/1/2022

It’s crazy to believe that I am halfway through my 10-week journey in St. Louis. Interning for the National Corn Growers Association has truly been an exciting and impactful opportunity. The first few weeks were certainly nerve racking—meeting all my new co-workers, moving to the big city on my own, living 9 hours away from my family and friends. However, once I got settled in, numerous learning opportunities fell in my lap.

In my day-to-day office work, I find myself busy creating social content, writing articles for my co-workers, and analyzing crop progress reports. So far one of my favorite projects I have worked on for NCGA is the Field Notes. I contact farmers from across the country to get updates on their corn field progress. All the farmers are so nice and excited to share about their crops.

Outside of the office, I have had the chance to attend the CommonGrounds conference and Women and Mentors conference. Each conference was focused on building women-lead networks. The highlight of the CommonGround conference was meeting Jackie Joyner-Kersee (6-time Olympic Athlete) and interacting with the students of her foundation; the foundation is bridging the gap between the negative East St. Louis stereotype and STEM based learning. The focus of the Women and Mentors Conference was controlling our inner critic to become better leaders. I was amazed by all the diversity women at each conference had faced and overcame.

Finally, I was able to host a Meet a Farmer event for the St. Louis and D.C. offices. I invited Andy Jobman, a Nebraska corn farmer, to talk to both offices about irrigation in central Nebraska. Since a majority of the NCGA staff does not come from a farm background, they are very curious about the everyday life of corn producers. During the zoom call, I was amazed by all their questions.

With only 5 weeks left of my summer internship, I look forward to all the opportunities and experiences the rest of my summer with NCGA will bring.

Savannah and a couple other women at Meet a Farmer