Krystin Oborny – National Corn Growers Association, St. Louis, MO
June 11, 2020
This was the first week that I found myself in the office in Chesterfield, MO. Life in the office is a lot different post Covid-19, than the experience I would have found myself in prior to it. With more safety restrictions in the office there is less physical interaction with the staff. However, I was super excited to finally meet some people that I was only able to zoom chat with before. It was a lot easier to ask questions and get things accomplished while working in the office.
I was asked to write a few blogs for the communications team that got me really excited. This gave me the opportunity to talk with a couple field managers and find out more about the topics I was blogging about. One of my blogs was actually posted on the soil health partnerships website. It is called “How does aggregate stability support quicker field entry?” and is found as part of the digging in series. The link is below.
I am also working on creating online quizzes that field managers can use to receive CCA credits when they are unable to attend the live webinars. CCA is the certified crop advisor. This is a benchmark program from practicing agronomy professionals. It helps them stay up to date on all of the new topics. As of now to receive credits you must watch the webinar live. This is just not always an option for everyone. By creating these quizzes, I am making these credits more accessible.
Although office life is not what I had expected with all of the safety precautions, I was still able to meet some of the staff in the office. Masks on of course, and six feet apart I met with a number of staff members that let me in on some of the cool projects they were working on. I found out that even though I am interning for the National Corn Growers Association, they have teams that focus a lot on the animal industry because they are tied so closely together.
As an agricultural education major, I was also really interested in the new program just initiated last year that created content and invited teachers to be a part of the program. Robyn Allscheid the Director of Research and Productivity is the lead on the new STEM outreach project. This program is called “Nourish the Future”. Comprised of non-agricultural education teachers all over the United States, the hope is to involve students who are not specifically tied to agriculture to give them an opportunity to experience all the careers that it has to offer. The other hope is to expose these students to other technology related to agriculture to become better consumers and be able to make their own decisions.
I think the highlight of my week was when I got to meet with the CEO Jon Doggett. It was a quick meeting, but I was able to introduce myself and also talk to him a bit about what is going on in the world these days!
To wrap things up my first week in the office was one to remember. I am glad that I was able to experience a glimpse into the office life.
June 5, 2020
This past week was a whirlwind. While I have started my internship a few weeks ago, I have gotten an interesting introduction to a lot of great people at the National Corn Growers Association and also the Soil Health Partnership. I say interesting because this internship is not necessarily turning out to what I thought it was going to entail. I am fining out that I don’t think this change is a terrible thing.
While I was really looking forward to diving into a new city with a new environment and learning what it is like to work in an office, I am getting a broader experience this summer than I had planned.
I am learning how to adapt and stay focused while working online in a very familiar environment *cough cough* my bed. I know that to stay on task I need to move my location every so often, so I don’t get too comfortable. I am also learning that not having to completely pull myself into my business casual attire every Moring is a blessing in disguise. I am still looking forward to going to St. Louis to work in the office and experience office culture, but I am also not devastated by the circumstances that I have now.
As so many internships and opportunities have been cancelled or postponed for so many, I was handed a special sort of circumstances that opened up the possibilities of my internship this year. Not only do I get to work alongside the St. Louis office team and learn the business and management side of these organizations, but I also get to network with Field Managers and meet the farmers that make everything we do in the office possible.
This past week I started my Monday off with some zoom meetings and worked on some projects that I was assigned the past week. Tuesday started with its own adventure as the Nebraska/Kansas Field Manager, Keith Byerly and I set off towards Minden, Nebraska. While we visited fields from South of Minden into Central Kansas we checked for a few things. We were staging cash crops, checking seed depths and soil temperature, and monitoring any differences in cover crop treatment and control strips in cover crop trials. We stayed in Kansas because we had a few more fields to get to the next day on the Eastern side of the state. The following day we continued our adventure back in Nebraska. Being outside is one of my favorite things, and I get to do this a lot this summer!
This week I get to go to St. Louis for the first time during this internship. I am excited to meet with the team in person and learn about new projects I can get started on!