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Ag Coops Look For Interns At Northeast

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Ag Coops Look For Interns At Northeast

Nancy Sutton Smith, Viewpoint Adviser

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Agriculture Cooperatives hoping to get a jump on summer intern hiring set up booths Thursday in Northeast’s Lifelong Learning Center for Ag Career Day.  They talked with interested Northeast students who ordinarily might not start to look for internships until spring. Northeast agriculture instructor Dr. Burton Pflueger who planned the event, said introducing students to potential employers this early in the year benefits everyone.

Dr. Burton Pflueger (right) looks on as Ag Coop professionals talk to Northeast Ag students

Photo by Seth Johanson
Dr. Burton Pflueger (right) looks on as Ag Coop professionals talk to Northeast Ag students

Featured speaker, Ed Woeppel, Education & Program Director for the Nebraska Cooperative Council addressed students about the importance of cooperatives for farmers and communities. Woeppel, a Stanton native, said the definition of the word cooperative is a willingness and ability to work with others and that is what has made cooperatives throughout the state strong and successful.

Ed Woeppel of the Nebraska Cooperative Council talks to Northeast Ag students about the importance of cooperatives

Photo by Seth Johanson
Ed Woeppel of the Nebraska Cooperative Council talks to Northeast Ag students about the importance of cooperatives

Ed Woeppel talked about the impact coops have on Nebraska agriculture

Photo by Seth Johanson
Ed Woeppel talked about the impact coops have on Nebraska agriculture

Woeppel talked about the dramatic decrease in cooperatives over the last 3 decades as the farm crisis in the 1980s forced farmers out of business. Woeppel said the crisis required cooperatives to consolidate and pool their resources to better serve their members. Now as the decrease has leveled off, jobs with cooperatives are plentiful and attractive for students. “There are a lot of career opportunities within agriculture, within cooperatives, agribusinesses. It’s not the manual labor perhaps that you think about of yesterday. Whether it be in IT, in soil testing, all kinds of things, there’s really good jobs in rural communities,” said Woeppel.

Linne Vavrina (left), Marketing Coordinator and Jon Brabec (center), Sales Manager for Frontier Coop speak with Northeast Agronomy major and former Frontier intern, Andrew Van Hoozer (right), Elkhorn. (Courtesy Photo)

Linne Vavrina (left), Marketing Coordinator and Jon Brabec (center), Sales Manager for Frontier Coop speak with Northeast Agronomy major and former Frontier intern, Andrew Van Hoozer (right), Elkhorn. (Courtesy Photo)

Being able to have a corporate job in a rural area near her hometown of Craig, is what attracted Linne Vavrina to the Frontier Coop Marketing Coordinator position in David City.  “My parents have a farm and I married a farmer so now I am in David City. My office is literally a mile from home. I recognize a lot of the farmers that come in which is even better, when you can have that rapport.” Vavrina and Sales Manager Jon Brabec were talking to Northeast students about sales agronomist positions which focus about 80% on agronomy and 20% on grain. Vavrina said Frontier interns get to do the same work as their full time employees. “They’re out there to help the customers, building that customer base. They’re not just sitting in a truck all summer, they are out plotting and mapping, sampling and everything.”  Frontier has 23 locations across Nebraska and is a full service cooperative, offering services in agronomy, grain, feed, seed, and energy.  Vavrina said, “We’ve always had interns kind of through word of mouth which works great. But we want to start more of a formal recruiting process and we just feel getting into the schools, especially Northeast and other schools where a lot of Ag majors come out of is very important to kind of plant that seed early and start that pipelining with the younger generation so they start recognizing our name.”

Andrew Van Hoozer

Northeast Agronomy major Andrew Van Hoozer (Elkhorn)

 

Northeast Agronomy student Andrew Van Hoozer from Elkhorn has already had two internships with Frontier Coop. He says it helped seal his desire to be an Agronomist after graduation. Van Hoozer said, “I got to help in the seed department, learned about treating soybeans, and sending out all the different types of seed corn. I got to see how a coop works from that aspect. One of the cool things I’ve been doing is aerial application, loading the planes, sending them out and spraying fungicide.”

Ag Career Day in the Lifelong Learning Center, Northeast Community College

Ag Career Day in the Lifelong Learning Center, Northeast Community College

Dr. Pflueger says bringing professionals to meet students interested in internships and jobs later on is a vital part of their education at Northeast. “They are the industry. These people take the theoretical we teach in class and make it practical knowledge for these students as they go to work.”

Van Hoozer talking to Midwest Farmers Coop representative

Van Hoozer talking to Midwest Farmers Coop representative

 

 

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About the Contributors
Nancy Sutton Smith, Advisor

Nancy Sutton Smith is The Viewpoint advisor and Mass Media instructor at Northeast Community College.

Sutton Smith holds a bachelor of arts degree...

Seth Johanson, Photographer

Job Title: Reporter


Home town: Pierce


Major: Photography


About me: this is my first year at Northeast. I was Home schooled through high...

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Ag Coops Look For Interns At Northeast