Story by Jordan Pieschl, senior (ACJ)
Summer break presents an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and skills in real-world experiences. This past summer, students in the department held internships in many areas of the industry, including government, extension, production, organizations and associations.
Nathan Laudan, a senior agricultural communications and journalism major, was one of 39 students from around the nation interning for Monsanto.
Based in western Wisconsin for the summer, Laudan was a field sales intern working specifically with the DEKALB and Asgrow brands. Since the company does not actually sell seeds during the summer, Laudan’s primary role was to listen to concerns from producers.
“I’m not from a production agriculture background, so my favorite part was just getting to visit with farmers,” Laudan said.
He listened their stories, struggles and plans for the future of their businesses. Through those conversations, he discovered an interest and a talent for relationship management.
“The reason I decided to study ag communications was that I wanted to connect consumers to their food sources, but also help them realize that, yes, farmers are businessman, but their business is making safe, wholesome food,” Laudan said.
This experience has helped Laudan focus his career on making those connections. Through this internship, Laudan learned more about who he is advocating for as a communicator.
Laudan discovered Monsanto’s internship opportunities while attending the Kansas State University’s career fair last fall, and he was hired soon after. From his experience, he sees great value in students’ opportunities to intern while in college.
“In academia you learn all of this ‘stuff,’” says Laudan. “Internships give you an opportunity to put all of that into practice in a way nothing in a classroom can.”
Students within the department held internships all across the nation this past summer:
- Chelsea Ahlquist—Winfield Solutions
- Hannah Anderson—National Association of Agricultural Educators
- Marie Annexstad—DuPont- Pioneer
- Logan Britton—National FFA Organization
- McKayla Brubaker—K-State, Kaw Nation
- Alicia Hampton—K-State Research and Extension
- Kelly Hannigan—IGP Institute
- Arika Haresnape—Hatton Ranch
- Brooke Harshaw—Van Wall John Deere
- Bridget Hoover—Purple Wave Auction
- Michell Keener—Kevin Vesey Equine Center
- Nicole Lane—Certified Angus Beef
- Nathan Laudan—Monsanto
- Daniel Martin—Kansas Water Office
- Jordan Pieschl—Kansas Department of Agriculture
- Amanda Sales—Hereford Publications, Inc.
- Maggie Seiler—Hoard’s Dairyman
- Kinzie Selke—Sure Champ
- Alisha Shurr—U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp
- Chelsey Smith—American Angus Association
- Mack Witzel—STEC Food Safety