Becoming an Agricultural Leadership Professional


By: Paul Goettemoeller, Agricultural Systems Management | Botkins, OH

This summer has been an eye opener. I have had a wonderful experience working with Cargill Ag-Horizons. Luckily, I was able to travel to Topeka Kansas for two weeks, helping with their general maintenance and grain bin inventory. I was also able to travel to the corporate headquarters in Minnesota for a week, where I got to personally meet every intern with Cargill this summer. With their diverse culture, it is easy to become a leader. Since I have been working in Cargill’s grain division, I have had many unique opportunities to meet new people, understand the grain business, and how to apply what I have learned in school to real-world applications. Being an ASM major at Ohio State has put me in a very good position for this type of work. With experience in mechanical skills, as well as electrical and steel working skills, I feel as though I was more than prepared for this internship.

Many of the routine tasks include preventative maintenance, checking bin temperatures, moving ground piles, drying and storing grain, grading grain, as well as the most important one: loading trains to the end user. I also organized a 5S of our maintenance shop. When using a shop almost on a daily basis, it must be efficiently organized and set up so that when equipment is down, you know precisely where your tools are.

Cargill is very big on developing young people into leaders, so that one day they may have the capacity to lead people, as well as the business. So far, this internship has been a very good experience for me in many ways. One of the most important was leading people. Although it seems as though it may be an easy task, it can actually take a lot of time and countless effort. As my manager once told me, “You don’t need a leader to steer a ship, the leader should lead the men aboard”.