Careers, Confidence, and Beef


By: Caroline Miller, Meat Science | Lindsey, OH

I remember thinking, “So, I’m going to work in a beef plant. Who actually wants to work in a cold, boring production line?” Well as it turns out, I am one of those people that is more than excited to wake up at 3:45AM to wear steel toed boots, a hard hat and a hairnet to work every day. This past summer, I completed my first internship with Cargill Beef in Fresno, California, where we processed about 1400 head of cattle per day.

As the operations fabrication intern, I was very fortunate to learn about plant processes through two projects during my twelve weeks out west. For my first project, I graded carcasses and collected data for a newly implemented boxed beef program. I spent most of my time working with the production floor supervisors to develop a tool that helped them identify issues on the floor and assisted in creating a plan of action to resolve those issues. Through this project, we were able to improve product yields for Flapmeat and Ribeyes, as well as develop some remarkable friendships. I had a great experience and it is mainly because of the people I got to work with and learn from. At the end of my internship, I was able to compete with the other Operations Interns from each Cargill Protein Facility. After a lot of hard and backing from my coworkers, I was able to bring first place back to Fresno.

While I was preparing for my internship, I felt very excited and nervous to have so many new experiences in California. However, I didn’t realize how much this summer would change my life. Living 2400 miles away from anyone and anything I ever knew helped me gain independence, strength and confidence in myself. Looking back on this summer, I am so unbelievably grateful for the opportunities I had to travel, overcome struggles, and, most importantly, work with some truly amazing people. Internships are opportunities to try your career on for size and because of my experience, I am fully certain that the meat industry is right where I need to be.

“Doing to Learn”: How Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum Prepared me for a Future in Education


By: Bradley Collins, Agriscience Education | Coolville, OH

The National FFA Association’s motto reads, “Learning to do, Doing to Learn, Earning to Live, Living to Serve”; this statement means a lot of things to a lot of people (over six hundred twenty-nine thousand current members). Although I’m now an alumnus, I find myself thinking about this motto from time to time. As an FFA Member, these words reminded me that “Doing to Learn” would be the key to my success, now that I am in my third year at The Ohio State University, these words still hold their merit.

Preparing to teach agricultural science in the classroom is what I have been working on for the last three years, however, agriscience educators work with students nearly as much out of the classroom as they do in. It’s difficult to understand what it’s like to be an agriculture educator unless you’ve done a little walking in their shoes (boots). During my time studding Agriscience Education, I have done half-a-dozen career shadowing projects, as well as a two week Early Field Experience, during all of which I was in the classroom. It’s not until an education student’s senior year that they can complete student teaching and be in the classroom for an extended period. For me it’s hard investing all of my time and money studying to have a career in a field that I’ve only experienced half of. Outside of the classroom, Agriscience Educators spend hours taking students to contests, conferences, conventions and camp; sometimes across the country. This summer, I was fortunate enough to gain some inside experience working with students outside of the classroom.

Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum is located on Leesville Lake in Carrol County Ohio. Every summer, FFA members from across Ohio come to camp to make new friends, gain leadership abilities, and most importantly, to have fun. Ohio FFA Camp employs around seven college students every summer to help staff all of the sessions of camp. As one of the seven that was selected this year by camp director Todd Davis (an alumnus of the Ohio State College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Science), and his full time staff, I moved into camp on May 31, and by July 18 I didn’t want to leave. Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum Summer Staff is responsible for coordinating activities, writing programs, life guarding, high ropes etc.. Although all five regular sessions of camp had the same schedule, every week was different. Around midday every Sunday a new set of students and their advisors would show up at camp registration, each week different from the last. I worked with upwards of twelve hundred students this summer and made countless connections with their advisors. Knowing that I would be in the advisors’ position in just a few short years, I took every opportunity to gain knowledge from their experiences, not to mention the career networking opportunities. Because of my position on camp staff I was able to work side-by-side with the professionals that will one day be my peers, as well as my fellow staff members, who I now call friends.

The Ohio FFA Camp summer staff position was originally created as an internship designed for future agriscience educators (although our staff is now fairly diverse). The time I spent this summer on Leesville Lake has taught me that even with training from one of the best institutions in the Nation, nothing can prepare you more for a career than getting out there and “Doing to Learn”.

My Summer in the River Bottoms


By: Landon Lindemer, Agribusiness and Applied Economics | Springhills, OH

This summer I had the opportunity to do an Internship in Hales Point, Tennessee working for Cargill Inc. As an operations intern I spent a lot of time in the plant getting hands-on experience with many tasks.  Hales Point is a facility located along the Mississippi river, so we loaded barges throughout the summer.

I had many projects over the summer. One project was updating the maintenance records and specs of the equipment in the plant. Another was focused on updating safe operating procedure manuals so new employees can learn their job much faster. My biggest project was analyzing the barge loading process at our facility and finding ways to load barges safer and more efficiently. Through this project I got to meet many people, project managers, operations leaders, and maintenance and reliability leaders.

Throughout the summer I got to travel to several different places. I was able to tour Cargill headquarters in Minneapolis, MN and met many more interns there during the Intern Forum. I toured Reserve and Westwego, Cargill’s two export facilities in Louisiana. In addition, I got to take part in train loading at the Tuscola, IL facility. I even worked a day in a barge loading facility on the Tennessee River.

What I am the most thankful for was the great people I worked with. My first day they made me feel at home and by the end of the summer I felt like I was a part of their family. They liked to laugh at how I called a shopping cart a shopping cart, not a “buggy” and showed me how to make some very sweet sweet tea. I had a great summer in the “river bottoms” and can’t wait for what’s next!

Buckeye in Mexico

thumbnail_Carley Snider Blog Picture

By: Carley Snider, Agriscience Education | Felicity, OH

Growing up involved in programs such as 4-H and FFA, I’ve always valued the way youth can be developed through agricultural experiences. So, when I had the opportunity to be involved in a similar program working to develop youth in Mexico, I had no hesitation in saying “yes!”

I spent my summer living in Magdelena de Kino, Mexico as an intern for The Fatted Calf organization. My main duty as an intern was to oversee the children participating in a 4-H-like event known as “Expo Esperanza,” or “Hope Expo.” “Expo Esperanza” is an event held for the children living at Casa Vida y Esperanza, an orphanage in Magdelena. I served as, essentially, the “4-H advisor” of the children participating in beef cattle, sheep, and chicken projects. Additionally, I taught two summer school classes focused on cooking and electricity.

Throughout the summer, I used my experiences in showing livestock and completing 4-H/FFA projects to help the children gain new skills, learn new knowledge and develop new perspectives.

At Expo Esperanza, I was able to watch, like a proud teacher would, as my students showcased their projects. 16 students participated in beef showmanship, 15 participated in sheep showmanship, 8 participated in sheep production, and 25 participated in chicken showmanship and production. Seeing the pride each child held as they presented their projects was an unmatchable experience. I’m thankful that I was able to use the skills and knowledge I gained through youth programs in Ohio to be a part of developing youth in Mexico through similar programs.

The Importance of the Career Expo


By: Daniel Grayless, Agricultural Communication | Russellville, OH

Every semester companies gather in the Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H center for the CFAES Career Expo. The companies come to meet with students and hire them for jobs and internships. Around 70 companies make it to the event and hundreds of students come dressed in business professional attire to network and give their elevator speeches to try and secure an interview.

These career expos are great opportunities for students to be able to get their resumes in the hands of employers and for them to really be able to interact with the employers. There is a lot of preparation the students need to put in to be successful at the career expo.  Students need to make sure that their resume is polished and up to date, do their homework on what companies are attending and what positions they are hiring for, form elevator speeches and make sure their dress attire is clean and wrinkle free.  After all this there are other resources students can take advantage of to improve their skills and feel even better prepared.  The Career Development Office offers videos on preparing for the career expo, resume workshops and reviews and opportunities for students to do practice interviews with companies.

The career expo can be nerve-wracking and stressful especially for the unprepared. Thankfully an abundance of resources are offered to help students prepare, they just need to take advantage of them.  With the expo coming up this week it is imperative that students be preparing now if they want to make a lasting impression with employers.


An Invertebrate Intermission: Why I Spent My Semester in Bodega Bay, California


By: Benjamin Rubinoff, Environmental Science | West Chester, OH

Growing up in Southwest Ohio, the closest beach to me was an amusement park. However, family vacations and countless books and documentaries ignited my passion for marine life. I chose to go to The Ohio State University because I knew I’d be able to “get my feet wet” in research from the beginning. With my marine passion in mind, I have sought out internships and experiences outside of the classroom to prepare me for a PhD in Marine Ecology. After reading some scientific papers, I whimsically decided to email a researcher at University of California Davis to see if he needed any help with research. After a few phone calls and a visit, I was offered the position to work as an Undergraduate Laboratory Technician for Dr. Ted Grosholz at Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Conquering my 5-day road trip adventure, I made it to California in September 2015. I helped with a project looking at the effects of estuarine acidification on oyster growth and survival. Carbon dioxide can dissolve into surface waters, increasing acidity. This acidification, along with projected extreme weather events, has and will continue to be harmful to organisms, including economically important species like oysters. Working in Tomales Bay, CA, an estuary just north of San Francisco, I assisted with field experiments and data analysis that seek to better understand these complex changes. While the work wasn’t always glamorous (I measured thousands of oysters), I enjoyed helping with both lab work and data analysis. I even was able to help in presenting this project at two scientific conferences!

Hoping to complete my PhD at UC Davis, this experience gave me incredible networking opportunities. I was also able to reflect and grow as a person in my time there. Boating in 10 ft. swells, accidentally stabbing myself (instead of the oyster), and dealing with massive data sets tested my patience. However, I can proudly say that after returning, I believe my time out west further solidified my research and career goals. I will end this post with some unsolicited advice: the world is your oyster. Take a step outside of your comfort zone! You may just land a position working your dream job in one of the most beautiful places in the world.


Hireabuckeye…Buckeye, Hired!


By: Kayla Starlin, Agribusiness and Applied Economics | Logan, OH

Job searching can be tedious, long, tiring and stressful. That’s all multiplied when the search comes in the midst of classes, exams and extra-curriculars. But thanks to Ohio State and the career services that our college provides us, I was lucky enough not to worry about any of that. This is my final semester here at Ohio State, and I was blessed to spend the entirety of it knowing that I was employed upon my graduation. I’m ecstatic to say that I will be a sales trainee with AgReliant Genetics beginning in January, but that’s also attributable to the support from Hireabuckeye, my professors and mentors here in CFAES. Hireabuckeye helped to connect me with an internship that was the perfect fit for me. It’s thanks to that internship that made me insurmountably more attractive in the job market. I’m most certainly not the only one in my situation either, as several of my friends and classmates had secured jobs well before the second week of classes. Our college prides itself in our students’ hireability upon graduation, and they do so for great reason.

The Internship of a Lifetime


By: Rachel Fladung, Animal Sciences | Hamilton, OH

The summer of 2014 was a summer I will never forget, and I would not have had such a wonderful experience without The Ohio State University. I heard of an internship with Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital through a friend at OSU, which began this opportunity of a lifetime. After applying and being accepted as a summer intern, I began planning for a summer living in Ocala, Florida, working 80 hours a week with horses- life couldn’t be any better, and I was ready for the challenges ahead.

I love horses- I have been involved in riding and the horse industry for almost 16 years, yet I questioned if I was able to work with horses professionally while also having my own horse as a therapeutic escape. Luckily, I was able to not only work at an equine reproductive facility, I was also able to see my own horse throughout the week and continue riding. This gave me the ability to see if I would enjoy horses as a job and as a therapy, and I learned so much about myself throughout this journey.

May through August. 6 days a week. 80+ hour work weeks. Night Shifts. On calls. Stallions, Mares, Geldings, foals, people, clients, coworkers, best friends, amazing memories. This is how my life was, waking up at 5:30 am to clean stalls, restock barns, feed, hay, and water. Watching the sunrise every morning, feeling the hot summer heat and sweat of hard work, and being around the animals that I love most while learning new things every day is what made me love this summer so much. While working, we would sing current pop hits, dance in the barn aisles before moving pregnant mares down to the trailers there to pick them up, help with mare checks and stallion collections, and handle the newborn and older foals that needed to be halter trained. We would yell throughout the single wide extra long trailer that 8 girls shared together at 3 am because a baby was coming within the next few minutes from one of the mares; we then would wake up at 5:30 in the morning to our poptarts and yet another day at work. Our rewards were Thursday donuts and going to the beach on Sundays when we finished work early, along with the countless hours spent talking to each other, the veterinarians, and breeding specialists for whom we worked.

I learned so much from this reproduction center that I now have an interest in Reproductive Physiology, and can correlate what I am learning in class to what I saw this summer; I learned that having my own horse and working with horses professionally is perfect for me, and that I appreciate my own horse more in that atmosphere. Gaining mentors and friends that I still talk to, people I can rely on if I ever needed them, and an experience that pre-vet students almost never get was incredible, and I would have never known about it had it not been for Ohio State. I am so thankful for everything I gained from this summer, and an internship not only teaches you about what you want to do professionally, but about what type of person you are, how you work best, and how to be confident in what you know you can do well. This internship with Peterson & Smith Equine Reproduction Center was the best thing I have ever done, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Agriculture + Politics = A Perfect Internship


Peterson-1By: Sarah Peterson, Agribusiness and Applied Economic | Washington Court House, OH

As a senior in Agribusiness and Applied Economics, I have a different plan in mind for my degree. I am primarily interested in agricultural policy – representing farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses to our elected officials. With this career in mind, when I was looking for summer internships I decided to stray away from the norm and look for an agricultural policy internship in Washington D.C.

Searching for the type of internship I wanted was a challenge due to the different ways that Washington D.C and political organizations work. While the majority of people I knew had their internships tied down by December, due to the nature of the internship I was looking for, I was still applying for internships in January and February. However, all of my searching paid off when I landed an internship with the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.

As an intern on The Hill I gained a completely different perspective on the writing and implementation of agricultural policy. I had the opportunity to attend hearings, briefings and receptions on agricultural issues ranging from honeybees to crop insurance. I researched and tracked legislation, wrote memos and reports for staff members, made valuable connections and was able to enjoy living in our capital city while I was at it.

Washington D.C. is definitely an exciting place to live. Throughout my summer I was able to see all the sites, hit up some local favorites and even run into a few famous politicians!

One of my summer highlights was attending a Congressional baseball game in the Washington Nationals stadium. The Republicans in the legislature faced the Democrats in a game of baseball to raise money for charity. Another was going for dinner at a restaurant near where I was living and running into Senator Rand Paul!

All in all, interning in DC was a perfect segway between my major and the career I hope to have in agricultural policy after I graduate.

More than just a Summer Camp

SONY DSCBy: Carley Snider, Agriscience Education | Felicity, OH

When most people hear the words “summer camp,” they imagine campers swimming, making crafts, playing sports, etc. However, after spending my summer as a staffer at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum; I know the potential that summer camps have to be much more.

Having spent many days at this camp in years past, I felt fairly confident that my expectations for the summer were spot on. I knew I would be tasked with planning and executing activities, facilitating games, and assuring campers’ safety. However, my biggest job for the summer, and most impactful, was one I hadn’t quite planned.

Upon arriving to camp, my fellow staffers and I decided that we wanted to bring back an event that had been held at camp in the past, the “Hunger Banquet.” This would be a poverty simulation that would be held during a dinner at camp. Campers would be randomly placed into the low, middle, or high class and would be served a meal representing what that class eats for dinner in America. After some planning, I decided to take it upon myself to write a curriculum to make this event more than just a dinner. With help from the Ohio FFA state officers that attended camp, our “Hunger Banquet” became an entire presentation on poverty and hunger in America. As someone passionate about these issues, it was truly impactful to watch students have their minds and hearts opened to the issues happening around them. This summer, summer camp became more than just “fun in the sun” for the campers and myself. It became an opportunity to explore how we can benefit the world around us.