Today is National Milk Day and we figured, what better day to highlight an internship done by agricultural communication senior Brianna Gwirtz with the American Dairy Association Mideast this past summer.
Go grab a glass of milk – your choice if you want to get chocolate or strawberry – and enjoy reading about her internship.
This past summer I had the opportunity to intern with the American Dairy Association Mideast. I have always loved animals and telling people about animal agriculture, so it was a great fit for me to do communication work to support the dairy industry and dairy farming. ADA Mideast represents dairy farmers in Ohio and in West Virginia and are based out of Columbus, Ohio.
My duties as an intern varied and were different every day, which was one of my favorite things about the internship! I did a little bit of everything, from designing print pieces, to writing blogs, to making social media graphics, creating advertisements and of course doing a lot of face-to-face communication work with folks at the Ohio State Fair.
Along the way, I did a lot more than just communication work too! I got to visit and tour dairy farms across the state of Ohio. Every Friday in June for Dairy Month we did a Facebook Live event from a dairy farm and focused on new topics at each farm. I learned so much about the dairy industry, since my background is actually in goats and beef cows.
I also got to go to Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio to meet dieticians and food influencers for a tour. I got to hear from experts on food waste, environmental care, and from livestock care about how dairy farmers are working to become sustainable. I also heard from nutritionists on the importance of dairy in the diet. I also got to go to the Village for their farm heritage days to talk to people about dairy.
One of the more non-traditional duties of my internship was replacing the walls and floors of the butter cow cooler at the state fair! It was a lot of hard work, but it was really neat to be able to walk past the butter cow display at the state fair and know that I contributed to such a popular attraction. I also got to help promote the butter cow sculpture by designing a post card and all the signs that were displayed in the cooler with the cow.
At the state fair, I got to meet hundreds of people and answer their questions about dairy cattle and dairy farming. I also got to witness the birth of some really adorable Guernsey calves! Working at the state fair and talking to people made me realize how lucky I am to have grown up with an agricultural background.
There were two large graphic designing projects that I worked on all summer that I make me really proud. One of them is a handout I did called Strong Bones for Kids. It felt really great to see the published handout and to know that it will be used by pediatricians and dieticians across Ohio. I also created a poster promoting school breakfasts. It is also really awesome to know that schools across Ohio and West Virginia will get to see my design work!
Overall, it was a really great internship and experience. The communication team at ADA Mideast are top notch and I learned so much from them. The people I got to meet along the way and the work I got to do was very fulfilling. I am a better agricultural communicator because I had the opportunity to intern with the American Dairy Association Mideast!