Ashley Gemienhardt: Madison County office of Ohio State University Extension
Ashley Gemienhardt, an agriscience education student, completed her summer experience with the Madison County office of Ohio State University Extension in central Ohio. From Urbana, OH, Ashley is starting her third year at Ohio State ATI this fall. Agriscience Education encompasses many areas, including animal science, agronomy, engineering technology, and student teaching curriculum, just to name a few. With much of the coursework focused on becoming a high school educator, Ashley wanted a chance to explore the world of Extension education as well.
Since starting her internship, Ashley has been a part of the county’s 4-H camp, Master Gardener program, and Madison County Junior Fair. Specific to the fair, Ashley helped coordinate the junior fair Skillathon, quality assurance, and junior fair contests throughout that week. She completed much of this work alongside Madison County’s 4-H Educator Laura Dillon, and Amanda Douridas, Extension educator and lecturer at Ohio State ATI.
From this experience, Ashley improved her skills in organization, team building, verbal and written communication, and leadership. She is hopeful that the skills learned in Extension education will benefit her in future endeavors. Her piece of advice to students is, “Definitely get involved! By getting involved you can make friends to feel more at home. It can also provide some networking that may be helpful in the future.”
Cora Crilow: Ashland Soil & Water Conservation District
Agriscience Education student Cora Crilow is expanding her experience in the industry through an internship with Ashland Soil and Water Conservation District. From Millersburg, OH, Cora said “I grew up around agriculture but never worked closely with my local soil and water office, so I decided that this position would be a great opportunity to learn more about the conservation side of agriculture.” So far, she has experienced a bit of everything, though her most notable project is organizing the Rain Beat on Main Street event.
Rain Beat on Main Street is Ashland SWCD’s yearly event promoting stormwater conservation, where sponsored rain barrels are showcased in the towns around northeast Ohio’s Ashland County. These rain barrels, painted by community members and sponsored by local businesses, can be voted on and will be auctioned at the end of the event. Cora’s job was to organize for the summer, drum up support, and find both sponsor and artist for each barrel.
Cora also helped early in the summer with educational programs in local schools as well as with technical roles “out in the field.” This helped her build some face-to-face communication skills that were lost during COVID-19 and practice the skill in her community. Cora noted that she enjoyed the educational role but was also excited to be part of the on-site visits and “scout some giant log jams.”
Cora’s piece of advice for incoming students is, “Diversify your internships and experiences. In my past year at ATI, I’ve learned that employers want professionals with unique experience. Don’t limit yourself to one field or industry within agriculture. Most experience will work to your advantage while applying and interviewing for your ‘big kid job,’ so don’t be afraid to try new things!”
Second-year student Hailey Weisman, a horse production and management major at Ohio State ATI, is pursuing an out-of-state internship this year in Waxahachie, TX. Since her experience with horses began at smaller facilities, Hailey says she was looking forward to working for Cannon Quarter Horses—a performance horse training and breeding facility.
Cannon Quarter Horses specializes in cutting, reining, and reined cow horses. Hailey knew she would be able to learn new skills as well as build on the experience she already had working with horses. One notable project Hailey has been part of is learning how to complete a successful ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). ICSI is a technique derived from in-vitro fertilization (IVF), which allows for extremely selective genetic outcomes and guarantees initial fertilization.
So far, Hailey has gained in-depth experience in reproduction management, including ultrasound and palpation, embryo transfer, and pedigrees, as well as networking with industry professionals. She has also gained the soft skills necessary for general business management, including professionalism, organization, and “working smarter and harder at the same time since there is never a slow moment.”
Kalleigh Fry: Gerald Grain Center
Agribusiness major Kalleigh Fry is completing her internship this summer with Gerald Grain Center in Napoleon, OH. Kalleigh, from Archbold, OH, is serving Fulton County and surrounding areas as an agronomy and grain merchandising intern. Kalleigh said she chose this internship for its access to a side of the industry she is passionate about, through hands-on experience in grain, feed, and agronomy.
So far, Kalleigh has gained experience at the agronomy plant running scales for dry and liquid fertilizer, anhydrous ammonia, and the tender trucks for sprayers. She was excited for the opportunity to travel to all of Gerald Grain’s locations and see different sides of the industry that she can pursue post-graduation. Following her time at the current plant, Kalleigh says, “I will be transitioning to the grain locations with the start of wheat harvest to learn grain scales, grading, and the basic introduction of grain merchandising, as well as anything else that is offered to me!”
By the end of the internship, Kalleigh said she hopes to have gained skills relevant to this job, as well as in areas like customer and employee relations, problem solving, and personal/professional development. Though many interns would say their fails are the least favorite of their memories, Kalleigh said it was quite the opposite: “My favorite memory thus far in my internship would be my fails! The other employees and I always are able to laugh them off, and it is what I learn the most from. Other than that, each day brings something new to laugh about.”
Logan Moore: Kokosing Construction
Second-year construction systems management student Logan Moore completed his internship with Kokosing Construction this summer. For his experience, Logan worked on the Ohio Department of Transportation’s I-70, I-71, and State Route 315 interchange project, southwest of downtown Columbus, OH.
Logan, from Mount Vernon, OH, learned of this opportunity with Kokosing during a high school career fair. He saw this as a way to grow his leadership, communication, and management skills in his future career.
Logan’s first work assignment was grade checker, where he measured the elevation of excavation sites. He instructed dozer and excavator operators on where and how deep to dig. His second job was bridge crew, where he helped build formwork and pour concrete for the bridge. “Pouring the bridge at night is a whole other experience,” he explained, as the crew started placing the concrete at 8 p.m. and finished at 6 a.m.
He also had the chance to work with the pipe crew, which installs manhole structures and connects pipes for waterflow to the river. To do these jobs, he had to utilize trench boxes. These tools help to support sides of the trench to prevent it from caving during construction. Logan also used gas detectors for alerts of gases in the underground structures.
Logan’s piece of advice for anyone looking for their own internship is, “Get into something that is interesting to you and make the world of it.” He plans to work for Kokosing after graduating from the construction program at Ohio State ATI.
Jake Miller: Scioto Country Club
Scioto Country Club in Upper Arlington, OH, is a Top 100 golf course in the United States that maintains a strong connection with current students and alumni of Ohio State ATI. Second-year turfgrass management student Jake Miller, from Wooster, OH, is one of those connections working at Scioto this year for his internship. Jake described his experiences and learning opportunities as incredible so far—that waking up every day to go work on “one of the best golf courses” is special.
Scioto Country Club was appealing to Jake for several reasons, including paid, on-site living arrangements, the chance to work for a top 100 course, and, most importantly, he said, the experience and learning opportunity he has gained. Some of his tasks so far have been walk-mowing greens, watering, GPS spraying, and learning the course’s practices for maintaining a “pristine,” as Jake describes it, golf course.
Jake continues, “Being able to work for ATI alums and other Ohio State graduates is one of the main reasons I chose to accept this internship. There is a connection between Scioto Country Club and ATI students and graduates that makes interning here special.”
From this internship, he hopes to have gained managerial experience with crews of more than 30 people, and how to be more independent in both work and life. Jake said his favorite memory so far has been making friends with other interns, particularly those who are international or study-abroad students.
John Kirkwood: Colonial Golf Course
Second-year student John Kirkwood is currently interning with Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, TX. Originally from Galena, OH, John spent most of his high school years working at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, OH, which is where he first got started in the world of turfgrass. Currently a Horticultural Science student specializing in Turfgrass Science, John is working towards his associate degree at Ohio State ATI.
Colonial Golf Course presented a unique opportunity for its interns this summer, which entailed assisting with a 30-million-dollar course renovation. John said he is excited to be a part of the project, which includes the installation of new PrecisionAire hydronics and drainage systems within each of the greens. He is also interested in exploring the management of different climate grasses—Texas, in particular, utilizes all warm-season grasses.
John has also assisted in grounds maintenance for the Charles Schwab Challenge, which is a PGA-level tournament hosted by the course each year. For this tournament, he mowed greens and staged trailers for equipment transportation. On the business and management side, John has worked frequently with his superintendent to learn more about different management styles and how they oversee the grounds staff and interns. He is also grateful for the opportunity to work with Colonial’s director of agronomy for the added networking and professional connection.
John’s piece of advice to new students is, “Push yourself to see and learn more. Don’t settle for an opportunity that’s too comfortable. Get out-of-state and see what the industry has to offer.”
JT Richardson: Kokosing Construction
JT Richardson is a second-year Agricultural Systems Management student from Powell, Ohio. This summer, he is an intern with Kokosing Construction. For the position that he holds, JT is a mechanic for fleet vehicles that need repairs during construction projects. Some of his repairs have included replacing a water pump on a Chevy 3500, brakes on a large Kenworth truck, and a coolant line in a Kenworth Lube Truck.
During his internship, JT has been networking with other co-op students interning with Kokosing. “We are currently working on a Capstone project together,” he explained. “It’s great bouncing ideas off of each other as well as learning what job each other does for Kokosing.”
JT attended Kokosing’s 2023 co-op road rally, and toured the Upper Hocking WPCF Phase 2 Expansion, the Lancaster North Water Treatment Plant, and the L-H Battery Company, where LG Energy Solution and Honda Motor Co. have a joint venture to produce lithium-ion batteries exclusively for electric vehicles (EV) produced by Honda.
One of JT’s goals as an intern is to gain real, on-the-job experience. “I have learned to be more organized, especially with my tools,” he says. “If I am not organized and misplace a tool, that can cost me a lot of time.” He also says that teamwork has often been implemented to solve problems with diverse perspectives while on the job.
JT is planning to pursue a full-time position with Kokosing Construction in the future and sees many growth opportunities within the company.
Seth Gamble – ProVia
Second-year Construction Systems Management student, Seth Gamble, is completing his internship this summer with the ProVia company in Walnut Creek, OH. ProVia specializes in home exterior solutions, including door and window installation as well as roofing, siding, and stonework.
Seth currently completes warranty service repairs and replacements on homes and businesses, including ProVia facilities as well as some “high dollar homes.” From this internship he hopes to gain a greater understanding of ProVia’s products and services, as well as communication skills through all steps of the process – from homeowner to company, and from company to distributors and installers.
One unique aspect of this internship that Seth noted was how he came about this position. In his search for a summer internship, Seth sought out Provia, who then developed a position specifically for him. “I sought the company out myself and they created the position for me, making it a one-of-a-kind internship that no one has had before.” Seth chose this internship for a handful of reasons: it is relevant to the degree he is pursuing, and it pays fairly for a student internship. Most importantly, though, he chose ProVia because the values and purpose of the company align well with his own personal and professional goals.
Logan Pope: Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
Logan Pope, a second-year Animal Sciences major, has found her passion through her internship. Her experiences started during her first year at Ohio State ATI in a student position at CFAES Wooster’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. As a research-based assistant, Logan was pushed out of her comfort zone; however, she quickly learned that research would be something she loved doing.
Logan landed her internship by simply asking her professor, Dr. Chanhee Lee, if there were any opportunities that would allow her to stay at the Wooster Campus for the summer. He quickly came up with a project for her, which is primarily conducted through the Krauss Dairy Facility. Her current project involves in vitro testing where she collects rumen samples from dairy cattle, adds different feeds or treatments, incubates them, and then analyzes the samples over a 24-hour period.
During the spring semester, Logan had the opportunity to attend the Tri-State Dairy Nutrition Conference in Fort Wayne, IN, where she presented research from a graduate student project she assisted with. Logan is excited to share that she will be able to attend the conference next year to present her own research, which she is conducting during her summer internship. She also reports that through her internship, she is gaining many laboratory skills as well as presentation and cattle-handling skills.
So far Logan’s experience has been one full of learning and laughs. Her piece of advice to incoming and current students is, “Get into research if you have the opportunity! This was something that truly scared me when I started, and some things still do, but the knowledge I have gained is so worth it. Get out of your comfort zone, because if it scares you, it’s probably worth doing.”