Over the past 10 weeks, I have interned in Farm Credit East’s Cortland, N.Y., office. Throughout the summer, I was presented with new challenges and experiences that I never expected. This internship not only challenged my existing experience with agriculture, but also provided me with many opportunities to try new things while growing in other areas of interest to me.
I had the opportunity to tour various agricultural operations, including vegetable farms, dairies, orchards, vineyards, cranberry bogs, meat processing facilities, produce auction barns and an oyster farm. I was also able to attend the Premier Apple Forum and the Western New York Fruit Grower Tour.
With each outing this summer, I learned that agriculture is more diverse than I had initially thought. Being from Central New York, I was only used to being around dairy and crop farms, so being able to see other types of agricultural operations, even within my immediate area, was a very eye-opening experience.
During these visits, the conversations led to connections with the customers. Each interaction that Farm Credit employees share with a customer is essential to growing the relationship. I quickly learned the integral role Farm Credit can play to help producers achieve their goals.
I asked one of my fellow interns, Alexis Brown who was interning in the Enfield, Conn., office, to share an experience that was new to her. Alexis said, “As someone who has grown up in the agriculture industry, Farm Credit East has broadened my perspective of the ways they serve different aspects of the industry.”
All the interns can agree that we were able to see new industries, and how Farm Credit East can serve all customers in a variety of ways.
When I was not on farm visits, I was able to complete my large summer project, while also squeezing in some smaller projects along the way. My large project consisted of collecting, centralizing and prioritizing various documents to make it easier for Farm Credit East staff to quickly find the information they need.
After expressing some of my interests to my mentors, including social media and content creation, they connected me with the people who work in those areas. I was able to use my free time to work on social media and blog posts (such as this one!) that are then shared on the Farm Credit East website and social accounts for everyone to see. Having the opportunity to work with the marketing communications team was a huge bonus for me!
This summer, I was able to expand my knowledge of agriculture beyond just dairy and crop farming. Learning about new industries has challenged me to think outside the box and use those customer interactions to broaden my horizons and my knowledge. I appreciated being able to go on trips with the other interns to places like Middleboro, Mass., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., to catch up and share new experiences together.
I will remember this summer as a one-of-a-kind experience. I had the opportunity to challenge myself, take on new experiences, make memories with my intern cohort, and take advantage of Farm Credit ‘s many career options.
The internship program is offered to college juniors each summer. During the experience, students have an inside look into Farm Credit East and shadow employees in various roles to learn about different career opportunities. Interns are recruited from college campuses across the Northeast. For more information on the Farm Credit East internship program, visit our Student Opportunities page.