Published on Friday, June 01, 2018
A few years ago, I can remember aimlessly scrolling through Facebook one day when I happened to notice a post that seemed a little different than others. Here was a post that was sharing a farmer’s story, something I hadn’t really seen before. After diving in a little deeper, I realized the core purpose of this page was to share the story of agriculture. Being a farm kid, I thought it was so neat that there was an entire group dedicated to sharing more about farmers. After finding Why I Farm on Facebook that day, I decided to look into the seed company that was behind it all. A company that, until then, I had only known for the field signs I saw in corn fields around my county. After that day though, Beck’s Hybrids became much more than just a seed company to me.
From then on, I watched as farm families from across the United States were highlighted. The facets of agriculture they brought to life were astounding; I was infatuated with these individuals and their stories. While they had their differences, there were certainly a few similarities. Running rampant through the veins of these families were the same qualities that I knew agriculture to be – passion, hard work and integrity.
You see, I’m a fan of farm families and farms with rich histories, mainly because I’m a product of one! I grew up on a fourth-generation grain farm in western Ohio, but my ancestors were farmers long before that, dating all the way back to when they first came to America from Germany. Growing up, I loved when my grandma and grandpa would share stories of our farm. As they spoke, I would envision the pictures of our farm throughout the years that hang in our office and try to imagine the farm like it was in the stories they told. As I listened to them passionately share our family’s history, there was always a common-core: production agriculture.
These photos, along with a few others, hang in the office on my family farm in western Ohio. The above photo is from the early 1970s and the bottom one is from 2010. It has been in my family since 1926!
As I grew older and progressed through my time in 4-H and FFA, I began to understand how fortunate I was to grow up with the experiences I did. I realized that not every child’s first memories are sitting on the armrest of a 40 series John Deere tractor “helping” their dad work ground, while actually pelting him with a million questions about life. I realized that most kids don’t learn to drive a tractor at 10 years old, let alone be trusted to operate it in the field that summer pulling a bale wagon. I realized that most teenagers’ summer breaks don’t start at dawn with a full day’s work and end, at the earliest, when the sun goes down. Most importantly though, I realized that not everyone grows up in production agriculture and gets to see first-hand how their food is produced like I was fortunate enough to.
When college rolled around, I knew there were two things I wanted to do with my life – work in agriculture and spread the message of how food is grown. Deep down though, I also knew that I wanted to snag an internship at the company that helped show me the importance of sharing agriculture’s story just a few years prior. So, fast-forward a few years and here I am! This fall I’ll be a senior at The Ohio State University majoring in Agricultural Communication. And this summer, I am working as the marketing intern for Beck’s at the headquarters in Atlanta, IN. When I applied for this internship last fall, it was a nerve wracking experience. Needless to say, when I got a phone call and was offered an internship in marketing, I couldn’t wait for summer to roll around.
These first two weeks have already been a whirlwind, but they have been a blast. Alongside 22 other interns from 10 schools, I have been fully immersed in the Beck’s culture and have built friendships along the way. And let me tell you – this place is remarkable! For the first five days we went through “onboarding” and were educated on everything about this company – from its rich history, to the specifics of seed processing and genetic research, to how they work with customers. We’ve been turned into Becknowledgists, or so we hope to be anyways.
Brent Minett, a seed advisor for Beck’s, teaching my fellow interns and I how to growth stage corn.
Beck’s Sales Consultant, Paul Compton, and the Director of Aviation, Jeff Hale, gave us a tour of Beck’s private hanger. Fun fact – 90% of the time the planes housed here are in the air, they’re filled with farmers!
While I’ve loved the opportunity to learn so much during the onboarding process, getting to know the people that work at this company has been my favorite part. There have been countless individuals who invested hours of their time in sharing their knowledge and allowing to ask us questions, or give us a tour of the different parts of the Atlanta facility. If these first few weeks are any indication in the type of summer we are going to have, we are in for a real treat.
It was evident from day one that the people who work at Beck’s are extremely passionate for not only what they do, but how they do it. “Treat customers how they want to be treated” is a quote we learned in the very beginning of our internship. The individuals that work here take that motto a step further and go above and beyond for customers, fellow employees and this company. Being surrounded by hard working individuals who believe in doing the right thing reminds me of growing up on my family’s farm. I was raised to value my faith, family, integrity and the farm. It’s amazing to see those same qualities in a company of over 600-full time employees. While the first two weeks have flown by, they’ve also proven that the seed company that impressed me a handful of years ago by sharing the story of agriculture is a company that I can’t wait to continue to learn from this summer.
Author: Michaela Kramer
Categories: Intern Avenue
6/3/2018 10:28 AM
What a great story Michaela. Glad you are where you want to be for this internship. Your friend Bob. Go Green.