August 26, 2015

From Working on the Farm to Working for Farmers

By Samantha Schneider, Nebraska Corn Growers Association Intern.

Hey everyone! I’m Samantha Schneider, and I’ll be a senior this fall at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Agricultural Communications.  I grew up south of Cozad, Nebraska on the family farm where we raise corn, soybeans, popcorn and cattle.  This summer I decided to branch out, and I have an amazing internship with the Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) where I am the communications intern.

My first day as an intern, was the day Morgan and I started planning our big summer event, the 5th Annual Corn Grower Open.  Corn Grower Open was held at Meadowlark Hills Golf Course in Kearney, Nebraska on July 29th.  I enjoyed getting hands on experience planning an event that reached out to our local corn grower members and members of the agricultural industry as well.  During the Corn Grower Open, we held a silent auction. The proceeds went to support the Food Banks of Lincoln and Kearney. With the help from our sponsors and corn grower members, we were able to raise over $1,000 to donate. I enjoy working with an organization that likes to help people in need.
It was a beautiful day at Meadowlark Hills Golf Course for the 5th Annual Corn Grower Open.

Growing up on a farm you get used to working outside, luckily I got to spend plenty of hours outside promoting the use of American Ethanol.  The NeCGA has a summer tradition of traveling across Nebraska to promote Ethanol Night at the Races.  The first race was held on May 30th at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction. This was a great start to the summer! Morgan and I got to ride in the pace car and hold the American Ethanol flag to wave out the window.  The next race was on June 28th at I-80 Speedway near Greenwood.  Our next stop was at the Dawson County Raceway in Lexington on July 19th.  At both these races, the Biofuels Mobile Education Trailer and American Ethanol Show Car were in attendance.  It was fun to see people taking pictures with the show car and learning more about ethanol.  The last race was held at Beatrice Speedway on August 7th, it was kid’s night so we handed out corn and ethanol coloring books.  At each race we passed out promotional items and during intermission we asked trivia questions about ethanol to educate the crowd.
 Morgan and I getting a ride around the dirt track at Junction Motor Speedway in a Mustang!

I also had the opportunity to help with American Ethanol promotions at Kum and Go gas stations.  Every Thursday throughout the summer, customers could get E85 for 85 cents from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at the different stations in the Omaha metro area. This was a great opportunity to educate people about ethanol and about the current issues the industry is facing. We would encourage people to leave a comment to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has lowered the amount of corn based biofuel used to supply our nation’s renewable fuel, this could have a severe impact on our corn production next year. I was proud to promote ethanol this summer and encourage people to protect this industry. 
Austin Dillon's American Ethanol Show Car
I have had endless opportunities this summer to work with people in the industry I am passionate about.  Through this internship I have made connections and learned new skills that I wouldn’t have known or had otherwise.  I love being a part of an industry that is always changing allowing me to never stop learning. I look forward to continuing my internship with NeCGA through my senior year at the University. 

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