By Lauren Stohlmann, NCGA Intern, St. Louis.
These last few weeks, as all others I’ve had this summer, held much more than 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. workdays. It held lessons, articles, research, pictures, meetings, more traveling and accomplishments. Oh and corn of course. There’s always corn.
Projects needed to be wrapped up, words needed to be typed, people needed to be interviewed and more preparation for traveling needed to be done. During this internship, I realized a new passion. Interviewing. And by golly if NCGA didn’t allow me to explore this newfound passion.
I was able to interview scientists, CEOs, farmers and racecar drivers. All different occupations, all tied to agriculture, more specifically corn! I’ve been lucky enough to explore written, audio and video interviews.
One of my favorite written interviews was with a young professor at the University of Illinois who has create a corn kernel sorting machine to separate kernels with aflatoxins from the non-aflatoxin kernels. He is a very brilliant, humble man with a lot of offer to growers and believe me, he’s excited for the future of corn. Feel free to find my blog here. Sorry. I had to share. I’m proud of it.
Through the brain of my coworker, I was able to create a podcast personality/blog website to share interviews that I conducted and I will be able to continue to utilize it for the rest of my ag-loving life!
It is called LoKationFarmland if anyone cares to take a look it up! Side note: my first name is Lauren and middle name is Kate. My friends call me by my first and middle name, Lauren Kate, quite often. LoKate became a nickname, I live on a farm, I study agriculture communications, hence LoKationFarmland.
Almost all of my completed podcasts were women in CommonGround, an amazing group of women who want to share their lives on the farm with the public who may or may not understand agriculture. All of these women are empowering, intelligent and deserve to be put in the spotlight for all they do. Therefore, I was more than happy to interview them.
I was able to attend Corn Congress in Washington DC at the end of July with hundreds of other corn growers and staff members. We gathered together in several different rooms according to the committees, had discussions and learned about what the next year had in store for corn growers across the nation. The meeting at the end of the week in a much larger ballroom, informed the entire group on what the committees discussed in their designated rooms, hosted a speaker, allowed for the members to elect members for other positions and to welcome the new president who will officially start in October.
My final hoorah was a weekend spent in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. We attended the NASCAR race at Pocono Raceway where I had the opportunity to be an official member of press! I had a nametag at a desk and everything. I felt quite important. I interviewed the CEO, Brandon Igdalsky, about Pocono Raceway’s green movement and I interviewed our driver, Austin Green, about his opinions and knowledge of ethanol.
This 22 year-old college girl was so excited about another portion of this trip. I was able to go to my supervisor and tell her I thought it’d be a good idea to have a Snapchat Geofilter at the NASCAR. She agreed so the picture you see here is me celebrating my Snapchat design being used by NASCAR fans who want to share their love of ethanol with their friends. Yay!
As the realization sets in that I’m not returning back to my second home, there’s quite a bit of bittersweet feelings going on. Here, I met people who supported me, taught me and helped me to develop into a different person this summer. I can’t thank the Nebraska Corn Growers enough for this opportunity and to the National Corn Growers Association for all that they have done for me over the past 11 weeks. Thanks a bushel NCGA. Sorry for being corny just then. Alright, now I’m done I promise.