January 23, 2017

Nebraska Corn Board Internships from Lincoln to DC to Panama


Say the word “intern” and it may conjure up images of filing papers, taking out trash or making a coffee run for the staff. But an internship through the Nebraska Corn Board is about being engaged at a high level with some of the leading agricultural organizations in Nebraska, the nation and around the world.

“We want to help students gain a greater awareness of the scope of the industry and help them develop both personally and professionally,” said David Merrell, a St. Edward, Nebr. farmer and chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. “It’s about developing the next generation of leaders and advocates for agriculture.”

The Nebraska Corn Board has funded internships for more than 20 years. Currently, seven internships are supported including several with national/ international organizations that receive corn checkoff funds from Nebraska.

All intern positions are paid, and the Nebraska Corn Board provides a strong support system prior to and during the internships.

Colton Flower
“They conducted an intern orientation seminar before we left, which prepared us for our summer and gave us greater confidence,” said Colton Flower of Scottsbluff, Nebr., who worked at the National Corn Growers Association office in Washington, DC, during summer 2016. “They were a really great resource and we were in constant communication.”

Interns from Nebraska have proven themselves to be valuable contributors to the organizations for which they work. “We have really enjoyed our Nebraska interns. So often in DC, the quality of summer interns is hit and miss. All of the interns we have had from the Nebraska program have been outstanding people. They are smart. They are interested and they put in the effort to learn and benefit from their DC experience,” said Jon Doggett, executive vice president of the National Corn Growers Association.

Andrea Gurney
Andrea Gurney from Huntley, Wyo., is a senior ag business major at UNL who intends to pursue a law degree. In summer 2016, her internship took her to Panama City where she worked at the Western Hemisphere Regional Office of the U.S. Grains Council. “Working internationally had never really crossed my mind before,” she said. “But now I see opportunities that are very encouraging and exciting to consider.”

Kelsey Scheer
Kelsey Scheer of St. Paul, Nebr., worked for the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) in Denver. Kelsey’s background as a member of the UNL meat judging team gave her an edge in terms of both getting the internship and being up to speed when she arrived in Denver. “My work at USMEF helped me better understand the importance of the criteria we use in meat judging as it relates to market value around the world,” she said. “It completed the circle for me.”

Internships include:

  • Communications internship with the Nebraska Corn Board in Lincoln, Nebr. 
  • Communications internship with the Nebraska Corn Growers Association in Lincoln, Nebr. 
  • Marketing and Communications internship with the National Corn Growers Association in St. Louis, Mo. 
  • Public Policy internship with the National Corn Growers Association in Washington, DC
  • Promotion and international Relations internship with the u.s. Meat export Federation in Denver, Colo. 
  • International Relations internship with the US Grains Council in Washington, DC 
  • international Agricultural Relations internship with the US. Grains Council (international location)

The deadline to apply for Nebraska Corn Board internship programs is typically in mid- to late october each year. For information, visit nebraskacorn.gov or call the Nebraska Corn Board office at 402.471.2676.

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