May 26, 2017

A Bushel Of New Experiences

The Nebraska Corn Board’s (NCB) mission is to promote the value of corn by creating opportunities. I have seen nothing but opportunity in my internship so far. My days have been filled with a variety of tasks and my expectations have already been exceeded.

Hi! My name is Catherine Jones, and as the NBC’s Marketing and Communication intern, I have experienced quite a whirlwind.

The welcoming committee has been outstanding. The past interns, NCB staff and the Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) staff have been so encouraging and friendly throughout the whole process. Simply doing ordinary tasks with the right people can make them extraordinary tasks. This is experienced everyday of my internship. Working with these professionals has been outstanding. Let me share with you just a glimpse of my first few weeks.

I started my internship with training. By day two, I hit the ground running. The past intern traveled with me to Grand Island for the Groundwater Festival. We were there to teach the elementary students about corn and why water is so important to the industry. We taught the students about Nebraska corn. In the process, I was learning more and more about corn. I have always loved teaching, and this was a great first event to start off my internship!

On day three, I attended the Renewable Fuels Month proclamation with Gov. Pete Ricketts. This was the first event I attended, which would start the endless amount of networking opportunities I will experience over the next year. I met staff of the Nebraska Ethanol Board and learned the true importance of corn as a renewable fuel. As I continue my internship, I hope to be able to attend more events like this.

Press Conference with Gov. Ricketts discussing NAFTA 
Wow, talk about impressive. This was the first press conference I attended and it has set the bar high for ones in my future. I learned more about NAFTA and the corn industry all while participating in my first press conference. I was able to help capture footage of the press conference for the Nebraska Corn Board to use and I continued to learn about the corn industry. I grew up on a small acreage in Bellevue, Nebraska. I was extremely involved in 4-H and growing up in such an urban area, I thought I was very “ag literate.” However, after coming to UNL and meeting so many people from Western Nebraska, I learned that my 38-acre farm was a very small drop in the bucket. With this background, you can see why I am so thrilled to be learning more about a portion of the agricultural industry that is so important to Nebraska. At the press conference, I learned much more about the North American Free Trade Agreement, our partnership with Mexico and how important the two are to a sustainable future for Mexico consumers and Nebraska corn producers. Learning about what is happening in the industry and hearing from those involved has been a highlight, and I am sure it will continue to be. 

Ethanol Pump Promotion 
I was absolutely pumped for my first pump promotion! Even on a cold, rainy day I enjoyed my day at the Kum & Go in Gretna, Nebraska. I chose to be a communications major because I learned from my years in 4-H that I love face-to-face conversations about agriculture. I love visiting with people and informing them about modern agriculture. The Ethanol Pump Promotion was a day all about face-to-face communication. I spoke to many diffe
rent people about E15, E85 and ethanol in general. Seeing people get excited, or change their opinion, about this renewable fuel was so rewarding. Not only did I get to tell people about ethanol as a fuel choice, but again I also learned more about it myself.

“Other duties as assigned” 
My internship has included not only the events I discussed, but a few added extras. The only difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra. My past few weeks have been nothing but extra, and I hope the following year looks the same. On top of these activities I have also done a variety of social media posts, E-ag letter, crop progress and more.

Out of all of these tasks, I think my favorite experience has been sitting at my desk working on something, Kurtis walking by and saying, “Hey want to go to a meeting (or event).” Of course I say “yes,” and out the door we go. This is my favorite because each time I am able to experience something new. Each time, undoubtedly, I learn.

I am a Junior Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I could not picture myself studying anything else, anywhere else. I can say the same about my internship. Learning what I have in the classroom has been great, but learning what I have in this internship is that “little extra.” Each day there is a new take away or an experience that is bettering me. I am so fortunate to have this chance, and I look forward to running with it.

Catherine Jones
Marketing and Communications Intern
Nebraska Corn Board
301 Centennial Mall So.
Lincoln, NE 68509
Office: 402-471-2676

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