ABE Internships: Walther Farms
Agricultural Operations Management student Kip Jedlicka worked as an assistant field manager during his internship with Walther Farms. This role involved three different aspects of potato production including lab duties, line and field duties, and agronomy duties.
Learn more about Kip’s experience at Walther Farms and why he recommends internships with the Q&A below:
What was your role during your internship?
I worked as an assistant field manager during my internship. This role involved three different aspects of the potato production including lab duties, line and field duties, and agronomy duties. In the lab I processed and fried raw grade samples per Frito Lay requirements which helped check for defects present in the potatoes which would then transfer into the potato chips. I was also responsible for communicating this information to the shipping manager, who would use the data to make better decisions about the field they were coming out of. The line and field duties included coordinating field trucks, monitoring quality, monitoring line performance, and collecting harvester loss/yield data. Finally, I worked with the lead agronomist to conduct stand counts, calculate approximate yield per field, understand moisture management better, scout for disease, do yield digs and collect research trial data.
What was your favorite part about completing this internship?
The best part for me was being able to work with the harvest crew they had. Every year they bring in contracted workers in the H-2A program from different countries and most of them only speak Spanish. I was able to improve some of my Spanish skills I already had and learn more about the language and the culture. Everyone was so friendly, and I walked away feeling like I had made some real connections with the guys.
What are the benefits of an internship?
The benefits of doing an internship are numerous. It allows you to make real industry contacts and develop relationships with those people while also learning real practical knowledge about something you can use your degree for. Doing an internship also helps your chances of being hired in general because of the experience and skills you now have after completing the internship.
Why would you recommend internships to other students?
I would recommend internships to other students because of the real-life knowledge and experience you will gain as well as the benefits of having worked in the industry before you graduate.