"Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering strongly recommends that its students obtain internship experience prior to graduating form college. In today's highly competitive job market, the benefit of work experience prior to graduation is extremely beneficial when landing that first job."
Dr. Van C. Kelley
Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Major: Agricultural Systems Technology (AST)
Minor: Precision Agriculture and Ag Business
Campus Activities: AST/ABE/PRAG Club
Precision Products Internship - RDO Equipment, Aberdeen SD
Why did you choose the ABE Department? Why did you choose your major?
I have always been interested and rather passionate about the Ag industry. I saw technology as an important element in the future of agriculture and wanted to pursue it. I chose AST for the same reason. Additionally, I wanted a major that would be interactive and challenging while still being able to have fun along the way.
What were your day-to-day responsibilities?
My day-to-day activities evolved around my summer project of organizing, ordering, updating, and installing new software and hardware for RDO's Rural Tower Networks as well as other various tasks with our precision team. I also got to experience a bit of the parts and sales side of their business.
What specific task or project stands out to you? Why?
Planter start-ups at the beginning of the year really stand out to me as a favorite time of my internship. I love seeing instantaneous progress. Working with section control and being able to see immediate improvement was exciting. My main summer project dealing with the Rural Tower Networks was a perfect fit as well. Being able to be part of the start and finish of a project and watching it develop with the work we put in was challenging, rewarding, and most definitely interesting.
What was the most challenging aspect of your internship?
The most challenging aspect was learning to roll with the punches of last minute issues that needed to be solved right away. At times, when we needed to troubleshoot the issues, as an immediate resolution wasn't always evident.
What did you enjoy most about your internship?
I really enjoyed the people I worked with and being able to go out in the field to interact with and help customers. Rarely being in the office was nice.
How did your experience in the ABE Department prepare you for your internship?
Having a variety of Ag technology classes that are hands-on set a good background for my internship.
How has your internship prepared you for a career?
It gave me excellent insight into what it potentially could look like being employed in this field, even in a similar capacity. Learning how to be part of a team on a professional level really has be looking forward to my future job. The people in the Ag industry are second to none.
Any advice for other students preparing for internships?
Find an internship in an industry and field you enjoy and it won't feel like work at all.
Where do our students intern?
Here are just a few examples:
Ag Horizons (Hutchinson, KS)
AGCO (Hesston, KS, and Jackson, MN)
AgSense (Huron, SD)
Bobcat Company (Litchfield, MN, and Bismarck, ND)
Cargill Animal Nutrition (New Richland, MN)
Case New Holland (Davenport, IA)
Caterpillar (Peoria, IL)
Coastal Tractor (Salinas, CA)
Farmer's Elevator (Larchwood, IA)
FarmRX, LLC (Jackson, MN)
Fowlerville Farm (Fowlerville, MI)
Gehl Company (Madison, SD)
Gooseneck Implement Company (Minot, ND)
Indian Health Services (Mobridge, SD)
John Deere (Waterloo, IA)
Minn-Dak Farmers Cooperative (Wahpeton, ND)
Pella Corporation (Sioux Center, IA)
Pigott Ag Services (Cleghorn, IA)
Pioneer (Mitchell, SD)
Raven Industries (Sioux Falls, SD)
SDSU Opportunities Farm (Lennox, SD)
South Dakota Soybean Processors (Volga, SD)
Summit Farms (Spring View, NE)
Swift and Company (St. James, MN)
Urethane Soy Systems (Volga, SD)
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (Preston, MN)
Wells Truss Manufacturing, Inc.
Western Co-op Transport Association (Montevideo, MN)