Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Michaela Turner- 2014 Beck's Superior Hybrids Production Intern

This summer, I lived in Atlanta, Indiana and worked for Beck's Hybrids Seed Company as a Production Intern. During the summer I worked very independently inspecting fields for top quality seed production.. I also worked with another intern conducting a project that we presented to the company on our last week.

The first week of my internship all the interns participated in Beck's On-Boarding program. During this we learned all about the company, and each department within the company. They took us on tours and introduced us to some of the top leaders within the company.

After On-Boarding,  I had some short training and was sent to my first field. I had my own truck and would travel to corn and soybean fields all over. In the beginning, I took stand counts and growth stages, identified weeds then monitored for bugs and diseases, eventually deficiencies and lastly took yield estimates. We recorded all of our information in an iPad Mini that would sync to our bosses computer. We would say what we saw, the pressure of the problem, and what we thought needed to be done. For instance one thing I might enter would be "Hemp Dogbane, medium patchy pressure, spray in 3-5 days."

During the summer, I also had to make sure that I made time to work on my summer project. Paige, another production intern, and I conducted pivot audits on 11 of Beck's pivots. We measured the amount of water each sprinkler was putting on using a catch can based test. Using the amount of water that we collected, we would then calculate the coefficient of uniformity. This simply gave each pivot a score on how uniform and efficient it was. We would then make graphs that identified where each pivot needed maintenance work. This project will help Beck's improve their pivot quality immensely. On our last week, we presented our project to the other interns and some of the leaders of the company. This was a great experience because I have never worked with irrigation before.

At this internship, I enjoyed learning about how the processes of seed production work. I also liked trying to identify problems in the fields and finding solutions to fix those problems. Most of all, it was the people that I got to work with that made such a great summer. This summer was a great learning experience. Internships help me identify where my skills and talents can best be utilized in the future when I look for a full time job. I would encourage everyone to get an internship each summer.

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