Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hello all, I hope everyone’s summer was as great as mine! I was an agronomy sales and marketing intern with Helena Chemical Company out of Eastern Illinois. Helena is an ag retail supplier. They sell seed, fertilizer, chemicals and other crop protectant products. On top of that, Helena has a wide variety of proprietary products that are produced by Helena themselves.
This summer I did a little bit of everything. I rode with several different Helena salespeople each week for the entire summer. On those rides we would either be out on a customer complaint, checking fields to see if they were able to be sprayed, if the product we applied was working, and to talk to growers. This opened my eyes to the ag retail side and how dependent and trusting customers are to their salespeople. This summer I also did a fair share of scouting and tissue sampling. It was fun to apply what I learned the spring semester in my plant pathology and weed science classes to real life experiences when scouting.
Throughout the three months I worked for Helena I was given a project to create a Helena proprietary high yield soybean program. For this, I identified and worked with 2 growers on about 175 acres where we implemented a high yielding plan. This included two applications of 4 different Helena products that would help reduce stress, promote flowering, provide a nutritional, or was a plant growth regulator. These trails will be taken to yield in the fall to see any benefits that the application may have provided.

            Working for Helena was a great experience. I received a large amount of hands on training from the guys I worked with and from many different field days I attended. This internship allowed me to get a feel for many different pieces of the agriculture industry whether it was sales, agronomy, marketing, or custom application.

--Kathryn Graf

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