Well when you are driving down 96 going east and you see the big cement silos near the M-52 exit, that’s us. We do many things there, and storing grain is the main objective. We take in grain (corn, soybeans, and wheat) from customer (farmers) and store it until we sell it. We are very fortunate to have an ideal location that gives us access to rail, trucking, and we are near our Toledo office that does a lot of exporting. We like to store grain until we get enough to load a train and ship it to the Southeast. Most of our grain goes to the southeast to be used for feed in cattle, hogs, or chickens. We like to use rail because it is the cheapest form of transportation and offers us the highest return.
Well a lot of people don’t know exactly what it is commodity merchandisers do, so let me tell you. As an intern I make sure I am always the first to show up at the office. I make sure the recording is off, and I have all my necessary web applications up. We always have our MarketQ, which is our futures market prices, and our AGRIS, which is the application we use to write contracts, up. I do market research in the morning and make sure I have a good feel for what is going on in the market today and why. After I do my market research I write a Daily Commentary. A commentary is an outline of new research or data that explains what the market is doing or what it could do. This gives me a great feel for what to tell the customers when they call in. After I have my research done and I am ready to go, I start fielding calls from farmers and giving them bids on their grain. They call looking to contract by the bushel on what we will pay them per bushel.
There ya go, now you have an idea, without getting too in-depth, about what a commodity merchandiser does!
At the start of my internship with ADM I was very overwhelmed. I am a city boy in a world of farmers and it was very hard to adjust. It was especially hard because ADM cancelled our 1 week orientation at the headquarters in Decatur, Illinois. Coming into the internship I had no real background knowledge of farming or the CBOT futures market. It was tough because my job consisted of answering the phones and talking with farmers about their crops and give them market updates. It was difficult to give them the best market updates at the beginning because I didn’t full understand what it was they were looking for out of me.
Well I had to quickly learn and the best way I learned was through answering the phones, reading market commentary, and just having conversations with them while asking them about farming. A lot of them understood that I was new and didn’t get it right away so they were patient with me. However some of them were looking to take advantage of the new guy to benefit themselves. It was tough but I really enjoyed my day to day conversatiosn with these guys.
The past couple of months I have been USDA’s Michigan point of contact and lead for the Feds Feed Families food drive. This is a yearly effort by the federal government and the USDA to collect fresh foods and non-perishables to donate to local food banks. The Michigan state office, where I work, has chosen the Mid-Michigan Food Bank for our donations; area offices across the state have chosen local food pantries to donate their collections.
To keep employees motivated for the three-month drive I established goals and sent frequent emails notifying them of our progress and highlighted notable accomplishments. Collection efforts as a whole have been significantly down across the USDA and my office as well—kind of a bummer. I hope as we come into the final stretch people will make a push to donate items they previously thought about but had held off on.
I cannot believe the summer is already over and I am finishing up with school. My time at Dan Henry Distributing has helped me in many ways. I have furthered my communication and networking skills. The experiences I have had here have helped me put to use the things I have learned during my time at Michigan State along with new things. At this point in my life it is about building my resume to help further my career within the beverage industry. I interviewed with a winery earlier this week and was able to use my experiences at Dan Henry to justify why I would be a great fit for the position. I would not have gained this distribution knowledge anywhere else while fitting into my summer schedule. This has been a great opportunity and I am excited about my future.
It’s hard to believe that school is only a couple of weeks away. My internship experience has kept me busy and made this summer fly by. I have learned so much this summer, stuff that you can’t learn in the classroom like social interaction skills and other hand on stuff. I would recommend every student to take an internship opportunity, they are a great way to enhance your career skills and its a great resume builder. I would also highly recommend interning with Winfield which is the company I am currently interning with. They treat their interns very well and there is many perks to go with the internship also. I would love to intern with Winfield again next year and try a different position to get a new fresh experience. Until then I will focus hard on my studies this school year and try to apply what I learned this summer to the classroom.
I spent last summer in Napa interning at a winery. There, I learned the different steps that goes into making wine. While working there I realized how much work truly does go into making a bottle of wine and that no bottle is exactly the same.
While I was working on my research project I found similarities between craft breweries and wineries. Both undergo crushing, fermentation, filtering and aging. Just like wine, craft beer is made with care and can be paired to compliment any meal. Essentially craft beer brewers are revitalizing how we think of beer.
I found this article interesting because it talks about how in South Africa, a place where many fine wines come from is actually putting craft beer on their wine lists. The article explains how during this woman’s trip to South Africa she was able to sit down and do a tasting of beer which is becoming more common all over the world. It was interesting to me that in other parts of the world craft breweries are becoming very successful as well, not just here in the United States.
Last week I represented EMG at the Helena Golf Outing at Kimberly Oaks. Helena puts this outing on for all of the customers and my boss knew I enjoyed golf so he sent me. I was a fun day because I met a lot of new people and got to play one of my favorite sports. When the day was over, I got a prize for being closest to the hole on a shot and was able to meet many new fun people. Golf outings are great way to meet people and you never know where it could lead, I plan on doing as many golf outings as I am able.
My intern project has been executed. I am now in the process of pulling sales results to complete my presentation. Friday is presentation day and I am excited! I hope they are impressed with my efforts. The sales rep and I created the idea for my project with something that had never been done before within the company. Much credit is given to the sales rep I worked with for always maintaining a great relationship with the stores. This allowed us to have a lot of flexibility when planning the project. We create the buy 2 Red Baron get a 1.75 gallon free of Country Fresh by speaking with the owner (buyer) and store director of the store. This ad was such a success that the store would like to run the ad again in September. Another larger grocery chain would also like to implement this ad. The project has been a great success!