This week I have begun working more on the Michigan GROWN Michigan GREAT restaurant award. It is a way to highlight Michigan’s restaurants who source food and beverages from local farms or breweries. I personally love this whole project. I think it is important to stay local and it contributes to our states economy and helps local family farms as well as 4h kids. I have received a few applications already and my next move is to contact a committee to judge applications.
There a lot of changes happening here at MDARD new directors are being appointed and people are moving up. I am meeting a lot of new people. It is a great way to network. I have been involved in team and division meetings and learning more and more about what everyone does here at MDARD. I am continuing with creating weekly repots and division updates.
I will soon begin helping with the planning of the great dairy adventure that is hosted at MSU livestock pavilion in July. I am excited to help with this even again this year.
This week marks my first full week of my internship and its been a fun and eventful week. I was able to meet the the rep on the west side of the state during a lunch meeting to go over the summer plans and what my project will entail. We discussed doing a few ride alongs together this summer as well as some meetings. I am interested to see what the fruit side of the industry is like since I have never dealt with those crops before. I had the opportunity to go on my first complaint call with my RMM up in Bay City, where a farmer had some issues with what he sprayed on his crops. I learned a lot on this complaint and I really enjoyed the way that my RMM interacted with the farmer and how she handled the situation. After that we had a meeting with CPS to go over our year to date sales and discuss how we can improve. That was my first sales meeting and it opened up my mind a little and made me understand that this sales role isn’t as intimidating as I have always thought it would be.
I was able to catch up on some office work and study more on the products that I will be working with during the summer. I had the opportunity to ride along the the tech rep for our region, where we took a trip up to Michigan Sugar to visit some of there sugar beet plots that I will be doing my project on this summer. I am excited to be able to collect my own data for myself to put toward a project of my own. I learned a lot during this week and I am excited to go on more sales calls and complaints to get the knowledge and understanding of how this industry works.
Toward the end of last week, I was assigned the task of updating all of our warehouse profiles. So my third week was pretty busy.
All of Meelunie’s warehouse profiles are stored on separate Excel documents. These profiles contain information regarding products that are shipped inbound and outbound. It’s important to keep these profiles updated as these are used when the company searches for new warehouses in the area. These profiles allow Meelunie to show potential prospects the types of products that will be stored in warehouses (which is also crucial because some warehouses don’t store food grade products).
Updating these profiles isn’t challenging work, but because there are twelve warehouses, the work can be pretty monotonous. Over the course of the past week I’ve become very experienced in Microsoft Dynamics AX – also known as DycoTrade. DycoTrade is a software that stores all of Meelunie’s inventory, both new and old, and is necessary in order to properly update the warehouse profiles.
On Thursday, my supervisor Chris sat me down and went over a cost analysis I performed last week. This cost analysis compared the repacking rates of one warehouse (Denver, CO) and another warehouse (Bell, CA). Repacking is essentially when a warehouse has to rewrap a pallet or pallets because of mishandling during transportation. Repacking can be expensive, especially when a company is paying for it by the pound. In short, my cost analysis proved that Meelunie could save over $3,000 by repacking in California as opposed to Colorado. This cost analysis also took into account the fact that the product was stored in Colorado, so the risk of transporting it to California came into play. I’m glad I was given this responsibility – it felt like a story problem on an exam, except the answer to the “exam” question actually had real world effects.
Finally, this week has taught me how often the logistics industry is changing. During our weekly meeting on Tuesday, one of my coworkers, Josh, brought up the fact that employees from the Canadian Pacific Railway – teamsters and electrical workers – were going on strike. This was bad news because Meelunie ships some of their products with this railroad company, so our department was frantically looking for new ways to get their products to their customers. Luckily, the strike ended Wednesday evening.
I’m starting to get more comfortable in my role as a logistics intern and I can attribute this to my wonderful colleagues – I’ve already started connecting with them on LinkedIn and adding some of them on Snapchat.
I am now able to do more since I have been with AAA for three weeks now. I can take payments, and I am also dealing with the rude lady that likes to stand over my shoulder to make sure I’m not doing my homework, even though I don’t have any customers. I think she just likes to pick on me because I am an intern, and she has nothing better to do.
I learned the program to take payments, now I am able to actually do something instead of telling the customers “sorry can you go to the next representative?”. I am also becoming more familiar with reading maps. I am becoming faster with making the customized maps, and faster at telling the customers directions, and attractions as well. Tuesday was really busy after the holiday, since we were closed for the weekend and Monday, and I liked it. I like moving at a fast pace, and I wasn’t bored at all. I wish everyday was like Tuesday, because I dread coming to work, because I am so bored and not allowed to do anything but sit and look at a screen with an AAA logo until someone comes in and I sign them in. I have to sneak and do homework for the three classes I’m taking this summer.
This internship is growing on me, since I am learning the ins-and-outs of how everything works around here. I am learning how to balance work and school work, to deal with rude co-workers that like to be petty because I am the temporary intern, learning the computer system, and more. I like doing the customized maps called TripTiks, because it takes a bit of time and it makes time go by a little faster when they want multiple stops.
This is my first week at Crop Production Services. During my first week at the company I had done several different tasks and have stayed very busy. When things were very busy and many farmers needed supplies I got to drive trucks. I had the opportunity to visit several farms with liquid or dry fertilizer deliveries. This is very interesting to me because I get to see the different kinds of farms and different styles of operation. When things were not busy I was asked to tag along with salesmen and agronomists. This is what I would like to do in the future so it gave me insight to what my future career may hold. I asked many questions and learned several techniques about dealing with customers. This completes my first week and I hope to continue learning about the industry.
My first week at Cargill has highlighted some things about the company and the industry as a whole. At Cargill we not only look out for the safety of our own employees but we also look out for those that are contractors, as well as our farm partners and other people in the industry as a whole. Every week we have a safety review and we have a form PJHA or Potential Job Hazard Analysis. This basically outlines any potential hazards that may be present. One thing I did bring up for our safety meeting was the grain elevator in Kalamazoo County that had tipped over. With it being Memorial Day over the weekend we also reminded contactors and employees alike, that we need to focus on today and not what’s going to be happening over the weekend. I think that these types of safety reminders are really what makes Cargill so safe.
Unfortunately my first two days the plant didn’t have power as we are in the middle of a multi million dollar renovation and expansion. The electric company, Ameren, was putting in a larger transformer and I spent much of the day doing site walkthroughs and PPE checks. Thankfully we did get power back for Friday. And I was able to really watch how the facility operates.
During the week I had more training as well. With the theme of safety, I was shown how to operate machinery, the proper safety checklists for inspections and a crash course in PPE or personal protective equipment. Also I was shown how to use the electronic elevator system which is very cool. Through the week it is important to make sure that the elevator is clean so that catastrophes like Westwego, Louisiana don’t happen again. Also after I was properly trained we began to clean out the 2.4 million bushel grain pile from last years harvest.
I am excited for the rest of the summer and cannot wait to start doing more jobs around the facility.
These beginning few weeks have been quite the learning experience. All of the bursts of rain have constantly changed the schedule for the dairy. We are trying to empty the manure pits and fertilize the fields while also waiting to plant corn and harvest alfalfa for haylage. In addition, rain in the orchard means that more scouting and spraying is needed to prevent fungus from growing on the new buds. I’ve been learning that timing is everything but reality can often get in the way of perfect planning. Rather than lamenting on the destruction of our plans my boss has shown me how to gracefully adapt to the changes in plans even if they aren’t ideal. We hope to start 1st cutting alfalfa at the end of this week-weather permitting!
As far as my duties, with all of this touch-and-go field work and orchard planning I’ve been doing many of the milkings and cow chores like cleaning barns, and I’ve been able to learn some new breeding program protocols. One of my duties as an intern this summer is analyzing the data of his recent change in reproductive health protocols to see if it is a successful plan the dairy should carry forward. I’ve also been working closely with fresh cows because this hot weather can be stressful on cows during this calving period. He cows health during these first few days determines how her entire lactation will perform, so it’s important that she gets all of the care possible. What I hope will happen over time is that I will be able to be trusted to manage these aspects of the dairy on my own so that the other employees can go do other things on the farm.
I just completed my third week at Co-Alliance and it has been very busy and will only get busier. My days have been filled with scouting corn, soybeans, and wheat along with scouting for weeds in no-till fields that have yet to be planted. I have been blending and delivering fertilizer for customers along with delivering chemicals and seed and picking up and delivering rented equipment to farmers.
My first week was a lot of learning including a two day training session with all other Co-Alliance interns to learn about how to use scouting apps and proper ways to interact with farmers. Once I began work I had to learn about the general operations at the plant. Since it has been wet most farmers in southwest Michigan are behind schedule, so there has not been a lot of fields to scout. In my first week I picked up seed boxes, checked a farmer’s unemerged soybean fields who thought he had Marestail (He did much to his dismay), and picked up fertilizer spreaders from customers who rented them from us.
In my second week, I did some more scouting to check how wet some customers fields were to see if it was possible to get a sprayer in for an herbicide application and not get stuck. But there was still not a lot of scouting to do so I learned how to run the liquid fertilizer and chemical barn.
This past week, I learned how to blend fertilizer and unload rail cars. I spent a lot of time at the plant by myself blending fertilizer and filling farmers in the liquid barn while everyone else was delivering product and spraying. I have learned a lot in my first three weeks and I am excited to see how much more I will learn.
This week I finished my third week at Crop Production Services.
My first week one of our sales reps took me out to a field to show me things I need to look at while out there. I also had an intern meeting where the other two interns at my location went to a meeting with some other local interns where they taught us more about using the scouting app and we go to meet some helpful people in our division.
My second week I did a lot of scouting and learned a lot more about agronomy topics as well as helping to plant our test plot where we plant different varieties of corn seed and soybean seed to compare them throughout the summer.
This week (my third week) We have had a lot of rain down here so the beginning of this week was very slow, but later in the week I started going out and spending all day scouting. This week I saw wheat, corn, soybeans, and cabbage. This was my first time scouting cabbage so one of our sales reps took me out to look at it and taught me a lot about what to look for.
Overall my summer is off to a great start. I have already learned so much and am sure that I will learn a lot more over the next couple of months. I have already made some great connections and can’t wait to see who else I will meet and what else I will learn.
My first week of my internship has been amazing. I did inventory for our office for the first and second week and it was really satisfying to improve the system. Luke (the other intern) and I were bagging tapioca starch for 2 days and the stuff gets everywhere, it looked like we were running a Columbian drug operation in the 80’s. So, besides pretending to be drug lords all week, it has actually been really interesting getting to understand the complexities of what our company does. I would say a lot of the stuff I am learning is brand new because I have not worked in anything similar to global agricultural commodities prior to this experience. At the end of last week I was asked to take on additional responsibility for the summer so after finishing up inventory this week I have started to work in our company system and Joe has taught me to do so much this week, registering samples, ordering and shipping samples, contact reviews to process for approval and everyone was been so overwhelming helpful in the process of me learning new roles for my internship that it honestly makes work so much better.
I love this job so much already, I think the people in this office just make the whole thing worth it. I enjoy getting up at 7:00 a.m. everyday to come to work and I don’t mind staying late. You can tell that they have carefully picked the people who work there to ensure that they are a good fit not just on their team but with other teams as well. Everyone likes to go out to lunch as a group usually a few times a week which I think is so great. The office has the best coffee machine ever in the history of coffee machines and Luke’s post about our office literally having all the snacks, IT HAS ALL THE SNACKS! However, I am not crazy about the red vines either.
Overall, I think it is going to be a summer filled with so much opportunity to learn, so I am excited for the rest of the summer!