I think one of the coolest things about being a part of agriculture are the procedures and techniques I get to take part in or also known as getting dirty in agriculture. A lot of people do not get to or want to experience these types of entities of agriculture, they only get the end product. A lot of people do not realize how much goes on behind the scenes whether you are a crop farmer, dairy farmer, swine farmer, etc.
This summer I took on an internship with Birds Eye Foods as a Field Assistant, where I work under an amazing Agriculturist who covers the Dakota County area in Minnesota. Now in the beginning I was a little uncertain with taking on this internship, because being an Animal & Equine Science major with no background knowledge of plants I thought I wouldn’t be able to succeed. But, as the summer moved forward and the time that flew by I have learned so much on how many entities of agriculture the simplest little “dirty” things can have a huge effect on people.
To start out, Birds Eye Foods is a large frozen food company located out of Waseca, Minnesota with other facilities in different areas. My job as a Field Assistant is to take on tasks that are given to me and figure out how to efficiently finish these tasks in a timely manner. Some of these tasks were simple such as delivering seed to growers, looking at corn tassels, discuss the important things in a plants life such as rain, sun, temperature, etc. Others not so much. As soon as our pea and corn plants started to bloom, grow, and fill out, we begin to get dirty in agriculture by sampling fields. Sampling pea or corn fields are where you get up before sun, put on your “banana suit,” find four good spots in the field that will give you a good representative sample, and grab a burlap bag full of peas or corn and bring them back to a plant that has hundreds of other employees waiting for results on whether your pea or corn plants are ready to harvest so they can work to. Without getting dirty and sampling peas and corn, no one would know what is ready and what isn’t. For me to understand how a simple, dirty task can control how many people’s jobs IS CRAZY! This only one of the many small, behind the scenes tasks that a lot of people do not know about.
This internship has shown me what it is like to get down and dirty with the crops we love and how much goes on behind the scenes in agriculture. Agriculture will forever be that dirty fun job that the only way you are going to know how it works-is by being part of it.