Spencer Friesen, a senior agribusiness major from Bradshaw, Nebraska, learned just how in-depth the process of seeding can be as he interned at a local branch of DuPont Pioneer near his hometown. He worked directly with farmers in seed dealing and scouting.
“The first week of my internship, I worked specifically with seed. Farmers would come into the shop, I’d find out what they needed and then load it for them. I enjoyed this part of my job because I felt like I was helping a community of farmers,” Friesen said.
The majority of his internship was learning about field scouting, where he checked and treated specific seeds that require extra handling.
“We examine the seeds in order to determine their health and confirm there are no insects or diseases found on the seeds. This process must be done thoroughly as there are many types of insects and diseases that could infect them. By scouting, we can ensure the best crops for our farmers and for the people and animals who may consume these products,” he said.
Spencer Friesen at CBA
Seed scouting has advanced with innovative technology like Precision Planting, which is used to determine the health of seeds and soil to provide the greatest crop yield.
“New technology can make seed scouting easier for farmers to find rich soil and make seed scouting a team effort between hands on scouting and the use of new technology,” he said. “Being knowledgeable in the use of Precision Planting software will give me a huge advantage in the job market. Utilizing this technology, we can really make a difference to ensure safe products for consumers.”
As an agribusiness major, Friesen takes both business classes that focus on decision making and leadership skills and agriculture classes that encompass both agricultural technology and production courses. One class that proved very useful to his internship was entomology.
“My supervisors at DuPont Pioneer were all impressed with what I had learned in class. I am extremely appreciative for all the knowledge and I am excited to start a new chapter in my life once I graduate,” he said.
Friesen believes his internship experience with learning the new technology in field scouting is invaluable.
“The best advice I could give to other students is to make sure you go out and get an internship. Even if it is in a field you don’t think you will like, you will definitely learn something and gain hands-on experience,” he said. “My internship taught me more than just about scouting. I learned from my coworkers about the culture of this industry and how to network and be successful in the agribusiness profession.”