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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


Summer Internship Opportunities Give AEDE Students a Practical Understanding of the Agribusiness World

June 21, 2013

During the summer a number of AEDE’s Agribusiness and Applied Economics undergraduate students use the break in classes to fulfill the program’s internship requirement, gaining hands-on experience in their field of study. One student, Sierra Jepsen, is spending the summer of 2013 at Farm Credit Mid-America in Bellefontaine, Ohio, interning in the organization’s Financial Services department.

Jepsen, who is from Amanda, Ohio, will begin her sophomore year at Ohio State in the fall. She is president of the Ohio State Crops and Soils Club and is a member of the Saddle and Sirloin Club, the Agribusiness Club, and the Agricultural Systems Management Club. Jepsen will also serve as a student ambassador for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences for the 2013-2014 academic year.

While at Farm Credit Mid-America Jepsen is working with the organization’s staff and other interns on several initiatives. She is participating in the company’s "Meals to the Fields" program, which involves going to farms during the planting season to bring prepared lunches to clients. The project aims to connect Farm Credit Mid-America with their clients on an individual level and to acquaint the organization with the needs of the farmers by seeing their farm operations firsthand. 

Jepsen is also working on the development of a flowchart for the Financial Services division to track the progress of every loan in the office with the goal of locating inefficiencies in the organization’s loan approvals process. 

Additionally, she is monitoring walk-in business at the office, helping Farm Credit Mid-America to identify why most customers come into the office, if the office location is convenient for them, and if they prefer to do business in the office or on their own farm when a loan officer travels to them.

Lastly, the internship also has duties that allow her to have a lot of fun – with employees and other interns in the organization, she takes clients to Dayton Dragons baseball games.

When asked what she’s enjoyed most about the internship Jepsen reflected: “So far I have enjoyed the farm visits the most. I really love getting out and having that one-on-one time with the customers and getting to see how their farm operations function. The scale of production for farmers here in Union, Hardin and Logan counties is extremely different from what I see back home in Fairfield county, so it's been very interesting to see a different side of the industry.”

Jepsen enrolled in the Agribusiness and Applied Economics program at Ohio State due to an interest in the work of Farm Credit Mid-America: “I chose my major based off of my familiarity with the work of Farm Credit Mid-America and I knew that sooner or later I really wanted to intern with them. Who would have known that after just one year I would already have the internship that I had set my sights on?"

"The internship has been great – by already having hands-on experience in the field I have an advantage in really understanding what’s being taught in the classroom at Ohio State. I have also gotten the chance to jump right into the workplace and put what I have learned about economics and management to practical use. I know that I am using my summer to learn and further my career goals.”

June 21, 2013