Internship Kickoff Event Excites Interns for Their Journey with Agtegra Cooperative

Jun 21, 2023


Agtegra Cooperative hosted its annual internship kickoff event on Thursday, May 18, at the Dakota Event Center in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The event marked the start of an educational and informative summer for 40 talented interns, representing 12 institutions across South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Indiana.

A warm welcome from McKenzie DuFresne, Talent Management Lead, set the tone for the day.

Beth Locken, Director of Safety and Environmental, then acquainted the interns with the cooperative’s safety policies and procedures, emphasizing safety as Agtegra's top priority.

Jane Kuhn, SVP of Human Resources and Communications, initiated an activity on personal branding and its importance in our highly competitive world.

The event continued with an empowering message from motivational speaker, South Dakota cattle rancher, western retailer and children’s book author, Amanda Radke. Her speech, titled, “The P’s’ Every Motivated Young Person Needs to Know,” encouraged the interns to chase their dreams while giving them the necessary tools they need to advocate for agriculture and carve out opportunities in the field of their choice.

The interns were also provided numerous opportunities to learn about different facets of the cooperative and engage with experienced professionals.

Jason Klootwyk, Chief Executive Officer, introduced the company’s policies and procedures while Mike Rizor, Chief Operating Officer, touched on operations management.

After lunch, the interns toured the Bath Innovation Center and gained a deeper understanding of Agtegra’s grain and agronomy divisions through presentations led by Travis Antonsen, SVP of Grain Marketing & Rail Logistics, and Brett Harrison, Director of Crop Protection. Another group of interns also toured the Grebner grain facility.

“It was fascinating to learn about the distances our [Agtegra’s] products travel and the global markets we [Agtegra] interact with,” says Madeline Orr, Human Resources Intern.

The day’s busy schedule also included question-and-answer sessions with panels of previous interns and the leadership team.

“I liked how the leadership team came and talked to the interns,” says Landon Hegg, Sales Agronomist Intern. “It shows that they care about us even though we are only here for a short period of time.”

The group of interns left the internship kickoff event excited for what is ahead as they embark on their journey with Agtegra Cooperative.

“The internship kickoff event gave me a better understanding of the main purpose of Agtegra and how a local cooperative provides many benefits not only to farmers, but the whole community,” says Jaden Anderson, Precision Ag Intern. “This summer, I am looking forward to working with local farmers and providing them with the support they need to further advance and improve their operations.”

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