Anthony Brooks, who will graduate from West Virginia University in the fall with a degree in Agriculture and Extension Education, will spend the next 12 weeks working as an intern at GROWMARK FS in Milford. Anthony says that growing up on a farm in Milford made him familiar with the company and their commitment to their customers.
“I grew up in Milford but graduated from Sussex Central High School in 2012,” Mr. Brooks said. “I served for two years as a State FFA officer and, during that time, had the opportunity to learn more about the company and the work they do. Some of their employees told me about the internship position and suggested that I apply. While growing up on the farm, I liked the work and services they provide.” Mr. Brooks is also a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, a global agriculture fraternity, at his university. He is the son of Jackie Brooks of Milford.
During his internship, Mr. Brooks will help plant and gather data from corn and soybean test plots that provide information about different varieties to customers and sales representatives. In August, Mr. Brooks and 41 other interns will meet at GROWMARK, Inc. headquarters in Bloomington, Illinois to discuss their experiences and present a summary of their projects.
“Our internship program prepares students for real-world experiences in the workforce,” Amie Hasselbring, GROWMARK, Inc. University Relations Manager, said. “We provide them hands-on experience working on projects with professionals in their career field of interest. It also allows them to gain professional skills and gives them networking opportunities to prepare them for their future career.”
Mr. Brooks said the internship has allowed him to work at several different GROWMARK FS facilities to see how they operate. He said one of his challenges is understanding some of the terminology used.
“Not understanding some of the terminology used by employees when it comes to some of the products, weeds or pests we find in the field is difficult,” Mr. Brooks said. “However, its been a great opportunity to ask questions and gain that information first hand rather than from a textbook. One of the most rewarding aspects is visiting with the growers. I enjoy spending time on the farm and learning about the farmer and the history they have. They all have interesting backgrounds and I enjoy talking to them.”
Mr. Brooks says that he plans to become a high school agriculture educator and that his experiences through GROWMARK FS will allow him to link what he has learned in class to real world applications. He hopes that the experiences at GROWMARK FS will allow him to help his students make those same connections.
The internship program at GROWMARK, Inc. began in 1959 with three interns. Since that time, over 1,100 students have been involved in the program. The current program has students from 17 universities working at member cooperatives in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri and Ontario, Canada. They are also working at the company headquarters and various GROWMARK FS locations throughout the northeast. Mr. Brooks encourages anyone who hopes to enter the agricultural field to apply for the internship program through GROWMARK FS.
“Do it!” Mr. Brooks said. “Being able to gain hands on experiences and make connections is something that will last a lifetime. Doing an internship gives you the hands on opportunity to learn more than what you can in a lecture hall or classroom.”
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