The Maschhoffs: Investing in the Future of Agriculture

Front row: (from left) Erin Wagoner, Katyann Graham, Emily Johnson, Kara Schueler, Sami Buckert, Hannah Miller and Jessica Spurgin. Back row: (from left) Zach Rankin, Jason Graham, Dalton Whitten and Frederick Grohmann. ( The Maschhoffs )

The Maschhoffs recently welcomed nine interns as part of its 2019 summer internship program. To date, nearly 100 students have graduated from the program since it began in 2005.

"We are all well aware of how critical food security will be by 2050," says Erin Wagoner, associate director human resources at The Maschhoffs. "The Maschhoffs want to start making investments in the future of agriculture now, to ensure that young people today understand the projected outlook on the industry as well as the impact that it can have on building a lasting and sustainable career. We want to teach our youth the nobility of being protein supplier to our growing population. We also want to learn from them."

Each student is paired with a mentor in a specific area of The Maschhoffs’ business. Throughout the summer, the group will work on specific projects and challenges to the business.

“Our internship program gives students the opportunity to work on real-life situations that we encounter within our industry,” says Jessica Spurgin, senior recruiter for The Maschhoffs. “At the conclusion of the program, The Maschhoffs gains tremendous insight on how to move forward in tackling some of these challenges. The students leave with a significant body of work they can add to their portfolio. But, most importantly, they gain the confidence that they’re ready to tackle whatever challenges they’ll face as young professionals.”

Wagoner says they've had a number of interns return to The Maschhoffs full-time following graduation. They've also had a number of interns glean careers in the industry because of their internship experience.

"Not only do we offer them real-world experience, but also plenty of opportunities to network outside of our business," she adds.

The Maschhoffs' talent acquisition team has been educating young people through a multitude of youth organizations such as FFA, NJSA, high school ag programs, etc., on the opportunities that commercial production can provide. Wagoner says they've been building partnerships with university advisors to spread the message among undergraduate programs as well. 

"The interns are so full of excitement and energy," Wagoner says. "They are just starting to explore their futures and have so many great thoughts and ideas. It really is a lot of fun watching them expand their horizons and grow from this experience. I'm always sad to see them go at the end of the summer."

The 2019 interns have diverse backgrounds and come from multiple states:

Kara Schueler
•    Department: Production
•    Hometown: Coralville, IA
•    School: Purdue University

Emily Johnson
•    Department: Production
•    Hometown: Mustang, OK
•    School: Oklahoma State University

Hannah Miller
•    Department: Science and Technology
•    Hometown: Gresham, NE
•    School: Kansas State University

Sami Buckert
•    Department: IT
•    Hometown: Warsaw, IL
•    School: Western Illinois University

Frederick Grohmann
•    Department: Supply Chain
•    Hometown: Red Bud, IL
•    School: Southeast Missouri State University

Katyann Graham 
•    Department: Research
•    Hometown: Arcadia, OH
•    School: Iowa State University

Jason Graham
•    Department: Genetics
•    Hometown: Yucaipa, CA
•    School: North Carolina State University

Zach Rankin
•    Department: Windy Hill Meadows
•    Hometown: Camden, IL
•    School: Iowa State University

Dalton Whitten
•    Department: Technical Operations
•    Hometown: Vandalia, IL
•    School: Kaskaskia College

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