The 2020 Internship Program Provides Undergraduate Students with On-Farm Experience
The deadline for undergraduate students to apply for the 2020 On-Farm Internship program is October 31, 2019. The program is ideal for students who are interested in gaining hands-on experience in dairy production and exploring career opportunities in the dairy industry.
The Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP), Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, and Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania partner to support this program, which provides the next generation of dairy managers with 10- to 12-week on-farm internships at progressive dairy farms.
“I haven’t had much on-farm experience since I didn’t grow up on a farm. I do well in school, but the internship allowed me to gain marketable skills,” said George DeMers, a junior studying animal science at The Pennsylvania State University who completed an on-farm internship last summer. “It was good for me to learn how to think critically. It was nice to feel like I could do everyday tasks on the farm.”
To qualify for a 2020 internship, students must meet one of the following requirements:
- Attend a Pennsylvania university
- Be a Pennsylvania resident attending an out-of-state school
- Be a recently graduated Pennsylvania resident with an interest in dairy production
Students who are accepted into the internship program are paired with host farms and mentors that can help them achieve their career goals. Interns are also required to complete a research project that benefits their host farm’s operations.
“When the internship program started over 15 years ago, we saw the need to have students get out onto progressive dairy farms and apply the classroom skills they were acquiring. We also thought it would be a great way to enhance the labor pool for future employees we would need on our farms,” said Walt Moore of Walmoore Holsteins, a PDMP member and Dairy Excellence Foundation Board member who hosted an on-farm intern last summer. “Through the program, the interns infuse a sense of enthusiasm to their host farms, and they bring their own unique interests and skills as well.”
Participating students receive a $3,000 stipend in addition to compensation from their host farms. Preference is given to upperclassmen undergraduates.
Host farms that are accepted into the program benefit from working with skilled interns who are interested in dairy production. Farms may be located within or outside of Pennsylvania, but producers must agree to provide the intern with exposure to all aspects of a successful, progressive dairy operation.
Student applications are due by October 31, 2019, and host farm applications are due by December 31.