Summer of 2010, was just simply unbelievable. The Fred Stout Experience Award was a great learning and mediating opportunity for any college student wishing to pursue their life career in the dairy industry. Jersey Marketing Service, and the Fred Stout Committee made this life dream a reality for me.
My time during this experience was divided into three sections, farm visits, sales, and in the office at the American Jersey Cattle Association headquarters. First off, the sales were a huge highlight of this internship. I had the opportunity to work or assist with three different types. Public auction was one of these types. Within public auction, there were two types of sales that were apart of this internship. The Illinois Invitational Sale and the National Heifer Sale were these two different types of public auction. From both these sales, I learned about the “behind” the scenes work of setting up and preparing for a sale. The time and effort the sale crew puts in before is remarkable. One thing about the sale crews, they were very hardworking individuals. Private Treaty Sale was another type of sale; I had to opportunity in assisting with while in the office. This type is what I would call time consuming, but enjoyable to assist with. The last type of sale was a reduction sale. Even though working with the sale’s crews was quite an experience, I learned the most from this sale. I was lucky enough to be able to work from the beginning of this sale to almost the end. Dan Bauer, Jersey Marketing Service Manager, and I traveled to Tennessee to look through the herd, and pick and choose, and negotiate with the Gaby family. This gave me a huge outlook on how to work with the client and come up the plans for the sale. After returning from Tennessee to the office, I got to put my creativity to work with Kim Billman, editor of The Jersey Journal, to create the sale flyer which would be sent out to potential buyers. A lot of researching cow families was in this creation and was absolutely amazing to read through all the pedigrees. What a learning experience! Farm visits was another portion. This went hand in hand with sales. As majority of the farm visits were with potential clients. However, some of the herd visits were for appraising cattle. While in Illinois, I observed appraisal work on small Jersey farms, but in Oregon after the National Heifer Sale, I assisted with appraising of a large farm where the appraisal crew appraised over 900 head of Jerseys! Finally, work in the office at the American Jersey Cattle Association headquarters. I did various activities, from assisting with the mailings to creating sale advertisements; from researching cow families to researching health requirements. Duties in the office varied from day to day as in any office, but the office crew are wonderful people to work with and are very helpful.
The Fred Stout Award is a remarkable experience, I strongly recommend to any dairy enthusiast. The opportunity to travel, work with a great group of people, and work with a terrific breed is just spectacular. I meet several lifelong contacts on this summer journey, and learned many new things, that I hope I can carry along with me.
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