CAMDEN, Del. — Farm visits, content creation and local advocacy is how four students spent a summer vacation or two while gaining unique hands-on experiences through internships with the Delaware Farm Bureau.
Marketing Interns Hannah O’Hara of Milford, 2020, Kyle Spillane, 2021, of Harrington, Abby Edwards of Felton, marketing intern for 2021 and Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation intern for 2022, and Jaiden Cain, 2022, of Harrington, each worked hard to benefit agriculture in the First State and their own education as they learned effective advocacy techniques, understood diverse farming practices and brought fresh ideas to the organization.
“The marketing intern pertains more to the ‘promote Delaware agriculture’ portion of the mission statement. They go out and visit with members in an effort to encourage consumers to shop locally by visiting local farm stands and farmers markets in their area. They do a lot with connecting consumers to where they can purchase fresh and local products. They also help educate the public at various events, such as the Delaware State Fair,” Marketing Coordinator Mikayla Paul said.
O’Hara, the organization’s first intern, set the tone for the interns who would follow. She primarily promoted the Book Barn campaign, offered by DEFB’s Promotions and Education Committee, helping pivot the campaign’s direction during COVID-19. She went out and recorded Delaware Farm Bureau members reading the ag accurate books, included in the Book Barns, in their fields to promote ag literacy. These videos can be found on the Delaware Farm Bureau YouTube channel. She also worked to advance the organization’s digital presence, helping advocate for farmers and ranchers using modern technology. She now works as the Administrative Assistant and Premiums Manager at the Delaware State Fair.
She said the program was very effective in helping prepare her for the future. “The Delaware Farm Bureau offers an internship that is like no other. It will widen the horizons of any aspiring marketing professional. My knowledge of agriculture, technology, traditional marketing and social media have expanded immensely,” she previously told DEFB. “Meeting farmers and being personable is key for this organization and internship. While most programs have you design or promote from behind a desk, the Delaware Farm Bureau takes you throughout the state to farm stands, member farms and the Delaware State Fair. I highly recommend applying for this experience.”
Like O’Hara, other students who have made their way through the internship program at DEFB have found success, as well.
Spillane graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in marketing in 2022 and spent much of his time as an intern by working with digital designs, content creation and promoting the Livestock Survey. He now works as a Land Acquisition Analyst with K. Hovnanian Homes.
Edwards is gearing up to share her own experiences with the next generation as a teacher in the Milford School District when she graduates from Delaware State University this spring after studying agronomy and ag education. She led the “Our Delaware Farmer” campaign for DEFB for which the interns visited and interviewed many farms throughout the state to help share their stories directly with consumers through social media.
Cain is set to graduate from Virginia Tech this spring with a degree in Agribusiness and a minor in Dairy Science and is excited to bring her expertise to her own field – literally – at the family farm. During her internship, she worked on digital content creation. She also worked with the Foundation’s Mobile Ag Lab and advocated for Delaware farmers through outlets such as the Delaware State Fair.
“This internship solidified my decision that I want to pursue a career in agricultural marketing/communications. I am currently interning at the SOAR Foundation in communications and advocacy. What I learned in my internship with the Delaware Farm Bureau helped me secure this internship and be successful,” Cain said of her time with the statewide organization.
The Delaware Farm Bureau is currently accepting applications from students pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Marketing/Business or Agriculture for its 2023 summer internship program. Applications are due March 31. They can be found online at https://defb.org/contact-us/careers/.
–Jennifer Antonik, Delaware Farm Bureau