TOPEKA, Kan. — By 2030, the baby boomer generation will all be retirement eligible. This will open opportunities in agriculture for the next generations to move into leadership positions. In preparation, the Kansas Cooperative Council (KCC), is supporting younger generations and introducing them to the possibilities within the cooperative network.
On May 20, 2019, thirty-five college interns traveled from across Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Illinois to learn about the cooperative business structure, patronage and how to get the most from their internship. KCC partnered with Arthur Capper Cooperative Center Director, Brian Briggeman, to deliver the training. In addition, Mitch Williams, President and CEO of KFSA Insurance Agency, shared leadership insights and how to make the most of an internship experience.
Allayna Hanson, Summer Intern with MKC, enjoyed the program and said she was “excited to take what I learned here and apply it to my internship this summer. I am really excited about working with farmers and understanding why co-ops are important to them.”
The interns will be participating in programs at Kansas based cooperatives and will spend their summer learning about agronomy, sales, communications and even information technology. Many people don’t realize the numerous career opportunities that are available in cooperative businesses.
“We value our intern program here at Jackson Farmers. Through this program we strive to provide hands on experience to the young people who become part of our team. In return we get the benefit of their fresh ideas, and hopefully, down the road, a new permanent member of our team,” says Doug Biswell, President and CEO of Jackson Farmers Inc., Holton, KS.
The students value the experience as well. It gives them an opportunity to explore different career options and see cooperative career paths up close. “I am really looking forward to gaining management skills through this opportunity,” says Tom Harmon, Summer Intern with Skyland Grain LLC.
The KCC is a voluntary trade association representing all forms of cooperatively structured business in Kansas. The mission of the KCC is to promote, support and advance the interests, business success and understanding of agricultural, utility, credit and consumer cooperatives and their members through legislation and regulatory efforts, education, and public relations. To learn more about the KCC, please visit the website at www.kansasco-op.coop.
— Kansas Cooperative Council
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