Gaining Field Experience

Gaining Field Experience

When Lane Newlin accepted a summer agronomy internship with Farmers Grain Company, he wanted some exposure to agronomy. The Agronomy department wanted some extra help. The experience surpassed everyone’s expectations.

Lane, a senior at Oklahoma State University majoring in Plant and Soil Science, is from Burlington, Oklahoma. Raised on a 400 acre wheat farm, he is no stranger to agriculture. However through his internship, Lane said he got to do more than he expected.

“On a daily basis, I had the opportunity to do a variety of things like scouting fields with the senior agronomists and trusted advisors, delivering seed and chemicals, helping with equipment maintenance, following up on customer complaints, and taking soil and tissue samples,” he said. “I got to meet several of the producers and made a lot of connections. I really enjoyed seeing how everyone does things just a little differently.”

“I also helped the agronomists with the pre-harvest wheat count…we were a little off.” Lane laughs because everyone underestimated this year’s record wheat crop.

Lane enjoyed learning to operate the cooperative’s seed treatment facility located in Kremlin. “The new seed treater is pretty advanced,” he said. “Producers in this area are lucky to have access to a facility with new equipment and trained personnel that can accurately apply high quality products that will control insects and boost crop development.”

Agronomy Operations Manager Derek Thoms said Lane was good with the customers and a very hard worker. “I think he learned quite a bit,” Derek said. “We even asked him to scout a few fields by himself and make his own recommendations to our agronomists. He did a great job taking what he learned in the classroom at OSU and combining it with what he learned from us in the field.”

Farmers Grain’s General Manager Kent Prickett agrees. “It is really satisfying to see a young intern gain real life experience,” he said. “I am very proud of the small part our team plays in helping interns develop the knowledge and confidence needed to pursue a career in this industry.”

After graduation, Lane says he wants a career as a field agronomist, but who knows. “I really enjoyed meeting the company reps from DuPont, Monsanto and Bayer,” Lane said.

 Regardless where agronomy leads, Lane will end up in the middle of a field somewhere.

 “Field agronomists are in very high demand,” said Derek Thoms, “and from what I’ve seen, Lane is well on his way to being a good one.”