Hometown Farmer - Morningside Externship Program

Hometown Farmer - Morningside Externship Program

You've heard of an internship in college, but what about an externship?

Find out how this extended, hands-on and on-the-job experience is helping students in Morningside's Ag program.

Ben Dreessen is still doing homework, sure but he's already got an agricultural job lined up after college.

"With the opportunity, hopefully, to work up to the sales agronomist position," said Dreessen.

This Morningside Senior just finished his externship, working a semester with New Cooperative Inc.

He kept busy doing crop scouting, helping agronomists, you name it.

"That was one of my goals going into it," said Dreessen. "To kind of learn how the company works, so I kind of got to do that."

Dr. Thomas Paulson says this experience, part of the Regina Roth Applied Agricultural and Food Studies Program, really works.

Students get a paid job with hands-on experience, at a real company.

They can find out if they'll love or hate what they're planning on doing the rest of their lives.

The externship is complimented by coursework, too, and it's hopefully helping ease a shortage of folks interested in feeding the world.

"A recent USDA study tells us we need about 59,000 graduates annually for the next five years," said Dr. Paulson. "We're graduating about 35 - 36,000 a year."

So with his job lined up, months before graduating, Ben can't say enough good things about his Morningside Externship.

"I learn by seeing and doing, not by listening," said Dreessen. "So that was cool for me to experience that."

If you think of a farmer that might be great on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at:

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