CAFNR students gain industry involvement and knowledge through summer internships

Students throughout CAFNR participated in internships across the nation and many facets of the agricultural industry to prepare for their future careers.

Students talking to an employee at the Career Fair.
Students networked with over 100 employers at the CAFNR and Arts & Science career fair on October 4.

On October 4, CAFNR students will flood Brewer Fieldhouse to network with businesses looking for summer interns. Internships are a beneficial way to apply what students learn at Mizzou to real-world situations. Many CAFNR students completed internship in the summer of 2023. Learn more about some of their experiences outside of the classroom:

Abby Loesing
Abby Loesing in Washington, D.C., at a social with federal legislators hosted by National Corn Growers Association. Photo courtesy of Abby Loesing.

Abby Loesing
Sophomore, Agricultural Education, Communications, and Leadership with a minor in Agribusiness Management

Grower Services Intern, Missouri Corn Growers Association, Jefferson City, Missouri

Abby Loesing found her summer internship with the Missouri Corn Growers Association at the 2022 CAFNR Career Fair. While she wasn’t necessarily looking for an internship after her freshman year, the opportunity presented itself and was too good to pass up. She said that CAFNR’s staff and classes that cover professionalism and networking helped embolden her to attend the Career Fair.

“It can be kind of intimidating and kind of scary to attend the Career Fair, especially as a freshman,” said Loesing. “Attend even if you’re not looking for an internship. Keep an open mind, see what you might be interested in and start networking with those people.”

As the grower services intern, Loesing worked with members across the state, helped host Missouri Corn golf tournaments and attended Corn Congress in Washington, D.C., where she got to see how the ag industry works on the federal level.

“One big thing I took away is just how far connections go,” said Loesing. “It’s really cool how people from across the nation work together in the ag industry, like it’s one big family. And I got to build connections this summer that will help in my future career.”

Olivia Brune
Photo courtesy of Olivia Brune.

Olivia Brune
Senior, Agricultural Education, Communications, and Leadership with minors in Plant Science and Agribusiness Management

Grain merchandiser, ADM, Evansville, Indiana

As a grain merchandiser, Brune talked to farmers about markets and bought and sold grain for ADM. While she didn’t know much about the field when she applied for the position, she says her CAFNR education and willingness to learn help set her apart.

“Within CAFNR you have opportunities everywhere,” said Brune. “So I wasn’t just taking ag ed or ag comm classes, but also plant science classes. I have kind of dipped my toe into a lot of different courses in CAFNR, so I think they could tell I’d been exposed to things I was a little uncomfortable with before and so they knew I had the ability to learn on a curve.”

While Brune may not pursue grain merchandising post-grad, she was introduced to parts of ADM’s business and aspects of the job, like talking to farmers, that she would be interested in doing full time in a different role.

“Go talk to the people at the career fair that you don’t necessarily have your eyes on,” Brune said. “You never know what’s out there, so go in with an open mind because you never know what might land at your feet.”

Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards helps a child milk a cow at Foremost Dairy. Photo courtesy of Drew Edwards.

Drew Edwards,
Senior, Agriculture

Intern, Foremost Dairy, Columbia, Missouri

As an employee at Mizzou’s Foremost Dairy Research Farm, Drew Edwards got to apply practical knowledge he learned in his animal sciences and agriculture systems technology classes as practical farm management. From feeding calves and cleaning barns to forage production and machinery work, Edwards enjoyed the hands-on work, even when it was challenging.

“I’ve learned the importance of teamwork and setting one common goal for everyone to work with,” said Edwards. “There’s a lot you can do on a dairy farm by yourself, but it would take a lot longer and be a lot more strenuous. Being able to work with people is very important, since in agriculture work is so people-oriented.”

Sydney Stundebeck
Sydney Stundebeck scouting crops. Photo courtesy of Sydney Stundebeck.

Sydney Stundebeck
Junior, Agribusiness Management

Field Sales Intern, Channel Seed/Bayer, Algona, Iowa

As a field sales intern, Sydney Stundebeck conducted research and had discussions with farmers to aid Bayer in getting customer feedback on their products and programs. She scouted crop fields and built relationships with farmers and dealers, asking questions to ensure that Bayer continues to provide products and services that best serve their farmer customers. Stundebeck said she enjoyed the internship’s variety, and that this experience was extremely impactful as she begins to think about graduation next year.

“I could see myself in this role,” said Stundebeck. “I’ve even taken on a role locally this semester with a seed dealer in Ashland, Mo. I love building relationships with dealers and growers and could really see myself pursuing a career in ag sales.”

Naeemah Anderson
Photo courtesy of Naeemah Anderson.

Naeemah Anderson
Senior, Plant Sciences, emphasis in horticulture and floral design

Intern, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri

Naeemah Anderson had always wanted to work at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and this summer she finally got her chance. Out of 60 applicants, Anderson was selected as one of two interns, and believes the robust plant science and technology education she has received at Mizzou set her apart from the many other candidates.

Anderson got to work in every section of the Botanical Garden, both behind the scenes and with the public. She helped conduct seed research at the Shaw Nature Preserve, but also helped facilitate public visits to see the garden’s two corpse flowers bloom, both of which she helped repot at the beginning of her internship experience. This combined both her love of the science of plants and her desire to share her passion for plants with others.

“I learned that I don’t have to just stick to one thing,” said Anderson. “I like to work in both the greenhouse and outside, lab work and field work, and this taught me that I can do that and don’t just have to pick one.”

Emma Hurst
Photo courtesy of Emma Hurst Kipphut.

Emma Hurst Kipphut
Senior, Agriculture

Communications Intern, Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station, Columbia, Missouri

While she was based at the Central Missouri Research, Extension and Education Center (CM-REEC), Emma Hurst Kipphut got to travel to tell stories about the work CAFNR and MU Extension does all across Missouri.

Kipphut enjoyed the autonomy and creative freedom she received in the position, since MOAES had not had a social media or communications intern before. She built on her existing experience with photography, videography and social media communications, all while being supported and respected as a professional by her coworkers and supervisors.

“They really wanted to make sure they were helping me just as much as I was helping them,” Kipphut said.

To learn more about the CAFNR/Arts and Sciences career fair, visit Fall ’23 CAFNR/Arts & Science Career Fair – Mizzou Events Calendar (