Senior, University of Kentucky
Marketing intern with Alltech
Based in Nicholasville, Kentucky
Q. In what area are you pursuing a degree?
I'm studying agriculture economics, with a minor in business as well as a minor in community leadership development.
Q. What is your agricultural background?
I was born and raised on a dairy farm in Bowling Green, Kentucky, that my grandfather started in the 1940s. We own a herd of registered Jerseys and are currently milking close to 50. Growing up, I fed baby calves and also milked every day, twice a day. In the year 2003, my family opened an agritourism operation on our farm called Chaney’s Dairy Barn where we sell our own milk and ice cream.
In addition to ice cream we also have a restaurant, play area, seasonal events, as well as school tours, through which we edcuated more than 7,000 kids. We work very hard to promote agriculture education. I have worked very closely with this venture and have found it to be a huge part and passion of my life.
Q. What previous internship positions have you held?
Last summer I worked for the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service where I worked in the Warren County office with Joanna Coles for an extension internship focusing mainly on agriculture and natural resources.
Q. What will your responsibilities be this summer?
It is said that what some companies do in months or years, Alltech accomplishes in days or weeks. This summer I will be responsible for assisting in the movement from a product focus to more of a species focus which will help us to better serve our customers. I will work very close with all ruminants and helping to give a farmers perspective to all of our marketing. I will also work with the Dairy Workers Program as well as assisting some salesman and specialist in the field to host dairy field days and educational outings.
Q. What do you hope to have learned by the end of your internship?
By the end of my internship, I hope to have gained a whole new perspective on the dairy industry. I have had the farmer perspective my entire life, and working for Alltech has already started to help me take a more global perspective that is outside of my rather small limited view in Warren County, Kentucky. I am able to see the dairy industry on the small family owned level, as well as the global interaction and the constantly changing face that is sometimes hard to follow and understand. By working for Alltech, I hope to gain the ability to help have an impact on the factors and outcomes of these changes.
Q. What intrigues you most about Alltech?
Alltech is extremely fast paced and extremely innovative. Pearse Lyons has built a company that values their employees and is at the forefront of the agriculture industry. This intrigues me as well as the fact that it is impossible to have an entire team of employees that are active or grew up in the agriculture industry. Even though this is the case with Alltech, each employee loves what they do and loves to learn about the animals they are working with. They take the necessary steps to ensure that the decisions they are making are practical for the farmers and feed mills they are selling to. Alltech employees and staff value the farmer.
Alltech is very active in many different aspects of agriculture, whether it be with yeast fermentation, algae, natural supplements for animals, symposiums and educational seminars, or even the upcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in September. Alltech has been active in all of them and has shown to accept nothing less than success.
Q. What can you do to make a meaningful impact during your internship?
During my internship, I hope to bring in a new perspective that can in some way benefit the way we sell our products to our feed mills and farmers. I hope that my dairy background and work ethic will bring a new light to the marketing department that will help each of us to accomplish our common goal.
Q. What do you think will be the most challenging aspect of your intern duties?
The equine industry has never been a strong point for me, and quite honestly I have never had a strong interest in the equine industry. The upcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games play a huge part in our day-to-day. It has taken some effort on my part to learn about the games and gain a better understanding of the impact that they will not only have on the city of Lexington and the state of Kentucky, but also the agricultural industries as a whole. Every day I learn something new about the upcoming Alltech games and every day I gain a new appreciation for what the games will do for our industry.
Q. What's your best story from the first day or week of your internship?
On one occasion I went with the Virginia sales representative, Megan Taylor, to do a workshop in western Kentucky for a group of farmers. We were going to dissect udders at this event and show the causes of mastitis so the farmers could hopefully make that connection between their management practices and the causes of mastitis. For some this may have been disgusting, but quite honestly I thought it was pretty spectacular; the farmers didn’t quite agree.
Despite the less-than-glamorous appearance and slightly foul smell, the day was extremely productive with producers asking lots of questions. The farmers took home a lot of knowledge and an unforgettable experience, as did I. After this day of hands-on education, I knew Alltech was a perfect fit for me.
Q. What do you hope to do after graduation?
Oh the million dollar question! After spending time with Alltech, I could definitely see this as a company I would love to work for as a career. The goals of this company, such as agriculture education, aid to farmers, along with being at the forefront of science and technology, it fits! If not Alltech, I would love to work with a company where I know I would have a direct influence on farmers and be a helping hand in these changing times.
As for long term, in addition to maybe just maybe being the future commissioner of agriculture, I will eventually play a role in my family’s business, whether it is as a partner with my siblings, opening new stores, or possibly even wholesale. I will at some point, in my unpredictable future, continue the legacy my parents have started.
Q. Why do you want to remain a part of the dairy industry?
Why would I want to remain part of an industry that most likely will never make me a millionaire, keep me up late at night and up early in the morning, and make me work a lot harder than any human should? It’s simple! Dairy farming is a way of life; it is something my family has been involved in for years and have made an honest living and honest life doing.
It is the way I want to raise my kids one day with the same work ethic, respect, and appreciation that my brothers and sisters and I were raised with. Not only that, but what is better than working with some of the best animals in the world, producing one of nature’s most nutritional and pure products, and being a part of the farmers that feed the world? We give America a reliable source of food that they can trust was produced by people that honestly love what they do and love and appreciate the animals they work with. You tell me what sounds better than that! PD