Summer Interns Gain Valuable Experience in Dairy Industry

Former Intern Secures Full-time Job
July 14, 2008

Kansas City, Mo. - Ten college students are interning for Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. (DFA) and Dairylea Cooperative, Inc. this summer. They are working in five offices and dairy plants throughout the United States, and gaining experience in a variety of fields including communications, engineering, finance, marketing and public policy. DFA and Dairylea work in alliance to increase returns to dairy farmer members.

“DFA understands the value of internships and is pleased to offer these opportunities to the next generation of employees,” says Tom Camerlo, of Florence, Colo., chairman of DFA’s Board of Directors. “It’s a win-win situation for DFA and the students. Not only do interns help DFA with a variety of projects, but they gain real-world experience in the careers they are pursuing.”

One of the benefits of internships is the possibility of a full-time position. Tristan Myers from East Berlin, Pa., interned for DFA’s Mechanicsburg, Pa., plant as a human resource assistant earlier this year. He was hired full time as a human resource specialist after graduation from Central Pennsylvania College. In May, he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration management.

“I am thankful for DFA’s internship program,” says Tristan. “Not only was I able to see how my classroom experience applied in the real world, but when the opportunity for full-time work opened up, I already knew DFA was a company I wanted to work for.”

DFA’s summer interns include:

Justin Canty, from El Cajon, Calif., is interning as a project engineer at DFA’s Ventura, Calif., plant. Justin will graduate from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., in May 2010 with a degree in mechanical engineering. After graduation, Justin plans to attend graduate school to receive his master’s degree in engineering. Justin received the Scholar-Athlete Award from the University of the Pacific for swimming, as well as recognition from the Big West Conference for being a scholar-athlete.

Brittni Coursey, from Liberty, Mo., is DFA’s Dairy Food Products Public Relations and Communications intern in Kansas City, Mo. She will be a senior at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla., and majors in news and information. After graduation, she plans to work in a corporate communications office. Brittni is editor-in-chief of her university’s yearbook, on the Dean’s Honor Roll, and is a member of the university’s symphonic band. Brittni also interned in DFA’s Corporate Communications Department in January.

Sarah Jackson, from New Cambria, Mo., is DFA’s Corporate Communications intern in Kansas City, Mo. She will be a senior at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., and majors in agriculture journalism and minors in animal science. After graduation, she plans to serve the dairy industry in communications or journalism. Sarah is a member of Mizzou Collegiate 4-H, vice president of Mizzou Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow, and is a freelance writer for various agricultural magazines, including Hoard’s Dairyman.

Kathleen Noble, from Pavilion, N.Y., is interning as a dairy market analyst in Dairylea's office in Syracuse, N.Y. She will be a senior at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and majors in agribusiness and dairy management. After graduation, Kathleen plans to work for a dairy or agricultural organization, and is interested in both U.S. and international business. At Cornell, Kathleen is the chair of the College of Agriculture and Life and Sciences (CALS) Dean’s Student Advisory Council, a CALS Ambassador and a member of the Dairy Science Club.

Skylar Ryll, from Royalston, Mass., is DFA’s Public Policy-International Trade intern in Kansas City, Mo. She will be a junior at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and majors in animal science and minors in agribusiness. After graduation, she plans to work for an international milk marketing group before attending graduate school. Skylar is a member of the Cornell Dairy Science Club and the American Milking Shorthorn Society. She also serves as the academic development chair of Delta Delta Delta.

Chad Simon, from Houston, Texas, is a business intern for DFA’s Formulated Dairy Food Products in Springfield, Mo. He will be a senior at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo., and will graduate with a degree in business management, and plans to pursue a career in business. Chad is a member of Evangel’s men’s varsity basketball team.

Adam Specht, from Dover, Ohio, is a communications intern for DFA’s Mideast office in Fairlawn, Ohio. He will be a senior at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and majors in strategic communication and minors in English. After graduation, Adam plans to work in the public relations or advertising field. Adam’s family owns and operates Trealayne Holsteins, a DFA member farm that milks more than 70 registered Holsteins. Adam is a member of Alpha Tau Zeta, the Public Relations Student Society of America and the Buckeye Dairy Club.

Joshua Thomas, from Sacramento, Calif., is interning as a project manager at DFA’s Ventura, Calif., plant. He will graduate from the University of the Pacific in May 2010 with a degree in engineering management. After graduation he plans to attend graduate school. Joshua is a member of Theta Chi fraternity and participates in intramural sports.

Laura Van Erden, from Syracuse, N.Y., is interning as a financial analyst in Dairylea's office in Syracuse, N.Y. She will graduate from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Amherst, N.Y., in May 2010 with a bachelor of science and masters of business administration. After graduation, Laura plans to combine her business degree with her background in the dairy industry. Laura is the vice president of finance for Delta Sigma Pi and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Clayton Wood, from Littlestown, Pa., is interning in DFA’s Finance Department in Kansas City, Mo. He will be a senior at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and majors in animal science and agribusiness. After graduation, he plans to work in production agriculture, business consulting or agricultural finance. Clayton is a member of Alpha Gamma Rho, an agricultural fraternity, a National Holstein Association Distinguished Junior Member and a recipient of a DFA scholarship.