Two summer interns join Kansas Soybean
May 18 marks the first day of a summer internship for Shelby Berens and Sage Collins. Berens and Collins, both Kansas State University students, are scheduled to be with Kansas Soybean through mid-August. They have the opportunity to develop professional skills while working to promote soybean checkoff projects.
Berens, a Michigan native, recently wrapped up her junior year in the Agricultural Communications and Journalism program at K-State. Previously, she worked for Zeeland Farm Services and Kansas AgrAbility, and has studied abroad in Germany and Australia. Many of her summer responsibilities with Kansas Soybean will revolve around farmer communication projects.
“I am hoping to diversify my experiences this summer,” Berens says. “All the components of agriculture feed into one another, so I want to explore all aspects of agriculture.”
Collins, of Chanute, recently wrapped up her sophomore year in the Agricultural Economics program at K-State. She is also pursuing certificates in Global Food Systems and Nonprofit Studies, as well as minoring in Leadership. While at Kansas Soybean, she has the opportunity to promote industrial uses of soybeans and the soybean industry’s significance to stakeholders.
“My goal for the summer is to combine my passions of nonprofit work and agriculture,” Collins says. “That’s really the path I am hoping to take after K-State, to apply my nonprofit studies to agriculture.”
Jancey Hall, Director of Programs and Outreach, leads the interns as they complete projects during the summer. Along with the key projects on the task list, Hall plans to ensure Berens and Collins have opportunities for professional development.
“We strive to give our interns valuable projects that are at the core of our work here at Kansas Soybean,” Hall says. “We want Shelby and Sage to carry meaningful skills with them to their next professional opportunity after they depart at the end of the summer.”
The Kansas Soybean Association, headquartered in Topeka, is the voice and advocate on local, state, national and international issues of importance to Kansas’ 16,000 soybean farms. Founded in 1973, its advocacy efforts are made possible through the voluntary memberships of farmers and industry supporters. It also is the primary, administrative contractor to the Kansas Soybean Commission.
The Kansas Soybean Commission, established in 1977, includes nine volunteer farmer-commissioners who are elected by their peers. They oversee investments of the legislated “soybean checkoff” assessment in research, consumer information, market development, industry relations and farmer outreach to improve the profit opportunities for all Kansas soybean farmers.