People often talk about how an internship can change where you want your future to go, good or bad, and I can say that this summer’s opportunity has given me a firm direction of what I want to do in the best way possible. I want to start by saying thank you to everyone at BioZyme®, not only those who gave us this employment possibility, but those who educated us about the products, showed us the facilities, and made us feel welcome into a new position in uncharted territory. I grew up a user of Sure Champ® and VitaFerm® and to be a part of a company that creates great products, as well as surrounded by incredible employees, was something I looked forward to before stepping foot into the headquarters.
We started the internship off by arriving at the main office, taking in a history lesson from long time BioZyme employee Dennis Delaney. He educated us on where this company started, why it started and how far it has come. It was awesome to hear stories of the “good ole days,” and I felt lucky to get his insight on his official last day before retirement. We then talked about product line backgrounds and specifications of each product to be prepared to help consumers throughout the summer. To learn a much broader knowledge about each product, as well as diversified species lines, gave me and Sarah a chance to ask questions and feel comfortable with what we were going to be informing customers. Cody Jensen then showed us through the blending plant where products are mixed, packaged and shipped. The efficiency, cleanliness and organization of the plant blew me away. We also toured the Amaferm® fermentation plant. As a nutrition nerd, the details and seeing the actual tanks function was so cool and got me so excited to be promoting something that I have a passion for. We had the pleasure to spend the day with one of my role models, Shane Schaake, who is the ASM for the state of Kansas. He talked to us about salesmanship and shared with us what we need to be ready to answer questions, which made me feel way more comfortable with any unsure situations. Sales has been a part of my plans for a long time, but to have someone like Shane show me the ropes, tune in my skills and chat just made everything feel like a great time. Preparation for our Junior National tour was spent starting projects and filling the trailer to make sure we had everything to have the best booth, while also working on projects to create new product lines and concepts for the booth.
We set off for Indianapolis to the Exposition for one of the largest pigs shows in the country, and I was nervous. The swine industry is a little out of my comfort zone, and this was our first trip, but I was so impressed with the quality of stock and people. Talking to customers came easy and was a great transition for us to begin. We had a great weekend in Indy and now finishing out, I realized this was probably my favorite show of the summer. The drive to Chickasha, Oklahoma, may have been long, but we were excited to join everybody at the Maine and Chi Junior Nationals. We handed out t-shirts during registration, and it was a good feeling to see familiar faces and talk about products with everybody. Jake Warntjes, National Sales Manager, joined us for a day to talk about his experiences over the last couple weeks, as well as just talk livestock. I had the chance to talk with JD Rosman for an interview about what Sure Champ has done for the youth in agriculture. We traveled to Grand Island, Nebraska, for the Simmental Junior Nationals. This Junior national was one of the only that I had not ever attended, so I was excited to experience all of it. We had a blast interacting with the young people involved and speaking with parents about products to help their projects have a better opportunity in the show. We also did our Vita Charge/Sure Champ wrapped Beast blower giveaway at all the shows that we teamed up with Sullivan Supply on and it was so much fun to see the excitement from those who won!
Once we finished up, we headed to Kansas City for Hereford Junior National, which is my home. I grew up showing Herefords at the JNHE, and to be a part of the largest sponsorship of the show felt like a humbling experience and care that comes full circle really resonates. With a week off to rest up, catch up on all our stuff, and spend time with family, we all met in Abilene for the Inaugural Show Steer Junior National. Shane and Tonya Meier have led the industry in livestock shows and creating a family atmosphere that kids can enjoy. Being a part of that was such a great feeling for me to give back to those who gave so much to me.
Here we are, a month and a half later, finishing up the last week of our internship. It felt like it went by in the blink of an eye. Some of my favorite moments this summer were spent with the kiddos coming through our booth taking pictures or playing our games. I remember as a young exhibitor running through the Sure Champ booth, and to watch the future generation doing the same thing, grabbing towels and koozies, made me feel like I am doing what I am supposed to do. I want to thank our fearless leader Jessica Judge. She has been a family friend for long time, and after spending an entire summer with her, I can call her one of my mentors as well. Her drive and passion for this industry, along with her sociable personality makes it easy to want to be somewhat like her. Now as a friend, you cannot find a goofier, more entertaining person who kept us occupied even on the long road, and I want to thank her for making this one of the most memorable and life changing summers of my life.