A favorite saying for my family is, “There’s no place like home.” Recently I have found myself looking for that hometown feel throughout my internship travels with Crop Production Services. Today, I finally found that feeling and I couldn’t have been happier.
This week I have been traveling all over the eastern side of the state. I have enjoyed meeting farmers, salesmen, and CPS farm center managers. But, most importantly, I have enjoyed being out in the field, down in the soil examining crops, and documenting the progress of fields where Dyna-Gro seed and LoveLand products are at work.
I’m not sure how many miles I have traveled this week but my company truck, which is not equipped with air conditioning, just hit 206,000 miles today. When I was first given the keys to this truck my fellow intern Amie Burke and I named it Sheila. We figured that a truck with that many miles, new tires and an RPM gauge stuck at “6” deserves a name. It’s a truck with lots of character, but it never fails to take us where we need to go. Sometimes I feel like Sheila just knows the way to all the CPS farm centers, we’ve only had to reference the map a few times.
Monday I was delighted to meet up with all of the eastern division interns as well as others at Monsanto in Monmouth, Il. I was amazed at the amount of knowledge I gained while in the field learning about diseases, chemicals, and growing stages. There is always something new to learn!
After a day of re-grouping in the office, Amie and I hit the road on Wednesday. We started our day in Melvin with another intern, Ella. She was collecting Nutriscription samples, which are sent to a lab in Indiana and returned two days later with results of various nutrient deficiencies. This helps the farmer make decisions about fertilizer usage and other applications. While in the Melvin area I also had the opportunity to collect video footage of sprayers in the field and pictures of a field where Matador, a LoveLand herbicide product was sprayed. This is a field I plan to document periodically throughout the summer.
The plan for the afternoon was to head south to Mays Station (Paris, IL) to video a farmer putting a corn plot in. However, while we were in route we had a phone call from Dan, the seed salesman. The plot was delayed to 7:00 p.m. because the farmer was still in the process of replanting wet areas. This was no problem for Amie and I though; we headed over to Paxton, Hoopeston, and Catlin and made the rounds at those CPS farm centers.
As evening came I called Dan, the salesman at Mays Station, to get directions to the field and he informed me that they were postponing planting the plot until 7:00 a.m. instead. After a day like Amie and I had, this was great news. After an extremely long day we were ready to be in the air conditioning. Rolling the windows down in the truck can only keep you so cool!
When 5:00 a.m. came on Thursday morning I was up checking the weather and talking to Dan about plot plans. By 5:45 Amie and I were on our way to the field and ready to document the planting of a Dyna-Gro seed plot.
Now this is where that hometown feel came. Upon pulling up at the plot Amie and I introduced ourselves to Dan and the farmer and I immediately had that feeling that I was at home helping on my own family’s farm. After leaving the plot I called my mom and said, “Mom, I am so happy! Today I met a Dick Gillen farmer (my step-father) and a Jim Missavage (our seed dealer).” She responded, “You mean they had the same names, that’s ironic.” I quickly said, “No mom, they were just that nice!”
It is so reassuring to know that no matter where I am this summer, I know that there will always be a nice farmer or a CPS employee in my travels who will brighten my day with a handshake, a smile, and a sparkle in their eye, just waiting to help me complete my task of communicating production agriculture and promoting what farmers are doing to make our world a better place.