July 29th is National Intern Day! The Department of Agriculture has 10 interns this summer, all working in various divisions. And they’ve been up to way more than just fetching coffee. Check out the exciting projects a few of our interns have been working on and the skills each of them has been developing.
Lilly Fox is a rising senior at Meredith College majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing with minors in French and Entrepreneurship. She is a Digital Marketing Intern with International Marketing. During her internship, she has managed International Marketing’s social media platforms and weekly Market Update emails, curated content and graphics for social media, and aided the Director of International Marketing with various projects. Her internship has allowed her to practice creating and implementing a cohesive social media style guide for International Marketing’s social media and has allowed her to improve her knowledge of Mailchimp and Canva.
Zannah Tyndall is a rising senior at N.C. State University majoring in Agricultural Business Management. She is a Legislative Intern working under Laura Killian, the NCDA Legislative Liaison. She has been working alongside Laura to craft and support agricultural legislation through the NC General Assembly. Her primary task has been meeting with stakeholders to understand the needs of the industry so that the legislature can better support the Department of Agriculture and our state’s agriculturalists. Zannah has learned a lot about how the General Assembly works with the agriculture industry, and has also become aware of the breadth of things that the NCDA&CS is involved in.
“I have learned that our General Assembly is quite fond of agriculture. Usually, topics such as healthcare and education take the headlines of the news; however, the representatives and senators at the General Assembly are willing to listen and learn, so that they can make more informed decisions about agriculture. I also have learned that the Department of Agriculture is extremely involved in many entities of North Carolina. A few examples, outside of day-to-day production agriculture, include consumer protection, the State Fair, and fuel standards.”
Christa Dutton is a rising sophomore at Wake Forest University majoring in Communication with minors in Entrepreneurship and Journalism. She is a Public Relations Intern working with the Department’s Public Affairs Division and State Fair PR team. During her internship she has written press releases that have been picked up by local media and has written blog posts for both the Department’s blog and the State Fair blog. Her blogs have included features on Century Farm owners, profiles of agriculture students and Department employees, and pieces on State Fair updates or news. She also helped develop an application for a brand-new program at the State Fair called Farm Family of the Day.
“By working in the NCDA Public Affairs office, I have learned about how PR teams strategically promote their organizations or event through mediums like blogs, local news, and social media. I have also learned so much about agriculture and have certainly developed a deeper appreciation for all those who work in our state agricultural industry. But not only did I learn so much and gain such valuable experience, but I also had a lot of fun! Everyone on the Public Affairs and State Fair teams is so kind and fun to work with!”
Taylor Peele is a rising sophomore at North Carolina A&T State University majoring in Food Science. She is working this summer as a technician with the Department. Her internship has involved repairing small mechanical equipment, preparing fields and facilities for upcoming seasons, working in tobacco plots to learn of their research goals, occulting pepper plots, harvesting fruits for research, and maintaining two pollinator plots. During her internship she has learned that the field of agriculture involves a lot of difficult work, however, that work is necessary for sustaining the population growth. She has also come to deeply appreciate the fact that food is the foundation of life and that, without it, people will not grow and prosper. She thinks her internship will prepare her for her future career because it has taught her the importance of food research and how food can be enhanced to help feed the growing population.
Emily Sartin is a rising senior at UNC Chapel Hill majoring in Media and Journalism and Global Studies with a minor in Hispanic Studies. During her internship, she has created video content for a variety of marketing programs and initiatives. She has filmed at NC farms, agribusinesses, breweries, wineries, and restaurants, as well as filmed interviews with Assistant Commissioner Sandy Stewart. Additionally, she has edited videos for outreach and social media and has collaborated with the Assistant Director of International Marketing for various projects. Her internship has been quite educational, teaching her lots about agriculture as well as teaching her brand-new skills.
“This internship has given me a crash course in North Carolina agriculture, and I have also learned to fly a drone!”
Amelia Denning is a rising junior at University of Mount Olive majoring in Environmental and Natural Resources with a minor in Biology. She is an Administrative Intern with the State Farmers Market. Her main project has been compiling a history of the State Farmers Market. To do this, she has been interviewing vendors to record any memories they recall about the farmers market throughout the years. She is also responsible for rent payments and ensuring brochures and pamphlets stay stocked at the display area in the market shoppe section. Her experience at the market has exposed her to the retail and business side of agriculture, and has given her invaluable skills that will benefit her no matter what her next job might be.
“I have learned about the history of the market and the important role the market plays in the community. I think the experience I have gained this summer will make me a more well-rounded candidate for future job opportunities. It has taught me skills such as persistence, communication, and networking that are important to any career I might possibly have.”
The Department is sad to see our summer interns go, but we are all excited to see what they will accomplish in the future!