First Cooperative Association

FCA News

Meet Agronomy Intern Levi Murphy


Levi Murphy from Cherokee, Iowa will be a junior this fall at Iowa State University.  

Q:  Tell a little bit of how you became interested and your experience in agriculture. 

A:  I’m not from a farm background but knew that I wanted to live around Northwest Iowa after I finish going to college.  I picked agriculture because it seemed like a good business to be involved with.  I am still unsure of what aspect of agriculture I want to get into – but enjoy the grain markets and sales have interested me, especially after being exposed to them thru this internship.  

Q:  What have been some of your experiences and responsibilities with this internship?

A:  I enjoyed getting to shadow the agronomists at the FCA Cleghorn location.  I was shown what to look for while crop scouting and got to do a little on my own.  I was able to shadow the grain merchandiser, Wayne Pingel for a few days.  I liked getting to see what he does and being able to ask questions to get a slight understanding of how the markets work.  I also enjoyed the intern training trips and learning the history of cooperative system, crop scouting, feed companies, and the tour of AGP’s facility in Sergeant Bluff.  

Q:  How would you describe your internship experience to another student? Why would you recommend this internship to another student?

A:  I would describe this internship as very good hands on experience of how a small-town cooperative operates.  I was treated with respect and given a lot of cool opportunities.  I also figured out there are some jobs I would enjoy when I complete my schooling and some jobs I would not enjoy!  I would highly recommend this internship to another student, especially someone who is unsure of what agricultural career they might want to pursue! 

Q:  What qualities does this internship require?

A:  You have to be able to communicate with different personality types and have a good sense of humor!  Most importantly – a willingness to work and the ability to get dirty!

Q:  Describe how your mentors or supervisor influenced your internship experience.

A:  I was fortunate to spend most of my internship with the Cleghorn location Agronomist.  He was a phenomenal teacher and made things understandable to me.  He helped me with my non-farm background to understand agriculture better.  I also got to work with the Cleghorn location manager, Greg Dreckman.  He is a great example of how to work hard and be involved as a manager.  

Q:  What is your favorite memory from your internship?

A:  Attending the Hubbard Feeds training event in Sioux Falls!  It was a wonderful learning event and I met many great people!

Q:  What have you learned during this internship and how will this benefit you in your future?

A:  “If you have the best interest of the customer in mind, you’ll end up just fine!”

I learned a lot about relating to customers and a lot about the importance of service in a company.  Price isn’t everything!  I think this will benefit me in my future by giving me good perspective about how to treat customers.  I learned that you have to start at the bottom if you want to be successful.  And don’t be afraid to ask questions!  Communication is important!