Every summer, Nebraska Corn Growers Association/Nebraska Corn Board sponsors two interns to work at the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) offices in Washington, D.C. and St. Louis. This year, the two interns selected were Lexi Bodlak and Hannah Roebke. With just two weeks left before their internships end, and on this National Intern Day, they share reflections on their time with NCGA.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to jump start my career in agricultural policy in the private sector with the National Corn Growers Association. Nebraska Corn Board staff saw something in me that I’m still not sure I see in myself, but I’m working on finding it. As I embrace the grey areas and major question marks with my next internship, I will tell my own story with just as much confidence as I do the agriculturists and professionals that I was fortunate enough to meet this summer,” said Bodlak. “I know you must be at least 25 years old to be a member of Congress, so that percentage of government officials with an agricultural background might stay the same for a few more years, but not for long. Rest assured, there is a whole generation of agricultural leaders like myself that are ready to make a difference in the lives of farmers and the rest of the country by putting pen to paper.”
Lexi and Hannah had the opportunity to work together during the summer, even though in different offices. The first was at the third annual Women and Mentor’s Retreat. Both interns also got to work together while attending Corn Congress in Washington, D.C. They both sat in on the Membership and Consumer Engagement Action Team (MCEAT) meeting and took over the Nebraska Corn social media pages for a couple days. Lobbying Nebraska congressmen on Capitol Hill as well as enjoying dinner with other Nebraska Corn members and staff were memorable highlights of the event.
“It was fun to connect with Lexi again and hear about her summer in D.C. while also expanding my leadership skills and connecting with other women in ag,” said Roebke. On one of the nights, Hannah and Lexi went to the Fall Out Boy Concert in St. Louis. It was a great opportunity to hang out and connect on a more personal level.
“When I applied for an internship with Nebraska Corn and NCGA last Fall, I honestly just wanted to give communications for a company a try. My previous internships have been at news stations working in broadcast news as well as with Husker athletics working with content creation and livestream video work, so I wanted to try corporate communications and see what that realm was like,” said Roebke. "Now as my time comes to an end, I can say that I am glad I gave corporate communications a chance. This past summer has been an amazing experience and has taught me so much. It has been nice to get exposure to social media content creation and management, farm video shoots, Corn Congress, and everything in between. I am thankful that I got to work with such a passionate group of people and continue to share the story of agriculture with consumers.”
Overall, this summer has been a great opportunity for both college students. Hannah and Lexi plan to stay in contact throughout the year and continue to advocate for agriculture. They thank Nebraska Corn and NCGA for this opportunity.