Ellie Strubhar: Topflight Grain
Hello! My name is Ellie Strubhar, and I’m from Bloomington, IL. Growing up around our family farm I developed a passion for agriculture. I’m a junior at the University of Illinois majoring in Agriculture and Consumer Economics with a concentration in Agribusiness Markets and Management. After courses like Ag Marketing, Commodity Futures and Options, and a past internship with Advance Trading, I’ve become excited for a future career in the grain industry. I’m thankful to have been selected as a recipient of the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois Industry Immersion Scholarship which gave me the opportunity to job-shadow at Topflight Grain this fall.
On my first day job shadowing, I was able to meet and learn a little bit about everyone in the office. I spent a lot of time talking with Merchandiser Jeremy Glauner. This was super interesting as Grain Merchandising is what I am hoping to pursue as a career. I also met with Derrick Bruhn, General Manager and learned about his background, the company background, and about the different Topflight locations. I met with Kelley Lawhorn as well who is a Grain Originator. Kelley was also a part of the Industry Immersion Tour. Although by the time I started job shadowing the busy season was almost over, I did get to see a few trucks come through the facilities.
Two of my favorite parts of job shadowing were getting to sit through a board meeting as well as getting to visit different Topflight elevators. I enjoyed the board meeting because I was able to hear and learn about some of the background details that go into a company that I hadn’t thought about or previously learned in class. Part of the board consisted of farmers which made it interesting to hear their opinions more from the production side. Daily I was at the Monticello elevator, but I was also able to see the Milmine, and Pierson facilities While at Milmine I was able to watch a train being loaded and see all of the different aspects of that. Pierson is currently undergoing a large renovation and I was able to see some of the newer parts as well as hear future development plans.
I am very grateful to have been chosen as a recipient of the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois Industry Immersion Scholarship as well as for the opportunity to job-shadow at Topflight Grain. It was a great application of the information I’ve learned in my classes, to the real world. I look forward to using everything I’ve learned at Topflight in my future courses, internships, and career.
Megan Hagemann: Bocker Ruff Grain
Hello, my name is Megan Hagemann, and I am from Forreston, IL. I am currently a junior at the University of Wisconsin Platteville with a major in Animal Science, and an emphasis in Livestock Nutrition. My interest in the agriculture industry stems from my involvement in showing livestock at a young age. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to gain greater insight into the grain and feed industry through the GFAI Summer Immersion Tour as well as my fall job shadow days at Bocker Ruff Grain in Polo, IL.
While at Bocker Ruff Grain, I was hosted by the General Manager, Paul Behrends. I observed the morning paperwork that is prepared by Donna Dyer. After completing this aspect at the elevator, I was able to have a greater in-depth discussion with Paul Behrends and Scott Roberts on buying and selling grain, futures, and the function of the railway. I then had the opportunity to observe the inbound and outbound scale and moisture testing. To conclude my job shadow at Bocker Ruff, I was given a tour of the dryer at the facility and the technology behind it.
I’m very grateful for the knowledge and opportunities I have been given through the GFAI and my time at Bocker Ruff Grain, and I am looking forward to the convention in February.
Grain & Feed Association of Illinois
3521 Hollis Dr.