After a whirlwind of complications postponed my spring host facility plans, I was lucky to complete my two days in June at Bocker-Ruff Grain in Polo, IL. My first day involved a brief tour of the facility, and shadowing Paul Behrends, the General Manager. I learned a great deal about buying grain, how grain is sold and transported via the railway, and a broad understanding of how their facility operates. On day two, I got the opportunity to learn more about the administrative side of their location, along with briefly operating the scale and probing trucks for grain samples. Upon the conclusion of my hosting, Paul and I engaged in a brief conversation about my summer plans. He offered me a part time summer job on the spot. I thoroughly enjoyed my time throughout the summer and got to do a little bit of everything. From operating the scales, grading grain, helping seal the trains, and clean up around the elevator, I was able to work part time before the beginning of my fall semester. This fall I plan to work during the harvest season, when time permits, and I am excited to continue working in the agriculture industry.
Since my journey began with the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois last summer, I have been blessed with numerous opportunities, as well as memories and connections to cherish forever. I want to thank everyone at the GFAI and all of their donors that have made these experiences available to me. I would finally like to wish everyone a safe and successful harvest. Hopefully one thing in 2020 can go right!