Hello! My name is Jaycie VanKampen, and I am a junior at the University of Illinois, studying Agricultural and Consumer Economics with a focus in business markets and management. I am from a very small town in Northwest Illinois, called Thomson. Coming from such a rural area (with a town population of 524 people), I have always had a love for agriculture. My passion for the grain industry started when I began working for Consolidated Grain and Barge 2 years ago as a freshman in college.
After being paired with CGB for my job shadow, I was able to travel and work for two new facilities within the company. I spent some time working for Nick in Albany, and some time working for Hoyt in Homer. These were both new places for me, and I enjoyed every minute spent at each facility. In Homer, I was able to work at a facility that had lots of storage and loaded trains that were then sent to Decatur. I was also able to spend some time in the office, learning about farm accounts and merchandising. While in Albany, I was at a facility along the river that loaded barges. There I was able to observe how barges were loaded and the flow path of commodity storage. Though both facilities are grain elevators, the operations of train loading and barge loading are very different from each other.
My job shadow experience was unique, and I am so thankful for the opportunity. Being able to work at two different places and learn two different market strategies was very interesting to me. I was also able to work with several different employees, and shadow jobs ranging from operations to merchandising. This experience taught me what it takes to run a successful facility, and I was truly able to experience a day in each person’s shoes.
I would like to thank Joanne, Jeff, Nick, Jake, Hoyt, Bruce, and Kris for helping me along my journey and welcoming me into their facilities. I appreciate the time spent working with me to ensure that the experience I received was as beneficial to me as possible. The experiences I had in Homer and Albany has helped shape my career and professional life and has taught me more than I ever imagined. Thank you to the CGB team as well as the GFAI for providing me with this great experience!
Grain & Feed Association of Illinois
3521 Hollis Dr.