My name is Kyler Masching and I am from Cabery, Illinois. I have grown up surrounded by agriculture and when deciding what to pursue a degree in, I knew I wanted agriculture at the core of my studies. Currently, I am a sophomore at the University of Illinois studying Agribusiness: Markets and Management with a minor in Crop and Soil Management. I was blessed to of been chosen as one of the recipients into the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois Scholarship Program. Ever since being selected as a recipient into the Grain and Feed Scholarship Program, I was looking forward to attending the Grain and Feed Industry Immersion Tour. I enjoyed all of the tours we were able to go on and I feel I learned something new at each destination we toured. A few of the tours that really stuck out to me were the Peoria Lock and Dam, Marquis Energy, and Zimmerman Feed and Grain. The tour we were able to have of the Peoria Lock and Dam was very interesting as we saw what a drained lock and dam looks like. The lead engineer explained how vital these locks and dams are to the Midwest economy, especially to the agriculture industry and the repairs being made over the summer had taken years to plan in order to be completed as efficiently as possible. The tour of Marquis Energy was very interesting because Marquis Energy is one of the biggest ethanol plants in the world. It was remarkable to listen to the number of bushels of corn used every day at the plant in order to produce ethanol. Finally, our last stop on the tour was of Zimmerman Feed and Grain. We were able to observe all that goes into making hog feed and how careful the feed mill has to be when making feed.
Apart from the Industry Immersion Tour, I really enjoyed being paired with Consolidated Grain and Barge in Dwight, IL. This was a great 2-day job shadow as on the first day I was able to observe the grain merchandizers in the office and they explained to me where their purchasing area is and how they determine what basis to set for their grain based upon the grain’s end destination. I was able to sit in on a container marketing call and was explained why there is a container shortage in the agriculture industry in the United States and the complications that are included with that. While in the office, I learned about the different pricing programs CGB offers and then explained how these programs operate. On the second day of my job shadow, I was able to get a tour of the operations side of the grain elevator. This was very fascinating as I toured the flat storage building on site that holds 2.2 million bushels of grain. I want to thank Larry, Kevin, Sam, Hailey, and Mark for taking the time to give me a great 2-day job shadow. I am excited about my next blog post to share more about my job shadow experience!