My name is Taylor Hartke and I am currently a junior studying at Southern Illinois University majoring in Agricultural Communications and minoring in Agribusiness Economics. I hail from Teutopolis, Illinois where I was raised on my family’s diversified grain and livestock operation. The experiences I gained on the farm as well as through student organizations allowed me to develop a deep passion for serving the farm, the farmer, and the consumer. I am honored to have been named a 2020 Industry Immersion Scholarship Recipient. During both the kick-off tour this summer and my two days of job shadowing experience I was able to expand my knowledge about the grain and feed industry while networking with industry professionals. On December 21st & 22nd, I spent two days job shadowing at the Corporate Headquarters of Total Grain Marketing in Effingham, Illinois. Over these two days, I was able to watch exactly what happens when farmers call seeking advice or wanting to sell their grain. I saw first-hand what steps must occur in order for grain to be acquired, sold, and transported. I learned more about why markets were fluctuating on those given days which included wage stricks in Argentina as well as China’s continued purchases of US commodities. Since TGM is where my family, sells our grain, I found it interesting that half of their grain is transported by rail and half by truck. On those two days, I not only learned about each individual’s roles and duties, but I also helped with filing paperwork, writing the end of the day numbers, completing spreadsheets, and any other tasks that arose. Thank you to Kim, Lori, Austin, Wendy, Ken, and Tisha for allowing me to spend my two days there. Overall, this scholarship experience has broadened my knowledge, and I look forward to returning this spring for another chance to continue learning and experiencing what the industry has to offer.
- Taylor Hartke