Fred Stout Experience More than an Internship

Internships can round out a resume, adding valuable hands-on experience to academic education. For those pursuing careers in the dairy industry, internships like the Fred Stout Experience are icing on the cake.

Each year, two Fred Stout Experience internships are awarded to Jersey youth who have completed high school. One of the paid internships is with Jersey Marketing Service (JMS) and the other with a Jersey dairy operation. Housing, travel and related activities are paid by a permanent endowment created by friends and colleagues of Fred Stout.

But the internship is not just for enhancing a resume. Recipients say the experience opened their eyes to career options in the dairy industry, exposed them to new dairying styles and provided lifelong industry contacts.

The Jersey Journal visited with several recipients to get their take on the award. Their responses are highlighted below.

The application deadline for the Fred Stout Experience internships for the summer of 2021 is fast approaching, on December 1, 2020. To apply, visit the US Jersey website and download an application by clicking on the blue “Apply Here” text near the top of the page.

Aaron Horst, Dairy Sire Analyst, ABS Global Inc.

What did you do for your Fred Stout Experience?

I moved to Columbus, Ohio, for the summer of 2006 and worked for JMS in the main office of the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA). To help with the National Heifer Sale in Murfreesboro, Tenn., I identified potential consignments, put together ads, and arranged trucking to and from the venue. I was a member of the crew at the sale and did follow up work. I did similar support work for the Pride of the West Sale in Tillamook, Ore.

Outside of the sales, I traveled with area representatives to Jersey herds to promote breed programs, see cows, and help producers catch up on registrations.

What were some of the most impactful aspects of the experience?

I met the full spectrum of Jersey breeders and learned to appreciate the different ways they bred their cows and marketed their milk and genetics. It was a great opportunity to visit farms whose ads I had seen for years and get firsthand experience with them. I had grown up breeding primarily for type and showing. That summer, my mind was opened to seeing farms succeed in different ways.

Meeting so many different people in the breed was a great experience and one I continue to appreciate with my work today.

Describe your career path and what you do today.

I attended Virginia Tech and earned a bachelor’s degree in dairy science with a minor in agribusiness management. My Fred Stout Experience followed my freshman year. I did a progeny promotions internship with ABS the following year. I did a sales and service internship with ABS after my junior year and was then hired to support the progeny testing program in the east after I graduated.

Four years later, I began to learn the sire analyst aspect of the business from Dick Smith. I moved into that role full-time four years later when Dick retired. Today, it is my responsibility to source all ABS Jersey bulls (about 40 per year) and support our salespeople.

Though the way I have sourced bulls has evolved over time, I continue to work closely with breeders and allocate semen to mate with elite females. I now purchase females and embryos and manage our female program to create a portion of our bulls internally as well.

How has your Fred Stout Experience influenced your career?

The diversity of people I met and the variety of successful breeding programs and operations I encountered gave me a better perspective on how I could fit into the industry. I also learned how to travel efficiently and interact with a variety of people. All these fundamentals directly help me in my job today.

Why would you encourage other juniors to apply?

This is an opportunity to get a different experience within the industry from what they grew up with. The people they meet and the perspective they gain will be very important in shaping their network and career goals.

Dan Bauer, Supervisor, Wisconsin Farm Center, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection

What did you do for your Fred Stout Experience?

I spent the summer of 2005, between my junior and senior years of college, living in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, and working as an intern for JMS. My internship was a blend of field and office work. I had the opportunity to work several JMS sales, including the National Heifer Sale in Washington, Pa., and the Pride of the West Sale in Tillamook, Ore. During my time in the office, I created and proofed various sale ads and catalogs.

What were some of the most impactful aspects of the experience?

My internship with JMS was crucial in shaping my early career out of college. It exposed me to the benefits of the Jersey cow, introduced me to amazing Jersey people, and enabled me to travel extensively to new and exciting parts of the country.

Describe your career path and what you do today.

The JMS internship was directly responsible for the first five years of my professional career. I was hired as assistant manager for JMS and a type traits appraiser for the AJCA in June 2006 and then promoted to JMS manager in 2008. Here, I stretched and challenged my leadership and management responsibilities at a relatively young age. After Jersey, I spent the next nine years of my career in the AI industry in several different roles, with responsibilities in direct sales, employee training, and product development. Most recently, I joined the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture as supervisor of the Wisconsin Farm Center. In this position, I manage a team that provides financial counseling, transition planning, mediation, and herd-based diagnostic services to Wisconsin farmers.

How has your Fred Stout Experience influenced your career?

As mentioned above, I firmly believe my experiences at AJCA/JMS have helped me become a more organized program administrator and a much better manager of people. These skills and experiences are absolutely crucial for my career success today.

Why would you encourage other juniors to apply?

I would highly recommend youth considering this internship to apply. The Jersey cow continues to grow in popularity, both domestically and internationally. The opportunity to meet and work right next to the leaders of such a fast-growing dairy breed is priceless. I’ve found Jersey people in general to be extremely eager to embrace youth looking for career opportunities in the dairy industry and Jersey breed. Whether the internship leads to full-time professional employment or not, the skills learned, and relationships made will prove valuable for any career path.

Tara Bohnert Yoder, North American Business Development Manager, Nedap Livestock Management

What did you do for your Fred Stout Experience?

My Fred Stout Experience was the on-farm option, done in conjunction with an internship I had planned at Jer-Z-Boyz Ranch in Pixley, Calif., in the summer of 2003 (the first year the award was given).

What were some of the most impactful aspects of the experience?

It was very impactful for me to learn about large herd management. That included everything from genetics to animal welfare, and, from labor to nutrition. Along the way, I created lifelong friends and learned from mentors in the industry. While the experience was life altering, the relationships built were priceless.

Describe your career path and what you do today.

I completed my collegiate career just a semester after my experience. Over the next 15 ½ years, I worked for Alta Genetics in various capacities, with a focus of leading their Jersey program. As an elite account manager, I was able to consult in various dairy management systems globally. I was fortunate to have a career centered around the profitability of Jersey genetics. Through my involvement in Peak, I was also able to work with elite male and female genetics on the procurement side of the business.

In November 2019, I started a new adventure on the technology side of the dairy business. As the North American business development manager for Nedap Livestock Management, I focus on CowControl™, which is a smart and proven solution for individual dairy cow monitoring and management.

How has your Fred Stout Experience influenced your career?

I am fortunate to have stayed in the dairy industry. The Fred Stout Experience gave me a practical, hands-on look at large herd management, which has proven to be an area of passion for me. Prior to my Fred Stout Experience, I had never been to the western U.S. That was the first of numerous trips that provided direction to my career. The dairy industry is a tight knit one and my connections from that experience remain true friends and family to this day.

Why would you encourage other juniors to apply?

The Fred Stout Experience is truly a one-of-a-kind, customized experience. The committee works hard to ensure that the recipients of the marketing and management experiences come away with increased knowledge and connections. If you are looking for practical experience, then this is the right fit for you. Fred Stout was an influencer and communicator unlike any other. He recognized the value in learning-by-doing. Everyone who participates in this program will reap rewards in some manner.

Brady Core, Select Sires and Keightley-Core Jerseys of Salvisa, Ky.

What did you do for your Fred Stout Experience?

My Fred Stout Experience was during the summer of 2009. I worked a few dispersal sales and the National Heifer sale with JMS. That summer, I was also an intern with intern with Hilmar Cheese and Yosemite Jersey Dairy, also in Hilmar, Calif.

What were some of the most impactful aspects of the experience?

The entire experience of meeting many new people, visiting new farms, and learning about sale management from JMS was a huge learning experience for me. Many of the relationships that are vital in my life today began, or were groomed, from trips and experiences like the Fred Stout Experience.

Describe your career path and what you do today.

After I graduated from college, I started working for Select Sires. Though I primarily provide matings for dairy herds, I also offer reproductive solutions to dairy producers and make direct semen sales. I am also still very involved in the operation and management of our home farm, Keightly-Core Jerseys, with my parents.

How has your Fred Stout Experience influenced your career?

With my travels, I learned quickly that I really enjoy visiting new farms. I love to see how differently things can be from farm to farm. One can always learn something from visiting an operation, talking to the farmer, and discussing strategies for success. That thirst to learn continues in my career today as I travel to many states and visit many different operations. I think the desire to learn and see how things work in various operations has contributed to my career success today.

Why would you encourage other juniors to apply?

Absolutely and without doubt, the most influential part of my education came through internships, dairy judging, and dairy challenge competitions. The value of real-life experiences and networking is the key to being successful post college, in my opinion. The Fred Stout Experience can give you such experience.

Olivia Price Miller, River Bend Creamery, Lincolnton, N.C.

What did you do for your Fred Stout Experience?

I was a Fred Stout Experience intern in the summer of 2014. My experience focused on helping JMS both at the AJCA office and different sales throughout my summer. I learned a lot about marketing and sales of the Jersey breed.

What were some of the most impactful aspects of the experience?

It was a great opportunity to learn about the AJCA and to network. During my time, I made multiple friends and contacts throughout the industry.

Describe your career path and what you do today.

After my internship, I graduated from North Carolina State University with a master’s degree in animals science. From there, I was hired as a senior marketing coordinator for Carolina Farm Credit. When interviewing for that position, I called on experiences from my Fred Stout internship and what I had learned about marketing.

Today, my family and I are establishing River Bend Creamery at Piedmont Jersey Farm. I will be responsible for marketing and selling our farmstead products.

How has your Fred Stout Experience influenced your career?

The sales and marketing aspect of this internship was a great asset in gaining hands on experience. When applying for future jobs, I have always been able to use what I learned and leaned on this great foundation. The internship helped me round out the skill set I have today.

Why would you encourage other juniors to apply?

Not only do you learn a lot about the foundation and programs of the AJCA, but you have opportunity to gain hands on experience your potential employers will appreciate as well. Plus, you have so many opportunities to connect and network with others in the dairy industry.

Further Information

The awards are presented annually in memory of Fred J. Stout Sr., Mt. Carmel, Ill., a lifelong Jersey breeder and member of the JMS staff from 1978 to 1997 who believed that the best learning experiences happen in the everyday world.

Previous recipients of the Fred Stout Experience Award are Tara Bohnert, Illinois (2003); Allison Waggoner, South Carolina (2004); Dan Bauer, Wisconsin (2005); Aaron Horst, Pennsylvania (2006); Jacob Pieper, Maryland (2007); Katie Albaugh, Maryland (2008); Brady Core, Kentucky (2009); Kim Wilson, Missouri and Ivy Roberts, Florida (2010); Joseph Fjarlie, Wisconsin and Amy Maxwell, Iowa (2011); Robert McGarry, Vermont and Lyman Rudgers, New York (2012); Meagan Bolen, Ohio and Wyatt Smith, Minnesota (2013); Olivia Pearson, North Carolina and Meagan Chittenden, York (2014); Tyler French, South Carolina and Gerret Boer, Texas (2015); Austin Woods, Wisconsin and Laura Bell (2016); Tyler Kirchdoerfer, Missouri and Blake Koehn, Oklahoma (2017); Amanda LoRusso, Connecticut (2018); Brennan Topp, Ohio and Abigail Grimm, Minnesota (2019).