The Maschhoffs Internship Experience by Morgan Cox
The week before college classes started again, five students had the opportunity to spend a few days with The Maschhoffs in Carlyle, IL. Danika, Lexi, Jackson, Caleb, and I each won The Maschhoffs scholarship through the NJSA at the Summer Spectacular which came with a required four day internship at the headquarters. Our schedules worked out to meet over winter break and I am so happy it did!
I had the opportunity to study abroad in Dublin, Ireland this past semester which involved very little animal contact. This experience the week before classes started at Purdue made me very excited to keep learning this semester about the swine industry in all different aspects! For example, I thought I disliked genetics because of my classroom experiences but I’ve decided when you connect it with real life applications, genetics is actually pretty interesting!
At The Maschhoffs, we learned about research projects, genetics, the importance of communication, bio-security, environmental services, nutrition, reproductive technologies, statistical analysis, and even leadership training! We all asked a wide variety of questions to each of the presenters which often resulted in the speaker going over their allotted time slot. You know when that happens there is a lot of interest and passion in the room.
Not only did we get to sit in a fancy conference room, but we had the opportunity to go to three different barns to learn about research, farrowing, and managing a grow-finish site. Of course the guys had no problem showering in and out of each of the facilities but us girls had to laugh about the struggles of finding a small enough pair of coveralls or boots that didn’t make us look like clowns. Each location had very interesting aspects and a lot to learn as well as strict bio-security protocols which is very different from most show pig operations I have visited.
Yes, we had many deep conversations and learned a large amount of information specific to the commercial industry, but I think the most important thing we learned is the importance of strong family values that The Maschhoffs run their company by. We had heard the history of the company and a few stories about the family but the best part was meeting them face to face. Everyone in the company was treated as part of the family! I was so impressed by the level of interest these very important people had in the five of us scholarship winners. They took us out to dinner, into their home, and took time out of their busy days to come in and learn about each and every one of us. For certain, this is one of those experiences I will remember and take with me throughout my time and dedication for this industry. A huge thank you to The Maschhoffs and the many employees who spoke with us in the four short days we spent with you!