Student Internships

As part of their course requirements, NICC Dairy Science students complete an internship during the summer between their first and second year. This past summer, students could be found all over the Midwest completing their internships on dairy farms, at veterinary clinics and other agriculture companies.

Hannah Brown

Hannah Brown

Hannah Brown of Fairbank, Iowa interned this summer at Top Deck Holsteins of Westgate, Iowa. This immaculate 700-cow dairy is operated by the Decker family and is located roadside just west of town. Primarily mentored by Derek Decker, Hannah is pictured in the newly-constructed barn where she cared for the calves.

Rachel Fick

Rachel Fick

Rachel Fick of Lake City, Minn. interned this summer with Gilbert Valley Holsteins also of Lake City. Owned and operated by Wayne and Josie Peters, this farm milks 150 superbly-uddered registered Holsteins in the beautiful hills of Southeast Minnesota. Mentored by Wayne, Rachel worked mainly on the herd's breeding program, fresh cows and calves. Rachel was an integral part of implementing the use of Select Sires Cow Manager program in the new heifer barn.

Rebecca Franksain

Rebecca Franksain

Rebecca Franksain of Waterloo, Iowa interned this summer at Hilltop Acres in Calmar. Owned and operated by Dennis and Barb Maskek and their sons Josh and Tanner, this family farm of over 150 years features some of the top Brown Swiss genetics on the globe. Rebecca was a regular on the milking schedule, but found particular value in being mentored by Barb with the calves and Tanner in managing the day-to-day operations of the 400-cow herd.

Dana Geick

Dana Geick

Dana Geick of Guttenberg, Iowa interned this summer at Iowa's Dairy Center near Calmar. Mentored by Gary Lien and Jon Meyer, Dana was involved in all aspects of operating the farm. Dana enjoyed working with calves, taking milking shifts, learning about the robots and herd health. Dana was also key in getting the farm ready for Breakfast on the Farm.

Brandon Gilbertson

Brandon Gilbertson

Brandon Gilbertson of Elk Mound, Wis. interned this summer at two different locations. He spent half of his time at JTP Farms, a robotic dairy near Medford, Wis. Owned and operated by Jake Peissig, this 240-cow Holstein farm averages nearly 100 pounds per cow daily. Brandon spent the rest of his summer working for Bob's Dairy Supply in Dorchester, Wis. Mentored by Maris Peissig, Brandon was involved in multiple business functions including running the truck route, installing both a robotic and carousel milking systems and general on-farm maintenance.

Becca Hermann

Becca Hermann

Becca Hermann of Manchester, Iowa interned this summer with Garden Valley Farmstead of Hixton, Wis. Mentored by owner Darci Daniels, Becca worked at farmers markets in Black River Falls and Eau Clare, Wis. and at the on-farm store in Hixton. The products produced at Garden Valley Farmstead include grass-based cheese, butter, beef, eggs and chicken.

Johanna Kunert

Johanna Kunert

Johanna Kunert of De Soto, Wis. interned this summer at Dunrenton Ranch of Deer Park, Wash. Owned and operated by the Scot and Stephanie Littrel, this family dairy milks 150 registered Holstein and Brown Swiss. Johanna worked on many tasks throughout the summer, but her main focus was the farm's replacement heifer program. Johanna cared for the neonatal calves and had the sole responsibility of heat detection and inseminating the heifers. Johanna also traveled with the herd veterinarian on farm calls and assisting with his embryo transfer program.

Derek Littrel

Derek Littrel

Derek Littrel of Deer Park, Wash. interned this summer with Midwest Dairy as an Iowa Dairy Ambassador. Derek traveled the state working with youth and consumers promoting dairy products and practices. Mentored by Mariah Schmitt, highlights for Derek was working Breakfast on the Farm and the Iowa State Fair.

Brianna Lucey

Brianna Lucey

Brianna Lucey of Guttenberg, Iowa interned this summer at Ocean View Genetics at Dun-Did Holsteins of Deerfield, Wis. Owned and operated by Darryl and Pam Nunes, this farm features dozens of beautiful, deep-pedigreed show cows with classification scores up to 95 points. The farm houses both Ocean-View cattle and custom boards show cows for other producers. All of the Ocean-View cattle trace back to the ABS Global immortal Holstein sire Ocean-View Sexation.

Garrett Pfeiler

Garrett Pfeiler

Garrett Pfeiler of Holy Cross, Iowa interned this summer at Brimeyer Dairy. Located just outside of the beautiful town Sherrill, Iowa the 400-cow Holstein dairy milks in a new 40-stall rotary parlor. An interesting feature is all cows are bred to beef and no heifers. Garret worked in all aspects of the operation and was mentored by owner Matt Brimeyer.

Judd Saemrowof

Judd Saemrowof

Judd Saemrowof Waterville, Minn. interned this summer at Wolf Creek Dairy in Dundas, Minn. Owned and operated by Paul and Barb Liebenstein, this immaculate 400-cow dairy farm is located just 50 miles south of the Twin Cities off I-35. Judd was involved in all aspects of the operation and could explain every aspect of the dairy. He was mentored not only by Barb, but also the herdsmen Chase Martin and Mike Bonofiski.

Caitlyn Salmon

Caitlyn Salmon

Caitlyn Salmon of Rochester, Minn. interned this summer at Towerview Dairy near Eyota, Minn. Owned and operated by the Sachs family, this multi-generational dairy milks 100 registered Holstein and Brown Swiss cows in an impressively renovated herringbone parlor. Caitlyn was involved in all aspects of caring for the cows and youngstock, however the highlight was working on Towerview's outstanding Brown Swiss show string.

Bailey Smirnov

Bailey Smirnov

Bailey Smirnov of Goodhue, Minn. interned this summer at White Rock Dairy also of Goodhue. Bailey was mentored by the herdsperson Brittany Peterson as they cared for the herd of 800 lactating Holsteins. Bailey's primary responsibilities were the management of pre-fresh cows, maternity barn and post-fresh cows.

Kassi Steinlage

Kassi Steinlage

Kassi Steinlage of West Union, Iowa interned this summer at Schmitt Dairy of Hawkeye, Iowa. This multi-generation family farm is owned and operated by Steve and Connie Schmitt along with their son Lucas and his wife Kaitlyn, who are both NICC alumni. This 300-cow dairy includes two Lely robots and a double-8 parallel parlor. Primarily mentored by Lucas, Kassi was a regular on the milking crew but also did robot maintenance and fetches, helped Connie with calves, mastered skid loader operation and was a key member of the chopping crew.

Maria Streif

Maria Streif

Maria Streif of West Union, Iowa interned this summer with Prairie State/Select Sires. Pictured on her family's beautiful dairy on the southeast edge of West Union, Maria worked in all counties in Northeast Iowa providing relief technician service and reproductive technical support for both beef and dairy farms. Mentored by Cassidy Buddenberg and Monty Kuhn, Maria commented that the highlights were the direct sales route in Dubuque County and working at the Prairie State's production facility in Hampshire, Ill.

Mark Till

Mark Till

Mark Till of Maquoketa, Iowa interned at Moore Family Farms, also of Maquoketa. The beautiful dairy just north of town features 50 exceptional registered Holsteins housed in a sand bedded tie stall barn. Mark was mentored by Heather Moore who, also owns a store in town that features cheese made with milk from the Moore's cows. Additionally, Moore Family Farms also backgrounds 800 beef steers.

Collin Wille

Collin Wille

Collin Wille of Rice Lake, Wis. interned this summer at Crisly Dairy of Cumberland, Wis. Owned and operated NICC Dairy Science alumni Kyle and Sara Matthison, this farm milks 150 high component, low somatic count Holstein and Jersey cows. Collin was mentored by both Kyle and Sara and worked in all aspects of the day-to-day management. The highlight of the summer was learning in the extremely efficient freestall barn and Dairymaster swing parlor which was built in 2015.

Lance Zobel

Lance Zobel

Lance Zobel of Traer, Iowa interned this summer at Hansen's Farm Fresh Dairy of Hudson, Iowa. Owned and operated by the Hansen family, this 150-cow registered Holstein farm features on-farm processing of dairy products. Hansen Dairy has an on-farm store that markets their milk, ice cream, cheese and yogurt to consumers, in addition to offering daily farms tours. Lance was mentored by partner Blake Hansen throughout the summer.

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