Name: Drake Bliss
Title: Commodity Procurement Intern
University: Kansas State University
What drew you to intern with Didion?
I chose to intern with Didion because I felt like Didion would be a good fit for me after learning about the company and their core values through Riley and Amy. Also, by interning with Didion I knew I could get the experience I wanted. I wanted to find an internship where I could grow as a professional and make an impact where I work. Growing up, I was constantly surrounded by people that worked in production agriculture so I find it interesting and gratifying to continue to work with farmers. Working under Garry and the rest of the grain team, I have learned a lot already and have been placed out of my comfort zone being tasked to do things that are new to me. I like the fact that I have been introduced to all sorts of new things and given free rein to complete what I’m asked to do. I believe jumping right in and learning by doing is the best way to develop as a young professional and I’m glad Didion is allowing their interns to do just that!
What projects have you worked on/are currently working on?
Recently, I finished producing a call list that consists of farmers that sell corn in particular months. I have been analyzing historical data and using spreadsheets to record trends of producers’ selling patterns over the last 5 years. If they have sold corn in a particular month, 3 or more times in the last 5 years, then the name of the farmer is uploaded into a monthly call list spreadsheet. I am still working to make this call list dynamic, which means it will constantly update on its own. Ultimately, the call list will allow for our grain buyers to be more efficient by reminding them to contact the producers that tend to sell grain in certain months and save them time by not having to search through numerous spreadsheets to find this specific data.
Also, I am in the process of working on a few other projects. The next project I plan to have done is distributing a producer demographics survey via mail and email to our farmers. By conducting this survey and receiving input, I will personally learn more about grain merchandising/marketing and the information will help Didion better service their producers.
What attracted you to the Agribusiness profession?
I became attracted to grain marketing last summer during my previous internship where I worked as a grain operations intern. The co-op I interned for had a partnership with a grain marketing company and I thought the work they did was interesting. I had the chance to shadow a few grain buyers and after that, I knew I wanted more experience than just a few hours. I enjoy working with farmers and building relationships with the people that drive our business.