Sunday, July 17, 2016

Meet Brody Carls, Burrus Intern in Illinois

Brody Carls is a Burrus sales intern from Pana, Illinois located an hour south of Springfield Illinois in Christian County. Brody is currently a junior at Western Illinois University, majoring in Agricultural business and he is also a Leatherneck football player! Both Brody’s Dad and Mom's family farm, and their operations include both grain and livestock operations.  He has always known about Burrus Seed because a lot of his surrounding neighbors plant Burrus. 

Brody jumped at the chance to become a Burrus intern, especially when he saw there was an intern position open for the Northwestern part of the state. This allows him to get an awesome summer experience, but also continue football practices for the upcoming season. Brody holds family tradition close to his heart and was very intrigued by how Burrus was owned by a family who is able to work efficiently together. The fact that Burrus was a family owned business really made Brody’s decision to become an intern an easy one, Burrus was for him.  He could not wait to get started! Brody was eager to learn more about Burrus and he looks forward to  spending time with growers in Northwest Illinois.
Everyday Brody starts out by getting up at 4:45 am for football workouts and conditioning and then he reports to either of the three Burrus Account Managers, who have all been great!  These three gentlemen strive for quality service and have taught him to be there in the drop of the hat for a grower. 
“What I hope to take home from my Burrus experience is to learn more about corn evalution and actually see firsthand how the seed is treated, bagged, and shipped to the field.  I am also interested in the sales process as I've always been on the other end at the farm. I believe the Burrus family strives on success, have proud ownership in their name, and are determined to provide quality in their seed. They could have taken the easy way out and joined one of the "big companies" but have decided to stay local and keep it with the family. It is an honor to be a part of this seed business."
Maggie Prather, Burrus Agronomy Intern

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Meet Nat Harder, Burrus Missouri Intern

Nat Harder is from Edina in Knox County Missouri. Knox County comes in with a population of around 4,000 people, so it isn’t known for much other than farming.  Nat is currently a sophomore at Northwest Missouri State University and is currently the VNR-Scholarship for Alpha Gamma Rho Beta Rho. He is also a member of Collegiate Farm Bureau and Agronomy Club.  Agronomy is Nat’s major because the a small rural area in which he was raised, had a large impact on his career choice. But, Nat’s Grandpa, Loren Harder, definitely was the main influence for choice.
 “Several of my fondest memories include riding around and scouting fields with him.  Burrus is family tradition in our family.  It’s the only brand of seed corn I’ve ever known. It gives me a sense of pride knowing that I am the 4th generation that is involved with Burrus.”
Nat was setting out hay at the time he got the call that he was selected for a Burrus internship. After he got off the phone, he opened the door of the tractor and hollered at his Dad and told him that he received the internship! His Dad was grinning from ear to ear and gave Nat a thumbs up.  Nat is proud to become a part of the company that has been on his caps for so many years and that is a memory he will never forget.
This internship was definitely a learning experience for Nat. He said that a big part of his job was cooperating with farmers, figuring out schedules, and places that fit their needs. One of Nat’s observations was that things don’t always go as planned and you need to have the ability to change things in your day to carry out your tasks.
 “It has got to be the sense of personal connection. I was chatting with a farmer one day and he said, you won’t find many seed companies that the owners’ home phone and cell phone number is in the front of their pocket guide.  It goes to show how much they care about their customers.” 
If Nat could go back in time and give himself one piece of advice, it would be, prepare yourself for a lot of driving.  The miles sure do add up fast when you are driving from Northeast Missouri to Northwest Missouri. Be prepared to average 2,000 miles a week.
“I would recommend the internship to anyone. Sure, it has several perks such as a pickup and trailer, but for me more importantly it has a family aspect. The Burrus family cares for their interns just as they would any other employee.  That is why I will always proudly Think Burrus.”

 Maggie Prather, Burrus Agronomy Intern

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Meet Maggie Prather, Burrus Agronomic Intern

Maggie Prather is the first, official agronomy intern at Burrus! She comes from a town in Schuyler County called, Rushville. An interesting fact about her hometown is that they have a backwards drive through at Dairy Queen. This 20 year old spends a lot of her time at Western Illinois University where she studies agricultural sciences with an emphasis in agronomy. Not only does she spend most of her time studying weeds and diseases, she is also involved with a professional agricultural sorority, Sigma Alpha. But Maggie doesn’t stop there, she is also a member of Colligate Farm Bureau, Colligate FFA, Hoof and Horn, Agronomy Club and Ag Mech Club.

“Faith. Family. Farming. That is what I grew up on and it’s how I plan to live my life," says Maggie when asked why she decided to major in agronomy. She has been around agriculture all of her life and her father, Scott, had a huge impact on Maggie’s interest in agronomy. Maggie wants to be able to give back to the agricultural community and what better way to do that then to help solve problems in fields?

Not only has farming been a part of Maggie’s life, but so has Burrus! Growing up, Maggie has had nothing but that super sweet taste of Coons Choice! “I can remember going out to help Grandpa Prather pick sweet corn and then I would help Grandma Prather in the kitchen.”  Family is a big part of Maggie’s life so what better way to carry on the tradition of family than by joining a company that is family owned. “When I got the call asking if I wanted the agronomy intern position, my mouth dropped open and all I could say was really?!, because I was SO excited!" She then hurried and called everyone in her family to tell them the great news!

Maggie started work in April, and got the “behind the scenes” view when it comes to planning and planting agronomic, preview plots. She thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the action and loved how welcoming the Burrus employees were after she joined their team for the summer.  She loves to go out and be "hands on" and gets excited whenever she finds a genetic mutation in corn or a fungal disease. She laughs because most things she finds in fields farmers would cause others to cringe. But for Maggie, this is like Christmas morning!

“This is definitely one of the best experiences of my life. I can honestly say, I have never felt more at home when it comes to working here at Burrus. I have learned so much in the small amount of time from Stephanie Porter and Matt Montgomery.  I know I will be able to use my knowledge confidently when it comes to my future career as an agronomist. I strongly encourage all of my peers to pursue an internship with Burrus. It is a business with all the necessities a large company has to offer, but the most important feature is they know how to treat employees like family.”  

Maggie Prather, Burrus Agronomy Intern

Evaluaton of Corn Recovery after Wind Event and Estimated Yield Loss

On June 22, 2016, Illinois had a strong wind storm blow through the middle part of the state.  You may have been one of the farmers who got hit by this monstrosity. Burrus Account Manager, Rick Urish documented how one of the Burrus Hybrid fields overcame Mother Nature. Remember there can be difference between hybrids, as some react differently after root lodging, depending on the environment. 

Picture 1 taken by Burrus Account Manager, Rick Urish
Picture 1 was taken the morning after the storm, where you can see that the corn has lodged.  The stalk has not snapped, so it can make a recovery.  After evaluation of the roots, only some of the brace root material was exposed.  Since none of the fibrous roots were exposed, these plants are expected to readily correct themselves and yield loss should be minimal since the plant has not reached the R1 (silking) growth stage.

Picture 2 taken by Burrus Account Manager, Rick Urish
In picture 2 you can see that on the second day after the storm, the corn is already starting to move upwards. This is a good sign! The corn is quickly returning to a vertical growth pattern.   

Picture 3 taken by Burrus Account Manager, Rick Urish
Day five brings exciting news to farmers! In picture 3, additional brace roots are forming at the base of the stalk to anchor plant to the ground.

Picture 4 taken by Burrus Account Manager, Rick Urish

On day nine, observed in picture 4, the corn plant continues to move upward and has even more brace roots forming! Even though it looks like all hope may be lost, you need to stay patient and let nature take its course for a few days. After these roots are firmly in the ground, the corn is sure to make a full recovery with minimal yield loss; however, harvesting may be slower and there could be a potential for ear loss.  (Maggie Prather, Burrus Agronomic Intern)