I can hardly believe that I have been working at DIS for more than a month already. It feels like I was preparing for my final exams and finishing up my senior year of university just a couple of weeks ago. Though I have not been here for long, I have already had the opportunity to work on several projects covering a variety of topics.
I grew up on a farm in northwest Kansas, where my family primarily grew wheat and corn as well as raised cattle. Since starting at DIS, I have been able to learn a lot about other aspects of agriculture. For example, one of my first projects was estimating the impact of the construction and operation of different dairy facilities. This involved acquiring information about the costs and revenues of dairies as well as researching the tradeoffs between traditional and robotic dairies.
One of my main responsibilities so far has been using IMPLAN to conduct various analyses. While I have experience with IMPLAN from my internship at the Kansas Department of Agriculture, I have been able to expand my knowledge of this software in the past month. I have learned how to conduct new types of analysis and how to use the new online version of IMPLAN.
In my most recent project, I conducted a contribution analysis of the grain and feed industries across the United States. It was very interesting to see how the prevalence of these industries varies across the country.
I use Microsoft Excel in some way nearly every day, and I have definitely increased my proficiency with the more advanced aspects of Excel over the past month. I am sure that my skill with this software will continue to increase in the future.
I have already learned so much in the short time that I have been here at DIS. I’m looking forward to further expanding my skill set and my knowledge of the many different aspects of agriculture, and I’m excited to tackle the challenges that are waiting in the months ahead!