Mary Heiller Internship

Mary Heiller
Animal Science
Boone, IA
New Fashion Pork
Jackson, MN

Describe your internship responsibilities:  
I was a production intern with New Fashion Pork the summer of 2015.  My responsibilities changed weekly depending on what phase of production I was focusing on for the week.

  • Boar Stud – I collected and analyzed semen, recorded temperatures and concentrations, and packaged semen.
  • Breeding – While at the sow farm I artificially inseminated females, heat checked, moved sows, treated sows, and picked culls.
  • Farrowing – At the sow farm I assisted sows, processed piglets, sexed piglets, treated sows, and weaned litters.
  • Nursery – I gave treatments and vaccinations, gruel and floor fed small pens, received wean pigs, and loaded out pigs ready for the finisher.
  • Finishing – I gave treatments, fixed feeders and waterers, received pigs, loaded out pigs, and performed necropsies.
  • Research – I collected feed samples, sorted feed, individually weighed pigs, tagged and tattooed litters of research piglets.
  • Nutrition – While working with the swine nutritionists I completed feed rations based on price of feed and the dietary needs of the animal.  I also went to the feed mill to observe and learn the processes and tasks of the feed mill.

What did you enjoy most about this internship?
I enjoyed hands-on learning through all phases of the swine industry.  I especially liked assisting sows during labor.

How has this experience impacted your future career plans?
After working for New Fashion Pork I know for sure that I want a career in the swine industry.  Before this summer I had very little commercial swine production experience.  Growing up I loved showing 4-H market hogs, which is very different from the real world industry.  This internship assured me that I enjoy more than just showing pigs.

What resources did you utilize to obtain this internship?
I found this internship at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Fair.  However, the most useful resource was the career services office.  Mike Gaul helped me turn my resume from a high school assignment into a professional document.

What advice would you offer to other students seeking similar internships?
The best advice I can give is to be prepared for the career fair.  As a freshman it can be overwhelming looking for an internship.  However, I found if you walk into the career fair prepared you will feel more confident and ready to communicate with potential employers.