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GUEST COLUMN
A Step Ahead – Investing in Interns
Emilie Janes, Resource Conservationist
Kankakee County SWCD
Do you need extra assistance with surveys in the spring or field days in the fall? Is there a specific program you want to start or project you want to complete? An internship program will bring in new perspectives and skills, broaden your District’s network, and offer a unique way to expand your team with both short and long-term potential. All of these are positives, but beginning an internship program was venturing into new territory for myself and my Board.
 
We first took a step back and looked at our Annual Plan of Work. In what areas did we need improvement? My District’s internship program was initially created because our Board sought to strengthen our agricultural outreach efforts. After putting together an internship job posting, I solicited resumes from local community colleges and universities and promoted the intern position in papers and on our website. As a 2015 college grad, I know first-hand the importance of experience to complete a degree, bolster a resume, and secure a job. From environmental science to ag business, internships are often a requirement to complete a degree. By offering a position with reasonable pay and flexible hours, you’re sure to receive many applications.
Dakota Behrends works on agricultural outreach and cost-share for Kankakee County SWCD. Here, Dakota gave a slake test demonstration and presented on sustainability and Illinois’ conservation efforts to soybean buyers from over 55 countries.
Crystal Sauder works on urban and educational outreach programs for the Kankakee County SWCD and is learning more about the grant writing process. Here, Crystal presented on native plants and pollinators and their importance in agriculture to many curious kiddos!
Timing and length of the internship are important aspects to consider. Based on your District’s seasonal workload, you can identify the ideal time to bring an intern on board. Many college students can work around their class schedules during the schoolyear. Offering a spring internship from January-April or a fall internship from September-December will allow you to pick up temporary help for specific District programs and projects. Short-term internships offer valuable help without long-term commitment, but there’s always the option to offer an extension or transition a particularly good fit into a permanent position within the District!
 
Interns are an investment. They require resources – time, training, and funds. With careful planning and management, your intern will become an asset to your District. Because of the great success my District has had with our internship program, we’ve welcomed two additional employees to the Kankakee County SWCD team. Dakota Behrends, an Ag Business grad from ISU, focuses on agricultural outreach and cost-share programs. Crystal Sauder, a Zoology grad from ONU, is expanding our urban conservation efforts, educational outreach, and grant opportunities. Both Dakota and Crystal began as District interns, but now continue to offer insight, connections, and ideas that help our District make an impact locally and abroad. My District can confidently say that we’ve seen a return on investment with our internship program!
 
If you’re interested in bringing an intern on board and have any questions, feel free to email me at Emilie.Janes@il.nacdnet.net.
FARM PROGRESS SHOW 2019
MT. VERNON SWCD WORKSHOP

SAVE-THE-BEST FOR LAST! Jon Pike talks nutrient management with attendees to the Mt. Vernon SWCD Cover Crop & Soil Health Workshop this past Monday. The Mt. Vernon workshop was the best attended yet! The AISWCD would like to thank the presenters, attendees, and partnering organizations for helping to make this summer workshop series an enormous success! 
 
FEATURED NEWS
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... FROM TWITTER ...
FLASHBACK FRIDAY

FLASHBACK: The caption of this throwback image reads "Strip Cropping: Leroy Becker coming in with a load of grain from a strip cropped field. The strips are oats and alfalfa...10 to 15% slope. Jo Daviess Co., Ill. Frank Becker, Owner. Elizabeth, Ill. Photo courtesy of W.H. Lathrop 7/27/47"
 
NACD SPOTLIGHTS KANKAKEE SWCD
LOOK: Check out the NACD's Pollinator Resources page - Kankakee SWCD's efforts to educate area students are highlighted! View the page below!
 
VISIT PAGE NOW
EMPLOYMENT
POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: The Boone County SWCD in Belvidere, Illinois is seeking a full-time Resource Conservationist/Soil Scientist. Salary is commiserate with education and experience. For a job application and more information, please contact the district office at 815-544-2677, extension 3. Completed applications and resumes should be sent to the district at 211 North Appleton Road in Belvidere, Illinois 61008 by September 30th. 
MEMBER EVENTS
POND MANAGEMENT: Please join the Cumberland County SWCD for a Pond Management Seminar on September 9th! View the flyer below!
 
POND MANAGEMENT FLYER
FIELD DAY: The Tazewell County SWCD will be hosting a Soil Health & Cover Crop Field Day at the Brad Zimmermann Family Farm on September 7th. The event has some really great speakers; David Kleinschmidt, Pete Fandel, and host Brad Zimmerman! View the flyer below!
 
FIELD DAY FLYER
FORESTRY WORKSHOP: The Edgar County SWCD, along with NRCS and IDNR, will host a forestry management workshop on September 24th. View the flyer below for more details!
 
FORESTRY WORKSHOP FLYER
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