Intern Projects Identify, Solve Cooperative Challenges

In May, Landus Cooperative welcomed 16 interns. Throughout the summer they worked side-by-side with our employees. They did meaningful, helpful work. The students work on a group project which allows them to grow in many ways, including project management, time management, solution-based problem solving, delegation/collaboration, and more. The students have a development plan with key goals to work on throughout the summer with their mentor or fellow employees. They gain a lot from positive and constructive leadership. 

Students allow us to learn from them while they are learning from us. They offer an outside, new and different perspective on issues that we might not have considered. 

In late July, four intern groups presented the results of their summer-long projects. These projects ideas were submitted by managers as a way to learn more about new markets, achieve important progress on company initiatives or learn new ways of doing things. 

The interns presented their projects in late July including a return on investment analysis and recommendation. A group of company leaders provided feedback and selected a winning team to receive a cash prize and bragging rights. 

Employee App Group

Winning Project Streamlines Internal Process

Adapting the current process, the Location Manager Application intern team developed an employee application to ease the process of reporting harvest hours. The team composed of Josh Carlson, Josh Halbur, Kate Collins, and Laura Mincks (all of Iowa State University) won the intern project presentation contest on July 26th, 2019. The team’s goal is to have the new process of reporting hours fully implemented by the start of this year’s harvest. Make sure that you are signed up to receive harvest hours text messages for this year’s harvest. You can register here:

Insect Meal Group

Intern Project Educates Cooperative on Insect Meal Market

Employees were offered the opportunity to eat flavored crickets during the presentation by the team composed of Hanna Bjelica, Brianna Gorham, Cale Pellett, and Justin Wessel (all of Iowa State University). The intern team researched alternative protein sources for livestock nutrition.

Branded Feed Group

Feed Team Recommends Cattle Feed Face-Lift

The Branded Feed intern team elevated a current generic beef feed product that is produced at the Jefferson Beef Feed Center and created a Landus Cooperative branded product. This product is expected to add value to the corn that is used to produce this product and for member-owners who purchase the Landus Cooperative Beef Feed. The Branded Feed team composed of Matt Eickert (Kirkwood Community College), Meredith Hagedorn (South Dakota State University) and Trevor Kluver and Alex Logan (both of Iowa State University).

LEAN Group

Identifying Cost Savings Opportunities

Focusing on operational excellence and LEAN principles, this year’s LEAN intern team was composed of John Erickson, Wyatt Runksmeier, Brett Schicksup, and Conner Shaw (all of Iowa State University). They were able to identify areas of waste throughout the cooperative and offer solutions for continuous improvement and increased efficiency.