Bridging the Gap Between Promotion and Appreciation
I first accepted an internship with Redline Equipment because I wanted to learn what it is like to work in an equipment dealership. Ever since I was a kid I have loved agriculture equipment whether it be on my family farm or showing off my skills in the 4-H tractor operators contest. When it came time to decide what field I wanted to go into as a career, I turned to what I enjoy.
I really wanted to learn what a dealership is like; the culture, mindset and what it takes to be a Redline employee. I wanted to learn about Precision Farming because out of all departments, it was the area I was most interested in and knew the least amount about. I also had interest in how to sell the product. I think in order to sell a product you must know everything there is to know about it. This was a driving factor to make sure I learned as much as I could during the internship. However, throughout the summer it became apparent that the relationship with the customer is equally important as knowing the product.
Getting to know Redline’s customers and help them with their farming operation from a dealership standpoint was an aspect of my position that really stood out to me. Because I grew up on a farm, I was able to understand the customer’s point of view and could help until they were pleased with the information and services they were receiving. That was a very rewarding experience for me.
Most of my time was spent shadowing Calvin Knotts, a Precision Farming Specialist who covers the Rossville, Logansport, and Gas City locations. Throughout the summer, we did a lot of service and sales calls to customers. A large project I was able to work on was Redline’s first Precision Farming Field Plot. With this project I collected data, presented information and helped organize the field day. During the field day, I was able to interact with customers and discuss what we were seeing out in our test plot and how it’s applicable to their operation.
Reflecting back, I got much more out of my internship than expected. On top of learning the ins and outs of guidance systems, I learned a lot of agronomy skills from the field plot and from shadowing Calvin. I never guessed I would come away knowing the growth stages of a corn plant working for an equipment dealership, but it helped me bridge the gap between just promoting the iron and understanding the importance of the iron.
Andrew Smith of Kewanna, IN will be a senior at Purdue University studying Agriculture Systems Management.