Confessions of a Farm Show Intern

Posted: January 18, 2013

Jena recounts her experience interning with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture as a Farm Show press intern.
Here I am, camera and all, recording the results of the 2013 Market Goat Show in the Small Arena.

Here I am, camera and all, recording the results of the 2013 Market Goat Show in the Small Arena.

Hey, it’s Jena Sigel here, a junior studying Animal Sciences. This January, I spent eight days at the 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show as a press intern with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

For many years at Farm Show I had been in the ring, showing hogs, goats, and lambs that I had worked with for several months before. This year, instead of having a show stick in my hand, I had a pen, a notepad, and a camera. I used those tools to record show results, gather exhibitor information, and capture photographs of agricultural events. My duties were to collect this information; conduct interviews with presenters, judges, and exhibitors; and write press releases on the events so they could be published and distributed across all the counties in the state.

My favorite events to cover were the livestock shows, since those were the events I used to participate in when I came to Farm Show. Because I knew many of the livestock exhibitors on a personal level already, I could help identify the exhibitors we featured more easily and provide information on them.

This internship had many cool perks. First, I was able to attend exclusive events featuring Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture George Greig and his deputy secretaries. I also got to experience some Farm Show events that I never had the opportunity to before, such as opening ceremonies, cooking contests, and tractor pulls. I also loved having a skybox office to work in all week above the show ring (no need to leave the office to see the shows I wasn’t working at!), and getting through the crowds easily with my press intern badge. Plus, who doesn’t love the food of the Pennsylvania Farm Show? I ate potato doughnuts, beef brisket, grilled cheese, and many other great foods made with local Pennsylvania products. And I didn’t forget a milkshake or two either!
It was a strange feeling to not be exhibiting at Farm Show, but it was just as exciting documenting the events to record Farm Show history. This internship helped me strengthen my communication and writing skills, which I will take forward with me as I build a career.

No matter what you are interested in during college, an internship, even one that only lasts a week, can be a great way to learn new skills.