Engineering Technology

Internship Opportunities

Internships are a great way to gain experience in your future career path, network with industry professionals and build your resume! Visit the CAFES Internship Office for current internship openings. Read about the internship experiences of other agricultural engineering technology students below.

250 Dustin Internship FullSizeRender
Dustin Oesau

Hometown: Gilmanton, WI
Major: Agricultural Engineering Technology
Position Title: Contracted Test Technician (CTT) Intern
Employer: John Deere

As a seasoned sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, I have been fortunate to have already had two internships. I believe that coming from a strong farm background before that may have helped me in getting those opportunities early in my college career. I started in the farm industry in 8th grade when I worked for my two uncles who own a custom chopping business. Over the years, I have gained a good work ethic as well as the ability to work independently. Once I graduated from high school, the decision was clear that college was the next experience for me to take on and once I got here, UWRF opened the door to more experiences in the form of internships. All my internships so far have been with Adecco Engineering and Technical where I was most recently a Contracted Test Technician for John Deere.

In this latest internship, I dealt with the durability testing of the new John Deere 8000 series self-propelled forage harvesters. This involved operating the machine about half of the time, while also performing maintenance, adding design updates and doing repair work for the other half. It was a unique commitment for me since it required working away from home in Tulare, CA, for a two and a half month period. I do not regret this decision at all. I learned so much on how other custom operations work in other parts of the country. The way they farm in that part of California is very different from what we see back in Wisconsin. "Hot, dry and dusty" is how I can best describe the first half of my internship! The second half was more like the stereotypical sunny and 75 degree.

By taking a chance and going out of my normal comfort zone, I had a great experience with my internship. None of it would have been possible without going to UWRF and being encouraged to apply for internships by CAFES. I strongly encourage all current students and even incoming freshman to feel confident in themselves to take a chance at an internship like this.

Alex Donnay

Hometown: Glencoe, MN
Major: Agricultural Engineering Technology
Position Title: Ag Field Service Intern (west region)
Employer: New Holland

I started searching for an internship to gain some real world experience. I have always been a fan of Case New Holland (CNH) so I applied on their website. Awhile went by and I hadn't heard anything, but one of my friends had recently accepted a job with CNH and recommended me. So, I got a call and the position they had open was in Phoenix, Arizona. I was very skeptical of moving 1800 miles away. My professors and peers encouraged me and told me it would be a great experience. Boy were they right! CNH also made transition to Phoenix easier by finding and subsidizing my housing.

My 6 month internship took me all over the country, mainly the west coast. I spent almost all of June through December on the road. I visited New Holland dealers and customers to help solve product issues as well as to maintain New Holland's dealer network and reputation. For a guy that had never flown or left the 5 state area of the Midwest, this was the best part of my experience.

On top of my dealership visits I had special intern projects that all 6 service interns worked on together. These included a month-long training event in Texas, another month with the harvest support team, and farm shows. In Texas we were responsible for maintaining the demonstration equipment and filling in where necessary. I actually ended up filling in for a full time trainer and trained dealer salesman on windrowers. On the harvest support team we followed the wheat harvest from Texas to North Dakota. We had service trucks and a semi full of parts to assist the harvesters and keep their machines harvesting. At the farm shows we helped run demos and also worked the lot and answered product questions.

This internship forced me out of my comfort zone and gave me a lot of practical knowledge that I will use throughout my career. All of the classes I took at UWRF helped me throughout my experience and allowed me to put all the knowledge I have gained to use.

I would absolutely recommend internships to each and every student at UWRF. With my internship experience, I secured a full-time position even before I graduated in May 2014 as a Technical Service Representative for CLAAS in Omaha, Nebraska.

Alex J. Yost

Hometown: Omro, WI
Major: Agricultural Engineering Technology (Environmental Emphasis)
Position Title: Irrigation Design Intern
Employer: North Central Irrigation, Inc.

During my second semester at UWRF I looked for an internship that would test my skills, but would still be an enjoyable learning experience. After searching the internships advertised in my department, I settled on creating an internship at North Central Irrigation Inc. NCI is the only Valley Irrigation dealer in the state of Wisconsin with locations in Plainfield and Beloit, and is a Valley performance plus dealer.

My internship taught me a basic knowledge of center pivot irrigation that I would have never been able to achieve without it. Born and raised in east central Wisconsin, I had never worked with irrigation of crops, let alone serviced an irrigator. I began my internship as a nervous and scared student with minimal professional experience. My internship showed me the ins and outs of being a professional in the agricultural field, and gave me the self-confidence that I would not have found anywhere else.

My special project for the summer was to assist with the completion of a center pivot irrigation project. The plans for an eight tower irrigator were created and from there on out I was on site for the entirety of the project. Duties on site included building the irrigator, wiring and alignment, finishing the project with a flush of the system, and turning the irrigator over to the farmer. Throughout the rest of the summer I was primarily based as an electrical service technician shadowing a professional service technician in the field, where we serviced all makes and models of irrigators, high capacity wells, and all service electronics involved. This included frequency drive wells, standard wells, GPS positioning, and Variable Rate Irrigation.

As a post intern, I would recommend all students in CAFES to try at least one internship while at UWRF. An internship gives the student a behind-the-scenes look into the professional world that a regular employee would not be able to see. The professional learning experience and knowledge that can be acquired in an internship is endless.

Ben Johnson internship picture
Ben Johnson

Hometown: Hudson, WI
Major: Agricultural Engineering Technology
Position Title: Precision Agriculture Solutions Intern
Employer: Oxbo International Corporation

I transferred to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for my junior year and I didn't have much of a background in agriculture. My only direct experience with it was when I went on the wheat run the summer before. So, I knew that it was imperative to find an internship for the coming summer to further my experience and passion with agriculture. Through a couple connections I got in contact with Oxbo International and was invited for an interview and tour. A couple weeks later I got an email offering me an internship to assist the Precision Agriculture Project Manager.

It was a great opportunity because it was an area I didn't know much about and I was going to be able to be involved with many different projects and processes within the company. It was honestly the best experience I could have asked for. The people were great and the opportunities were endless. I was able to be out of the office for a majority of the time and I was very hands-on with a multitude of both small and large projects.

My work also consisted of quite a lot of traveling. I got to see parts of the country I hadn't had the opportunity to enjoy. I made a few trips out to Indiana, one to Illinois, and multiple trips throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Some of the major projects I worked on involved a detasseler prototype, installs of yield trackers in seed corn pickers, along with AutoSteer in pea combines. I spent most of my internship with the pea combines doing some installation, training, product support, along with collecting feedback and doing research on payback at the end of the season.

This internship was the best thing I could've done last summer. I gained a lot of practical knowledge of what it was like to be working in the real world as a member of a company like Oxbo. I highly recommend that everyone completes an internship at least once during college, if not multiple times. You not only learn a lot but you also gain great connections and possible job offers if you do well enough!

Mitch Breuer Intern Summer 2014
Mitch Breuer

Hometown: Goodhue, MN
Major: Agricultural Engineering Technology
Position Title: Crop and Soil Scout Intern
Employer: WinField Solutions - Ag Partners

During my first year at UWRF, I was well aware of the importance of getting an internship in order to receive hands-on experience and to add real-world experience to my resume. After talking to a few peers, I found a company offering an internship right in my hometown which was great since I wanted to stay close to home. So I then began as a Crop and Soil Scout Intern at WinField Solutions® for the summer.

As an intern, I was in charge of taking weekly tissue samples of crops, extracting soil samples from fields, scouting for hay bugs, and scouting for soybean aphids. Doing all these tasks kept me quite busy but at the same time provided a challenging and beneficial work experience. I was responsible for talking with local farmers about the weekly tests I was conducting on their field and that provided me with ample professional customer interaction experience throughout my internship. Skills like that are important for a real career in the future.

The special project concluding my internship involved all the data I gathered during the summer. Upon harvesting, I put all the data from the corn tissue samples into a PowerPoint presentation graph, showing the field stats of farmers throughout the growing season. The information will be presented at the Advanced Yield Systems (AYS) meeting in the winter, which I will be attending.

I fully recommend an internship to all students at UWRF. This internship helped to enhance many of my skills in business through the hands-on and real-world situations I experienced. Some things cannot be taught from reading a book or listening in class, and an internship is an excellent way to provide that extra learning.    

For more information on internships, contact the CAFES Internship Office:

210 Agricultural Science