Danielle Youngblut

Danielle Youngblut
Agricultural Business
Year Graduated: 

Major: Agricultural Business
Year: Senior
Company/Organization: Iowa 4-H Foundation
Title: Social Media and Marketing Intern
Location: Ames, Iowa 

What do you like about your internship?

I really enjoyed the flexibility of my internship and the variety of projects I was able to work on. I also loved seeing my work published in newspapers or shared online on social media platforms!

What are some classes or experiences that helped prepare you?

The experience I with the Adobe suite prior to my role at the Iowa 4-H Foundation was extremely helpful, but I continued to expand my skillset with the software during my internship. 

Was your internship impacted by Covid-19? How so?

Yes, my internship was greatly impacted by COVID but thankfully my employer still chose to host an intern and offer unique learning opportunities. For example, I would normally be in the office working every day but this summer I worked from home instead. In order to communicate with staff, I engaged in weekly staff meetings via Zoom. Even the board meetings were conducted via Zoom!

Final Thoughts 

Getting involved with Agricultural Entrepreneurship Initiative (AgEI) is one of the best decisions I've made while in college. While I have always possessed an interest in running my own business, it never felt feasible until I started learning from successful mentors and entrepreneurs. Even if I never operate a startup after college, I have gained skills and a unique mindset that will be invaluable to my worth as an employee and as an individual. So far, I've been able to engage with AgEI through Change-Maker Academy, the Student Leadership Team, and Rural Entrepreneurship Academy. This semester I am also enrolled in Econ 334 and will join the Student Incubator Program.

Pursuing a degree in Agricultural  Business alongside my AgEI involvement has also been beneficial in many ways. First, my classes lay the foundation in understanding the industry I'm interested in—the same industry my future business may exist in. Secondly, I can often implement what I've learned from classes when participating in AgEI programs. Finally, staff and faculty members serving Ag Bus students and AgEI programs are always willing to lend a helping hand and craft opportunities for students based on their interests and needs. 

Gravel Road SunflowersMy small business, Gravel Road Sunflowers (GRS) was started this summer through my participation in Rural Entrepreneurship Academy. Rural Entrepreneurship Academy provided me with a ton of great resources to get started. For example, Marcie Fahn provided contact information for Morgan Lee Hibbs from the Tiffin area who runs Farmhouse Flowers. I was able to learn a lot of tips and tricks from Morgan when it comes to growing flowers. The rest has been a learning experience as I go! 

GRS, which is located on my grandparent's farm in Rowley, Iowa, consists of about 1/3rd of an acre of sunflowers that are available for U-pick to customers. I am really proud of the success I've had, as I just recently opened to the public. I plan to continue opening my sunflower patch every weekend to the public until the sunflower season is over. 

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