The Midwest Dairy Farmer Relations Internship Program provides an excellent opportunity for students currently enrolled in Ag Education, Communications, and Leadership, or Dairy and Food Science at a South Dakota University. The intern must positively represent Midwest Dairy while gaining practical experience in ag education, communications, leadership development or dairy and food science programs for the dairy industry.


Brookings, South Dakota:  Position located in a Brookings, SD office on the campus of South Dakota State University.  Approximate dates:  May 26 through September 7, 2020 (Must be available entire duration of the South Dakota State Fair).


  1. Must be a student that is currently enrolled in Ag Education, Communications, and Leadership, or Dairy and Food Science at a South Dakota university.
  2. Must be at least 18 years old on January 1, 2020.
  3. Must be available from approximately May 26 through September 7, 2020 (Must be available entire duration of the South Dakota State Fair).
  4. Must have an interest in Ag Education, Communications, and Leadership, or Dairy and Food Science and/or the dairy industry.
  5. Must locate in or near Brookings, SD and have reliable transportation.

A preference will be given to applicants with:

  1. Excellent communication skills, including writing and public speaking.
  2. Strong organizational skills, maturity and the ability to work independently.
  3. Familiarity with the dairy industry, and state fairs.
  4. A background or interest in or agriculture.
  5. Computer experience.
  6. A South Dakota resident


  1. Applicants must submit, via e-mail,  a resume, and a two-page, typed, double-spaced written essay describing two new initiatives that could help Midwest Dairy best serve its dairy producer funders to drive product sales and/or enhance dairy producer image, and a list of three references including, but not limited to, current and former employers.

These e-mailed applications are due November 30, 2019.  Please e-mail all applications to:

Tom Peterson, Farmer Relations Program Manager at

  1. Finalists will be notified for interviews by December 15, 2019.  The intern will assume a salaried internship with Midwest Dairy and an office location at Brookings, SD and must locate in or near Brookings, SD and have reliable transportation.

2020 Midwest Dairy Internship Program

Program Objectives

  1. Provide an outstanding young adult the opportunity to positively represent and work on behalf of the dairy industry in order to advance Midwest Dairy’s corporate objectives.
  2. Provide a challenging, educational and rewarding opportunity for a person to gain a practical education about the function of business, specifically the marketing and generic promotion of real dairy products.  This program also provides the intern with professional training and development opportunities.
  3. Generate assistance (human resources) to implement Midwest Dairy’s program of work.
  4. Introduce potential future employees to Midwest Dairy, and position the organization as a potential future employer to interns and candidates.
  5. Provide constructive input about the organization’s programming and operations, specifically about the internship program and its potential value for upcoming years.
  6. Build awareness in the academic and agricultural communities of Midwest Dairy as an organization that offers interesting and rewarding career opportunities.  It also allows the organization to build rapport with academic and agricultural leaders who may lend assistance/recommendations when the organization fills professional positions.

Position Description

Term:  Approximately May 25 through September 7, 2020  (Must be available entire duration of the South Dakota State Fair).  This experiential learning opportunity is short-term (summer) employment based in a Brookings, SD office.  During the summer program, the intern will be a paid employee of Midwest Dairy, earning $6,000 for three months, but will not be eligible for any benefits other than those provided to all employees under applicable law.  The intern will work full-time hours, which may include some weekends, and unlimited hours during the applicable state fair responsibilities. Some flexibility in start dates, or during the employment period, is allowed.

Responsibilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assist with the writing, development and distribution of media materials.
  • Work with Farmer Relations Manager to identify and develop other promotional and educational materials and displays for use at state fairs and open houses.
  • Write regular internal and external Midwest Dairy publications via Midwest Dairy News.
  • Assist specific Midwest Dairy staff members with programs unique to their state, such as: farm tours and open houses; Dairy Fest; social media efforts; and June Dairy Month and similar promotion activities.
  • Assist with planning and onsite implementation of state fair activities.
  • Perform miscellaneous administrative and support functions including, but not limited to, report writing, ordering materials and collecting information.
  • Perform other tasks as assigned.


  1. Directly responsible to and reports to the Farmer Relations Program Manager
  2. Participates in the state fair project team.
  3. Works under the direction/supervision of project leaders on specific projects.


  1. Weekly itinerary and activity reports.
  2. Program/project updates as requested.
  3. Complete a timesheet.


  1. Receive $6,000 for three months paid in two-week increments.
  2. Mileage and other expense reimbursement according to organization policy.
  3. Workers’ compensation and liability insurance during summer employment.
  4. Training and personal development opportunities.
  5. Copies of completed projects, articles and other materials for future reference as long as not confidential in nature.

Other Provisions

  1. Upon selection, the intern must certify that he or she will be available and will participate in the entire applicable state fair. 
  2. Although the organization anticipates the internship will last for approximately three months, no selected intern is guaranteed to have his or her internship last for any period of time.  The organization reserves the right to end the internship of an individual at any time for any reason.  Agreement by an individual to participate in the internship does not constitute a contract or guarantee of employment.
  3. The organization reserves the right to discontinue the program if no qualifying applications are received as determined by the organization or for any other reason.
  4. Family members of Midwest Dairy directors or staff are ineligible for consideration unless the Midwest Dairy board grants a special exception.
  5. Must be able to pass a background check.

2020 Internship Work Activities

Assist with planning and participate in June Dairy Month activities to include:

  • All June Dairy Month events
  • Dairy Fest and related Open House
  • Ag United collaborative Open Houses and related events
  • Collaborative events through SDSU
  • Other events as needed

Additional activities include:

  • State fair planning with events, activities and exhibits
  • Coordinating volunteers to help with activities at the state fair
  • Write press releases for 2020 South Dakota Division Scholarship winners
  • Write and submit success stories to Midwest Dairy News
  • Attend coalition (Ag United) meetings when applicable to understand relationships with other commodity groups and partners.

This is not meant to be a complete list.  It is only to be used as a guide to potential work activities for the internship position.