Fostering Agribusiness Internships – AgStar’s College Relations Program

Since 1916, AgStar Financial Services ACA has been dedicated to serving agriculture and rural America as part of the Farm Credit system. Operating primarily in 69 counties in Minnesota and Wisconsin, we serve 21,000 clients. AgStar has developed successful programs in loans, leases, crop insurance, rural home mortgages and more. But we couldn’t be successful without our team. That’s why we are committed to bringing out the best in the individuals that wake up every day to serve our clients, including students who obtain internships with AgStar.

Developing and inspiring students’ knowledge of agriculture and business is a priority for AgStar. That’s why we have developed a variety of internship opportunities available for current college students every year. Students get the opportunity to gain experiences on and off the farm which allows students to take information learned in the classroom and apply it to the business world. We believe that our internship program is mutually beneficial for the students and for AgStar. AgStar strives to be an employer of choice for current team members as well as for students entering the workforce, which is why we have consistently been named a Top Workplace through the Star Tribune.

Our clients’ success is of utmost importance to AgStar, and we have discovered that we can’t go at this task alone. Partnerships with faculty members, career services departments, and internship programs on campuses are vital to the success of our college relations program. One university we continue to find success partnering with is Minnesota State University, Mankato (MNSU) – my alma mater.

AgStar partners with MNSU to attract high quality talent for our internship program. These internships target students who are pursuing degrees in Marketing, Finance, Accounting, Human Resources, Information Technology, Business, and more. The College of Business recently established the office of partnerships and internships, which has helped us expand our brand to the campus community. This will help us continue to source top talent and build relationships with faculty members within the College of Business. Through this partnership over the last few years, AgStar has had the opportunity to attend a College of Business Faculty Lunch & Learn, participate in a Value of Internships Panel, and speak to a variety of different clubs on campus including the Society of Human Resources Management Club, Accounting Club, and Marketing Club.

Our brand on campus is stronger today than ever before, due to these efforts. The office of partnerships and internships has truly helped AgStar optimize relationship based recruitment efforts on campus. This has resulted in opportunities for students to obtain internships, and often those internships result in full-time employment with the AgStar. “AgStar is an incredible place to work if you’re looking for an innovative company that makes you feel welcome, provides you with opportunities to grow, and offers an exceptional internship experience,” says Nicholas Bryant, a current student attending Minnesota State University, Mankato who is AgStar’s Marketing Communications and Events Intern. On average, AgStar hires 20-30 Interns each year in career related fields such as Sales, Credit, Crop Insurance, Technology, Finance, Human Resources, and Marketing.

AgStar has established a very strong college relations program, but we couldn’t have done it without the help of the different universities, specifically Minnesota State University, Mankato. Many of our Interns are the future of AgStar. The relationship between the student and AgStar is invaluable.