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August 17
Intern Insights: Learning Through Work

By: Justin Webster

​Growing up on a 4,000 cow dairy, naturally I have always had an interest in agriculture, however I have never really experienced other aspects of the industry. Yes, my mom has a small row crop operation, but that is it. So when I was hired by GreenStone I made it my goal to learn more about other non-dairy industries and operations, along with gaining a deeper understanding of the behind-the-scene aspects of dairy farms. Being a credit intern, I have been exposed to the financing of farms, whether it be a 500 acre hobby farm or an 8,000 cow dairy. All operations need financing and all need it for different purposes. Through these couple of months I can confidently say I am much more knowledgeable about the agricultural industry as a whole; especially on the financial side.

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The primary focus of my internship is working on a peer comparison Excel project. For this, we enter customers' financial statements into Excel; there is one file each for dairy, row crop and greenhouses. The data flows to create charts and graphs and we are able to compare approximate same size operations to one another (their "peer") and see why one might be struggling and the other is thriving. This allows us to analyze financials dating back to 2008.

In addition to the peer comparison project, I have been working one-on-one with two credit analysts to learn more about GreenStone’s credit process. This includes entering in key financial data (balance sheet, tax returns and income and expenses) into our secure software for analysis and then discussing the information with sales and credit teams to determine the loan structure. I have really enjoyed working through this process and it has given me an interest to pursue a career in the financial side of agriculture.

Working at GreenStone has been a joy. The people are friendly and are always there to answer any questions. With that said, I have really come to appreciate two colleagues, Scott Simon and Kyanne Rodabaugh as I have spent a majority of my internship working side-by-side with both of them. These two, and the entire credit team, have helped me learn an endless amount about the credit process during my internship and have made a valuable impact on what I will pursue as a career!

Justin Webster is a credit intern with GreenStone Farm Credit Services.

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