Kelly Fager

My Internship with Ohio Farm Bureau Federation

Week 5- Hiring and Finalizing

Just like any week, this week was no different with continued productivity on the Land and Living exhibit for the Ohio State Fair. This week we were able to make great progress in laying out what we hope will be the final layout.

Having had many conversations over the past couple of weeks, we have successfully figured out who all will be in our building and reaching out to find more stage acts for our “Country Connections” stage. Our goal for this week was to put together a final layout that will be used for the building. We were able to put this on computer and then went to the fairgrounds to chalk all the areas to make sure it will be successful for the fair. A challenge we faced was making sure that all exhibitors had accurate space and would be able to fulfill their needs. We added several new exhibitors this year and are trying to make the building more innovative and hands-on this year. With the new exhibitors this year, we are hoping to use them to help tell the story of agriculture. We are looking forward to working further with these exhibitors with hopes that future partnerships will continue.

This week was also a great way for me to see myself as a Human Resource employee. Since I was delegated the responsibility of hiring ambassadors and doing all the paper work, I was able to see if I would want to be in HR for my future. Particularly last week and this week we were able to interview 35 individuals. I was responsible to draft offer letters, put together an ambassador new hire packet, ambassador training flyer, important dates to remember, and also an availability form for working. I was able to send this out to 28 individuals this week offering them the position.

Since we hired ambassadors this week, we began working on ambassador training material as well. We will be doing this training at Lazer Kraze in June. We want these ambassadors to have a great experience working with Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, the fairgoers at Ohio State Fair, and also growing as a leader while educating the public about agriculture.

This internship has exceeded my expectations and love seeing this future exhibit coming together each day!

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Week 4- Brainstorming

Hard to believe that I have now completed week 4 of my internship with Ohio Farm Bureau Federation! I have already learned so much in such a short time and looking forward to the coming weeks!

This week consisted primarily of meetings and brainstorming to start putting the finishing touches on the building layout. On Monday, the other interns and myself had the oppportunity to present to the Executive Council of Ohio Farm Bureau about our Disney trip, what is happening with building, and where we are going in the future with the building. The Council asked us several questions and provided valuable insight on what else they thought could be incorporated. We also had the opportunity to meet with an individual from Nationwide to hear her exact plans for their booth space this year. As well we met with an individual to talk about an energy display that we will design and build. We had lunch with three communication staff members to get to know them better and find out how they help us with the Ohio State Fair public relations and promotion. This week’s meetings were very valuable and provided all of the interns with a clearer picture of where we are going.

Brainstorming…Brainstorming…Brainstorming! The past couple of weeks has been just that. We have made definite progress and have a rough outline of the building set-up completed. This week we actually came up with an idea of how to incorporate the entire building into the look of the new food guide pyramid. This idea we will be presenting to our two bosses and a few other staff members to see if this is a direction they are willing to go to brand the building. We are very excited and hoping that this will be a success. During our brainstorming sessions, we all were able to make further contact with exhibitors in our sections to hear more about what their intention is currently and what they need from Farm Bureau. I definitely have made connections and now have future contacts with them.

We also did phone interviews with potential ambassadors. We had 28 interviews with this coming week for any extras who will be applying. These interviews lasted 10-15 minutes and were professional in regards to questions and discussion.

This internship has definitely allowed me to critically think and design an exhibit from scratch. It has been a great opportunity thus far and is something that many internships don’t necessarily offer. I have gotten to know so many people both inside and outside the organization. I have made friends for life with the other two interns and so glad that we are a very close team.

Next week we will be finalizing the building plan by going out to sketch it in the building and then putting it on a computer program. We have more meetings to attend and will be presenting our food guide pyramid look for the building to a few individuals. We also will be making final decisions on ambassadors and beginning to draft emails to send out. Will be a busy and productive upcoming week!

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Week 3- Meetings & Planning

Hard to believe that I already have completed week 3 of my internship!

Myself and the other two interns this week focused on contacting commodities, organizations and businesses who have been in the “Land and Living” exhibit in the past as well as those we feel could bring something to the building.  Besides contacting through email or phone, we also had meetings this week as well.  We met with Ohio Soybean Council to discuss booth layout, stage opportunities, and what they are looking for in the building.  We also met with the gentleman who is in-charge of the horticulture contest whose displays our in the Donahey Ag and Hort Building.  These meetings gave me the opportunity to get to know others in the agriculture industry.  We also were able to meet with employees at Ohio Farm Bureau to get more ideas for the building.

Another task that I was given this week was that I will be responsible for the ambassador program regarding getting resumes, doing interviews, sending out offer letters, making sure paperwork is collected, and keeping in close contact with the Human Resource employee at OFBF.  This week, the interns were able to check out Lazer Kraze to make sure this is the location we want for ambassador training in June.

This week we went out to the Ohio State Fairgrounds to do inventory on all equipment and signs that we have collected over the years.  To help with the process, I was in-charge of taking photos to keep a record of everything that we have.  Signage is very important and was something that took awhile.  We decided to bring all the signs back to the office, which turned into an interesting adventure.  Let’s just say that large signs take creative thinking when going into an elevator!  However, we were able to figure out how to fit these signs in.  This coming week we will be meeting with the Communication team to begin laying out what kind of signage and design work we need for fair.

Overall, this week went really well.  It was a week where a lot was accomplished regarding the building and brainstorming on exactly what we want in the building.  I didn’t face any difficulties this week that couldn’t be overcome. Next week will be full of meetings again and beginning the interview process for ambassadors.  I just can’t wait to see how the design on paper will come to life for the fair!

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Week 1 & 2- Welcome & Disney

It’s hard to believe that summer has started early for students at The Ohio State University.  Just like any other student, I began my internship at Ohio Farm Bureau Federation immediately after finals were done.  I will be serving as a Lead Intern for the Land and Living Exhibit at the Ohio State Fair.

I began my internship on May 1.  The first week consisted primarily of meetings, getting to know staff and understanding network.  This year there are three Lead Interns for this exhibit.  I knew one of the interns very well and had the opportunity to meet the other intern on the first day.  To help us interns get a better idea of what to expect with this internship, we were able to meet with last year’s interns to ask questions and understand exhibit better.  This truly helped each of us gain knowledge and useful tips for our internship.  My second week of the internship consisted of meetings on Monday.  Then I flew out Tuesday morning to head to Disney World in Florida where I was until Friday evening.

With new leadership in-charge of this exhibit, us interns are responsible for creating new interactive displays and “telling a story” within the building.  As part of the new training, my two bosses and all three interns spent four days at Disney World for an educational trip.  Having just got back from Florida, I now have new ideas and creative ways for our upcoming exhibit.  The reasoning behind going to Disney World was to see how Disney uses customer service, magic, detail, color, and interaction with guests.  Before heading to Disney we were required to read “Disney U” as part of our training.  This book talks about customer service and how Disney trains it’s cast members.

A few things I noticed when at Disney World:
1.  Safety is very important- the streets are colored black and the sidewalks are red.
2.  Employees are called “cast members” because they are helping put on the show and each one is an important feature to it.
3.  Detail is very important- if something is under construction, Disney will use catchy signs or canvas to cover up what is happening behind the scenes.

All of the notes, photos and memories will be transformed into ideas and applying the techniques learned to our exhibit at Ohio State Fair.  It was a great opportunity, very educational, and a great team building trip!

This upcoming week will consist of more meetings and brainstorming among the interns.  I’m really excited and looking forward to this internship!

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OFBF Interns at Disney World:
Kelly Guthrie, Ian Adams, Kelly Fager

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