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Learning how cooperatives work

Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 10:12 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - For two summer interns, the experiences they gained at Frontier Cooperative will be valuable tools in helping them navigate their future career choices.

During a recent visit to the Frontier Cooperative headquarters in Lincoln, we talked to an intern named Francis Nzivugira, who is from Rwanda. “My role is digital transformation,” Nzivugira said. “What that involves is investigating the ways that technology can be used to make farming practices better.”

Nzivugira grew up in Africa in a farming environment. “My family had cattle, and grew rice,” Nzivugira said. “I had the opportunity to get a scholarship and come to Nebraska. Last summer, I was looking at internships that would fit my values. I discovered Frontier Cooperative. I was like, I have never worked at a coop. So, let me go ahead and try it and see how the experience goes. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is technology and agriculture is a whole new field that many don’t think about. This is a new side of agriculture that can make planting and harvesting much more efficient.”

Valerie Bohuslavsky is another intern we talked with at Frontier. “I have served as a marketing intern,” Bohuslavsky said. “I got to work on all of the marketing and communication aspects of the business. I am from David City, and our family has a farm near Brainard. I have definitely seen the positive impacts that cooperatives have on rural communities and family farms. Coops really put their farmers first.”

“My biggest take-away that I’ve gotten from this internship over the summer is I’ve gotten a chance to see how different teams work together in a business,” Bohuslavsky said. “I got to be a part of that and insert myself, to see how these teams really work to help the ag community.” Bohuslavsky says she might consider working for a cooperative someday after this internship. “The cooperative system is appealing,” Bohuslavsky said. “I could see it going any direction.”

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