Northeast Student Interns with Canadian Company

Published on: August 27, 2019

GOTHENBURG, NE – An internship Zach Kolbo is completing through Northeast Community College will give him an edge on his future. Combining computer imagery with hands-on work in the field, Kolbo’s internship is providing him with valuable work experience.

Kolbo grew up in the town of Gothenburg, but his middle school and high school years were spent working on the farm, “Twenty-four, seven,” as he said. His goal of obtaining a degree in agronomy has been shaped in large part by those years. His internship between his first and second years at Northeast will further help him reach his goal.

While searching for an internship placement, he ran across a program offered through Farmers Edge. After sending in his application, he was pleased to receive a request for an interview the next day, and was ultimately placed with the company.

A Canada-based company, Farmers Edge expanded its territory into the United States about three years ago. The company’s client success managers utilize field-centric data, daily satellite imagery, easy-to-use software, predictive modeling, digital agronomy and advanced analytics to transform the resulting information into valuable directives for its customers.

Each day, Kolbo finds himself either collecting and searching computer-based data to locate and verify problems, or scouting fields for customers.

“We don’t sell products,” Kolbo said. “We locate any issues the grower is facing, and are able to tell them what the problems and solutions are without stepping on their property.” These issues include such things as rectifying inadequate moisture or nitrogen levels, thereby increasing production for growers, “so they can try to do more with less,” Kolbo said.

“We wow them,” Kolbo continued, “with how far we can get with the computer before we step into their fields.”

Kolbo said his increased efficiency in the use of this data-driven technology gives him a good jump start for future plans, Kolbo, who describes himself as a hands-on learner, said “I took what I knew and my on-farm experience, and am advancing it, broadening my knowledge on ag in general.”

Funding for the$23 million project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new farm site with a farm office and storage, a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, and a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on East Benjamin Avenue.

For more information, contact Northeast Community College Associate Vice President of Development and External Affairs Dr. Tracy Kruse, tracyk@northeast.edu, 402-844-7056. Online donations can be made through the website agwaternexus.com. Checks can be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.

Photo Cutline – Kolbo

Northeast Community College alum Zach Kolbo