We are beginning to notice a trend as we continue to say this every year, but the competition for our 2021 All West Summer Internship position was truly greater than ever before! A record number of 27 impressive college students sent us applications from fifteen states across the nation and even across the border in Canada! After virtual interviews with several of our top candidates and tough deliberation among our All West Internship Committee, we are pleased to introduce our 2021 All West Summer Intern, Mitchell Wesen!
Mitchell is currently a third-year student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo where he is working towards his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Business. He is also including more dairy courses in his college schedule as he is considering adding a Dairy Science minor to his resume. Mitchell is also an active member of Cal Poly’s Los Lecheros Dairy Club and the Agribusiness Management/NAMA Club.
Mitchell’s unique experience living in two major states of All West Territory made him a very desirable intern candidate early on in the application process. He became part of the All West Family at a young age where he grew up on Wesen Farms Inc. in Bow, Washington located near our headquarters office. This is where Mitchell’s passion for the industry first formed as he helped his family of fourth-generation dairy farmers with daily chores such as milking and feeding the cattle. As he got older, he also gained experience in welding and farm maintenance projects, as well as farm work involved in planting, irrigating and harvesting crops.
Since 2017, Mitchell has also had the unique opportunity to work in All West Territory’s state of Alaska as a commercial fisherman for Ugashik Setnetters. His responsibilities in this seasonal role have included catching and selling wild sockeye salmon, as well as washing, cleaning, and maintaining the boat and fishing gear each summer.
Furthering his education in All West Territory’s Golden State presented Mitchell with the opportunity to gain work experience at the nation’s largest student-run dairy, the Cal Poly Dairy. Mitchell first worked at the Cal Poly Creamery as a production worker where he produced, cut, and wrapped a variety of cheese to be sold directly to consumers on the university campus. Eventually, his love for cows led him to pursue the on-farm role of milking the herd each day as part of Cal Poly’s team of student milkers.
As Mitchell enrolled in several Dairy Science courses, he became very interested in genetics and artificial insemination. After receiving certification from the All West/Select Sires A.I. Training School hosted at Cal Poly, he began practicing his artificial insemination techniques on the dairy herd regulary. This skill led him to his current position as Breeding Manager of the Cal Poly Dairy.
“I continued to practice breeding cows while I was at home working on my family farm last summer,” said Mitchell. “I was fortunate to be hired as the Breeding Manager and throughout this past year I have been able to vastly expand my knowledge about breeding cows and animal husbandry. At Cal Poly, we do all of our own breeding, using a double ovsynch program, activity monitors, and chalking tailheads to detect heats. I have been able to learn about ovulation cycles, when to give prostaglandin and GnRH, as well as how to treat cows who are in need. We also do our own vet checks at the college, which has allowed me to start learning how to detect pregnancies by hand, as well as with an ultrasound.”
While Mitchell has already gained a great deal of experience through these roles, he is most looking forward to putting his current skill set to use and learning more about genetic selections, mating systems, account management, sales, and the industry as a whole through his upcoming ten-week internship experience.
The All West Internship Committee reported that from their virtual meeting with him, they already know Mitchell is hardworking, experienced, and a proficient team player. Besides his passion for cows, they also discovered his love for hunting, fishing, and being outdoors so we are certain he will fit right in with the All West Family!
Mitchell’s internship experience will most likely be based near our Burlington, Washington headquarters location, but we are hopeful to have him travel throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as California, pending COVID-19 restrictions this summer.
We would like to thank our generous customers in advance for making this experience possible for the future of our industry by allowing our intern to visit your farms and ranches. If you happen to see Mitchell at your dairy, say hello and snap a photo to share with us by tagging #AllWestSummerIntern on social media!
Congratulations Mitchell! Welcome to the All West Family!