From barley to Budweiser; An internship in Idaho

August 6, 2018

For Hannah Corey it doesn’t get much better than spending the summer before her senior year working for Anheuser-Busch making some of the best beer in the world.

As an Anheuser-Busch Agronomist Intern in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Corey is spending the summer working on the company’s barley production team.

“Here in Idaho, we grow the barley and turn it into malt for beer production,” said Corey. “Three out of every six pack of Budweiser’s are made with Idaho barley!”

Corey’s focused on three main tasks this summer: a soil health project, a barley production guide and SmartBarley grower surveys.

“I am responsible for making my own schedule to get these projects finished in addition to riding along with the agronomists and assisting with other tasks,” said Corey.

Unlike growing up in Iowa, Corey discovered Idaho agriculture runs on irrigation. The main crops include wheat, barley, alfalfa and potatoes. Barley grows well in Idaho because of the cooler nights and dry climate. Malting barley is a tremendous part of Idaho agriculture, and Anheuser-Busch has grower contracts all over the eastern and southern parts of the state.

It didn’t take long for Corey to adjust to the different approach required in a different climate, thanks to the basics of plant and soil science she has learned at Iowa State University.

“I was surprised at how well my knowledge of corn and soybeans transferred to barley,” said Corey. “Once you understand one cropping system, you know what questions to ask to learn another.”

And it’s been quite a summer for the upcoming senior.

“One of the highlights of my summer was the 2018 Grower Days,” said Corey. “It was a fun event with many growers and Anheuser-Busch upper management in attendance. We had an exciting day with the Budweiser Clydesdales, plot tours, a Budweiser combine, a concert, good food and great beer!”

Her time in Idaho will wrap up soon and she’ll head back to Ames to finish up her final year. The things she experienced will continue to shape her into a better agronomist for years to come.

“Don’t be afraid to take on a whole new state, crop or business,” said Corey. “You know more than you think, and you’ll learn faster than you could ever imagine.”