Meet The 2024 Interns: Thayer Jonak, Western Region Intern

Thayer Jonak, Western Region Intern
July 11, 2023

My name is Thayer Jonak, and I am a 2023 Sales Intern with Hoegemeyer. This fall I will be a Junior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I’m majoring in Plant and Landscape Systems with a primary focus in Agronomy and an emphasis in Crop Protection and Agronomic

Crop Production. I grew up in Grand Island, Nebraska, with my parents and two siblings.


Through high school, I worked at T&E Cattle Co., which is a feedlot just west of Grand Island. Working every day after school and during the summer kept me busy. I was one of the two main farmers for the feedlot, however, I helped out in other areas too. When I graduated from high school, I realized I wanted to focus more on crops and less on the animal side of the feedlot. The summer following my high school graduation I worked at Petersen Farms, Inc., which is a large seed corn operation east of Grand Island. I worked there for two summers and really appreciated the experience and knowledge I received from their operation. However, I also realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I have always had an interest in the seed business, which is why this internship was perfect for me.


Before this internship, I had never heard of rapid growth syndrome. Now that Craig and Phil have shown me what it is, I see it everywhere I drive. Just about any road I go down I can look out across the field and see the light-yellow leaves sticking out. I believe the increased presence of rapid growth syndrome this year is partly due to how hot it has been early in the growing season. Typically, genetics control how much rapid growth syndrome a hybrid may display, but environmental stressors also have a very large effect.


Something that really stood out to me during my time at Hoegemeyer is the customer service. I truly believe the customer service at Hoegemeyer is unmatched. You can call the office and talk to a real person to get the help you need. If you have any issues in the field an agronomist or DSM will come, look at it immediately, and do their best to help you make an informed decision.


There are pros and cons to doing business with a large corporate company compared to small family companies or regional brands. Corporate companies provide many things that family companies can’t afford, such as high-end research and a wide footprint to test products. However, family companies can tailor their products more specifically to their customers. I believe Hoegemeyer is truly the best of both worlds because you get the perks of a large company while feeling like you are doing business with a smaller regional brand. I believe this is what makes Hoegemeyer truly unique.