My name is Elizabeth O’Reilly and I am currently the communications and social media summer intern for the Illinois Corn Marketing Board/Illinois Corn Growers Association. I am from Naperville, Illinois where I had minimal exposure to the agriculture industry while growing up but hope that my background allows me to provide a suburban perspective to the Illinois Corn agriculture team.

I began attending Illinois State University in August of 2010 as an undeclared major. After taking various business, communication, and general education courses as well as meeting with my academic advisor numerous times I decided that I wanted to pursue a degree in Agriculture Communication and Leadership. As I began taking my required courses I fell in love with agriculture. It was truly shocking how I felt so welcome to the major by the other students in my classes as well as by my professors. Last year I became a member of the ISU Collegiate Farm Bureau. I am very excited to get out into the working world as I will graduate in the spring of 2015.

I wanted to be the Illinois Corn communications and social media intern because it is a perfect match for my major. I am eager to learn more about the agriculture industry and even more specifically the corn industry. I know that I will learn so much from this internship opportunity and will enjoy the experience of working out in the real world with people who are tremendously passionate about agriculture, as am I.

Over the course of this summer I look forward to working with the video and graphics communications intern, Tim Marten, to develop ideas and scripts for the creation of informational videos related to the corn industry. So far we have made several short videos that will be played at the Corn Crib during the Normal CornBelters baseball games. I had the opportunity to be in one of the videos and while I had a lot of fun being in the video I also really enjoyed getting to learn about the video production process.  You can see more of the videos here.

I am thrilled to be the communications and social media intern and I am excited to learn, create, and enjoy the rest of the summer here at Illinois Corn.

ElizabethElizabeth O’Reilly


Students seeking meaningful public relations, communications or marketing internships in agriculture should consider the Illinois Corn Marketing Board fall internships recently announced.  Applications are due on June 17.

For all students taking college level classes during the fall 2013 semester, the ICMB Social Media internship is an excellent opportunity to engage in promoting agriculture, learning key social media techniques, and keeping up on issues important to the industry.  Students who have completed the social media internship can expect to exit the semester with a meaningful portfolio of work and a new skill set to aid in their future job search.

The social media internship consists of managing a social media application for the semester and can be done from any college or university in Illinois.  Applicants do not need to reside in or near Bloomington, IL.

Students with video production skills may also wish to consider the ICMB Video Production Internship, available to students taking college level classes during the fall 2013 semester.  Throughout this internship, students will be shooting, editing, and producing videos that promote agriculture and Illinois farmers through on-site investigations of why farmers do what they do.  Examples of previous completed videos can be found on the IL Corn YouTube channel at

The video production internship can also provide much needed diversification for a video production student’s portfolio.

For more information on either of these opportunities, please visit or email Lindsay Mitchell at

Click here to download an application.


Originally posted on CountrySpirit by Karen Blatter

Erin EhnleGoing viral on the Internet was never in Erin Ehnle’s plans for Keeping it Real: Through the Lens of a Farm Girl project.

But, a year later, she has more than 17,120 “likes” and followers to her Facebook page.  Even though other businesses, places and movements can gain millions of fans, 17,120 is more than the farm girl, with a high school graduating class of less than 50, could imagine.

“I thought I would have 100 or so people following me – just like friends and family,” she said.  “But I never thought I would be over a 1,000 or even at 10,000.”

As a social media intern with the Illinois Corn Marketing Board in the spring 2012 semester, Ehnle created the page as part of her project.  She did weekly and daily posts using her own pictures and statistics and facts about agriculture.


Raised on a corn and soybean farm, Ehnle said her passion and heart are 100 percent in agriculture and farming.  Creating a page that showed her passion was easy.

“I just wanted to talk about agriculture and clear up some of the misconceptions that people have,” she said.  “I’m not an expert, but it’s what is most important to me.”

She started tinkering with photography in high school and bought her first camera with the money she earned while working ground on her family farm.

The hobby turned into a business as people started to see her pictures and asked her to take family pictures and others.  When she started the internship, linking her two passions into a social media concept was easy.

She said people from across the country have liked her page, which has gotten much more exposure than she ever imagined.  She said some of her posts lead to conversations about agriculture, and fans have also helped to speak the truth about agriculture.

“I wanted to give people something to think about,” she said.  “The page did that, and led to a conversation between producers and consumers.”

Even though the internship is over, Ehnle said she keeps up with weekly posts to give her fans something to “like,” while juggling school full time.  She takes the time to go home most weekends and participate in the activities of her parents’ farm, but she misses the ability to take agriculture pictures every day.

The connections she’s made through the page have given her opportunities and allowed her to get to know other people, and career paths, in agriculture.

“I don’t know what I’ll be doing, or where I will be doing it, but I know I will be an agriculture advocate,” she said.  “All of us have something ot say about agriculture.”