Honors Summer Snapshots: Trace

Ever wonder what Honors students do during the summer? Honors Ambassadors and students will be taking you into their 2017 summer routines via photos. If you’re tooling around NW Illinois this summer, you’ve probably passed Honors sophomore and Agricultural Engineering student Trace Tuthill on the road, in the field, or chatting with farmers:

My name is Trace Tuthill and this summer I am a sales and marketing intern for Agrigold Hybrids in Wyoming IL. Agrigold is the third largest seller of corn and soybean seed in North America.  This summer, they are employing 72 sales and marketing interns. My job includes making seed returns at the end of spring, putting up field signs (exciting pictures to come later), raising awareness about the Agrigold’s new line of soybeans, and participating in various brand awareness events and sales calls.

The day starts at 6 so that I have time to do my devotions and get my ducks in a row. Usually I clock in around 7. The warehouse is an hour from my house so I usually try to keep my truck as loaded as possible (up to 150 posts and signs) to avoid unnecessary trips.

My district is in northwest Illinois. I have the Stark, Knox, north half of Warren, Mercer, Rock Island, south half of Whiteside, Henry, Peoria, and the west half of Bureau. I’ve put 5500 miles on my truck in 5 weeks….


Currently, I am putting up field signs. If you’re from the Midwest, you’ve probably seen a couple of these bad boys up by fields. I contact growers, meet with them, have them mark the field locations and hybrid numbers on my iPad (which I get to keep at the end of the summer), and then prep and put up signs. My goal for the summer is 800 signs total (I’m at 300 and counting).


Agrigold has several plots in my district. These plots allow agronomists and growers to gauge how well hybrids from different companies do when going head to head. It is also a place where Agrigold rolls out its newest hybrids to do final rounds of testing before putting a new hybrid into production. I’m responsible for putting up the signs, as well as doing population counts and emergence checks.


I also get to do some crop scouting while I’m putting up signs. Our weather has been all over the map this year, from straight line winds to flooding to hail. In this field, there is some pretty severe hail damage. Luckily, the corn was young enough that it should recover and still produce a decent yield.


As you can see, it only takes a couple of days to use up all the supplies. Another cool part about the internship is that the truck is a company truck that I get to use for the summer (unfortunately, I don’t get to keep it at the end of the summer).

I work around 50 hours a week for Agrigold, plus helping dad around the farm. And I’m taking an online class this summer so my free time is limited, but I have found time to get through almost all of Sherlock on Netflix (if you haven’t seen it, drop whatever you’re doing right now and go watch it). I also do some fishing and play basketball with some friends occasionally on the weekend.


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