(Left to right: Brian Garhofer (Manager) and Yvette Ishimwe (intern).)
The Taralan Corporation is an agriculture consulting company serving roughly 70 growers in Minnesota and Northern Iowa. Over the years, Taralan developed a system that identified 54 unique factors that impact a crop yield. This includes everything from soil texture to expected rainfall. Their software app, the MultiFactor System™, helps Taralan’s clients develop more effective crop management and fertility plans by taking all 54 factors into account and then calculating a precise recommendation for when growers should plant to yield the best crop.
When it comes to farming, there are so many elements that growers can’t control. “We help them with the things they can control,” said Taralan’s Manager, Brian Garhofer. “And by doing that, you create a healthy field.”
About the intern
Yvette Ishimwe is a Computer Information Systems major at Minnesota State University Moorhead. As a college senior, she already had one internship under her belt working for Microsoft. This year, she turned to the Minnesota High Tech Association, having been familiar with the org’s scholarship opportunities, and enrolled in the SciTech Internship Program.
“I was impressed with SciTech,” Ishimwe said. “Compared to looking on LinkedIn or Google, this process is really easy for getting internships. I liked the structure of the platform. Having the direct contact information of the hiring managers is really nice.”
Using the SciTech job board, she found Garhofer’s posting for an application development intern and reached out to secure her internship for the summer.
“I’ve never worked with farming before,” Ishimwe said, “so this is definitely a first time experience and I like it.”
Skills of the trade
Ishimwe worked with Garhofer and another Taralan programmer to create an updated database for the MultiFactor System™ to improve Taralan’s recommendations for clients. Working on this project meant learning a new coding language which Ishimwe then used to create a more robust user interface.
At the time of the interview, Ishimwe was using sample data to test her software updates internally before launching them for Taralan’s end users. A couple of weeks later, they released the updates to their clients, giving Ishimwe the opportunity to work with Taralan’s field reps and get their feedback for improvement.
“In terms of what I’ve learned so far with this internship,” Ishimwe said, “I’m learning how to code and program in a new coding language. I’m learning as I go and I’m learning a lot.”
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