Dwight and Shelly Mayer, owners of Mayer Farms, are sharing their farm business experience with interns. Two students have been serving summer internships at the Mayer businesses near Slinger, Wisconsin. The internships offer hands-on learning to promote greater understanding of farming, animal husbandry and agri-tourism that can only be truly learned in practice, said Dwight Mayer.

Emily Franke of Oakfield, Wisconsin, is serving an internship as a sales and marketing specialist for Mayer Farms Beef LLC and Folk Song Farm Events, LLC. She is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is double-majoring in dairy science and life sciences communication with a certificate in agricultural business management.

Franke has been managing events, inventories, staff, developing and executing numerous marketing efforts, conducting community-outreach activities, and managing social media and other facets of the businesses. She said she enjoys selling meat at the West Bend Farmer’s Market and the Mayer farm store because she likes meeting new people and sharing the story of Mayer Farms Beef.

At Folk Song Farm she coordinates marketing and public outreach for farm-to-table events, provides historical tours of the farm, and interacts with community groups. She also works with families who are holding at the farm weddings, showers and other life celebrations.

Mariah Estrada was raised near Denver and is a junior at Colorado State University. She is pursuing a degree in animal science. She applied for an internship through the Professional Dairy Producers where she met Shelly Mayer. At Mayer Farms LLC, the Mayers' dairy operation, she is involved in calf care, milking, and numerous other herd-management experiences.

“Shelly and I have been fortunate to have had numerous mentors in our lives,” Dwight Mayer said. “Neighbors, fellow farmers, 4-H leaders and countless industry professionals have helped us learn and grow throughout our careers. We believe it’s now our duty to help others. With every young person we can encourage, we're giving back a small part of what we have reaped throughout our lives.”

The Mayers are the sixth-generation of their family to farm. Together with their three adult children they milk 60 Registered Holstein and Brown Swiss cows. Visit mayerfarmsbeef.com and folksongfarm.com for more information.