Farmers Union Interns Teach Rural Youth About Farm Safety, Cooperation and Leadership

Posted on: May 12, 2022   |   Category: News Releases

Each summer South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) seeks out exceptional individuals to aid the organization in its summer youth education efforts.

“These interns are integral to our educational mission,” said Educational Director Rachel Haigh-Blume. “Working as a team, we create fun ways to bring farm safety, cooperative and leadership education to South Dakota’s rural youth.

This summer’s interns are South Dakota State University students, Erin Sabo and Jordan Gusa, and Mount Marty University students, Kiah Trainor and Elle Goodrich.

Throughout the summer, SDFU Interns help host more than 36 camps in communities across the state. For more information and to register, visit www.sdfu.org and click on the Education tab.

Read on to learn more about the 2022 SDFU interns.

Erin Sabo, student at SDSU studying ag leadership & business

Erin 2

Growing up, Erin Sabo was actively involved in 4-H. She says involvement in the organization pushed her out of her comfort zone and helped her develop confidence.

“I was a shy little girl. My mom had to say my name for me at 4-H meetings. Because of the mentors, friends and experiences I had through 4-H, by the time I graduated, I served as a Minnesota State 4-H Ambassador.”

As a State 4-H Ambassador, she helped organize state leadership conferences. Summer 2021, Sabo served as a Minnesota State 4-H intern and helped host day camps for youth.

This summer, she is eager to implement what she has learned from these previous experiences into her work as an SDFU intern.

“I learned last year to go with the flow and always have a backup plan,” she said.

After graduation, Sabo plans to work with youth through Extension or another agriculture-related organization. She says she is excited to work with Farmers Union this summer.

“I think it is cool that there is an entity offering all these great opportunities for youth and farm families across South Dakota,” Sabo said.

Jordan 1

Jordan Gusa, student at SDSU studying agriculture leadership & communication studies

When Jordan Gusa learned about the SDFU summer internship, she felt it was a good fit because, “I love to talk and I love working with kids. I think being able to put on camps all summer is the best of both worlds.”

Gusa also believes educating youth about agriculture is a great way to support an industry she respects. “I can’t think of a better way to spend my summer than to support the industry that literally keeps the world spinning by feeding all the families in the world.”

Summer 2021, Gusa served as a Minnesota 4-H intern. She says she is eager to put the skills she learned as a camp counselor to work this summer as an SDFU intern.

She is also excited to get to know South Dakota better. “I am looking forward to driving across the state and touring the rural communities and see farms and ranches in South Dakota.”

After college she hopes to work in recruitment for an agriculture business.


Kiah Trainor, Student at Mount Marty University studying English and secondary education

Kiah Trainor’s mom runs an in-home daycare, so she has always been around kids and learned early on that like her mom, she wanted a career working with them.

“I have always loved watching them learn and thought it would be cool to impact children’s journey in life as a teacher,” said Trainor, who grew up in Rapid City.

As she studies to become a middle school English teacher, Trainor has worked in a few classrooms and is eager to apply what she leaned from this experience as well as university classroom to her work as an SDFU intern.

“I have always wanted to work at a summer camp,” she says. “I enjoy figuring out the best way to interact with youth and keep them engaged – making sure they are having fun and learning at the same time.”


Elle Goodrich, student at Mount Marty University studying secondary education

with a minor in special education

A motto Elle Goodrich chooses to live by is, “Be that change you want to see in the world.” And she sees teaching as her way to accomplish it.

“Teaching gives me an opportunity to influence students and help them,” she explains.

Becoming a teacher was not initially on her mind when she first enrolled at Mount Marty. Her university adviser suggested she look into it after she tried a few other focuses and found they were not for her.

“I really enjoy being around kids and having a chance to influence their future,” she says.

She especially enjoys working with students who need a bit extra help. “In special education, each student and their needs are so different from each other. I really like helping them.”

This summer she is excited about working as an SDFU intern because she loves spending time on her aunt and uncle’s Nebraska ranch. “I absolutely love farm life and what goes into every season. As a Farmers Union intern, I am excited to teach youth about farm safety and learn more about life on the farm.”