By: Luther Coe, freshman, Agriculture, Penn State Altoona
With acquiring this internship, I hope to obtain a greater understanding of the Student Farm and the process it takes for one to be successful. Thus, the production techniques, involvement with the CSA, and dining commons will allow me to be well rounded with the sustainability of micro farms in the work field. The training involved this semester has astonished me in the sense that it takes a plethora of work before the season begins in order to have a successful growing/harvesting of produce to increase the profitability of the Student Farm. Through the readings of The Market Gardener, it has opened up a different view of sustainable farms rather than the large scale farming practices I was used to growing up.
I have faced some technical difficulties throughout this semester for the training as a Student Farm intern. I am currently a first year student at Penn State Altoona which has deterred me from some of the necessary experiences such as planting and some field experience due to class conflicts. With perseverance and determination, I attended most of the classroom work and still finished the necessary blogs and research as the other interns.
Food systems and sustainable agriculture is important to me and consumers across the world because of the understanding of how the produce is grown in the most natural ways possible with using little to no chemicals. For example, the taste of a juicy big beef tomato on a sustainable farm hands down beats the mass produced modified tomatoes found in grocery stores.
Leadership as a trait is one that resides on the top of my list of important characteristics throughout my career. The definition of a great leader is one that can efficiently improve and motivate others around them with getting a task done proficiently with ease. I demonstrate leadership at Penn State Altoona through being promoted to a crew leader last semester in the cafe on campus as well as holding the position of vice president of the Ag/CFFA Club. I hope to improve upon my leadership skills this summer as a Student Farm intern alongside making everlasting bonds with my fellow coworkers! Cheers to a fantastic growing season!