Learn and Work with the Farm

Think Spring!


We are excited to announce a NEW Student Farm course for spring 2018! The purpose of this course is to provide training to interns who will be working with the Student Farm or with the Penn State Center Philadelphia. The course meets Wednesdays 2:30-5:30, and will travel to Philadelphia over spring break. The Student Farm manager, Leslie Pillen, is the course instructor and past and current farm interns will assist with the course. We will cover topics including market farm planning, sustainable production skills, leadership development, team building, volunteer management, community engagement and individual/group teaching. Plan to get your hands dirty!

Student farmers with both the Student Farm at Penn State and the Penn State Center Philadelphia Urban Agriculture program will be selected from among candidates who successfully complete AGECO 197 in spring semester 2018. Selection into both the course and the internship is competitive, and completion of the course does not guarantee acceptance into an internship with either the Student Farm or the Phila Center.

Please Note: The course will meet each Wednesday prior to spring break, then will travel together to Philadelphia from March 2-6. The Philadelphia trip concludes our course meetings and we will not meet as a class after spring break. Student cost for travel and lodging will be $200-$300, plus the cost of individual meals.

To be considered for AGECO 197, please download and complete the application to the right, and submit the application and a current resume to studentfarm@psu.edu. Applications will be accepted and considered on a rolling basis, so candidates are encouraged to apply early. Questions about the application process, the course or the student farmer internship may also be directed to studentfarm@psu.edu.

Student Farm at Penn State 2018 Internship

The Student Farm at Penn State offers paid opportunities for current Penn State students interested in working and learning with the Student Farm! Student farmers learn about farm production, harvest, product marketing, community engagement, volunteer management, event planning, and more. Previous experience in relevant fields is welcome, but not as necessary as the motivation to learn and contribute to a positive work environment.


Student farmers are our farm ambassadors. Essential roles include ensuring that safety, produce quality, and a fun work environment are maintained among co-workers, volunteers, Student Farm Club members, and courses that visit and work on the farm. Farm activities that student farmers lead and participate in may include

  • Attend weekly farm planning meetings on Monday mornings
  • Sow seeds in greenhouse and field, transplant plants in field
  • Manage production and recordkeeping including irrigation, fertilization, pest management and weeding
  • Harvest and wash crops in a timely way for various markets
  • Market produce to individual and institutional customers
  • Maintain the overall landscape of the site
  • Host and lead volunteers and other visitors, plan events and lead workshops on the farm


  • Pay is $11/hour
  • May 7-August 20, 20-25 hours/week (summer term) and August 21-November 1, 12-15 hours/week (fall term)
  • Work is primarily outdoors, with some computer-based work including record keeping, event planning and blog writing


  • Completion of AGECO 197
  • Strong interpersonal and written communication skills
  • Able to prioritize multiple projects, quickly learn new tasks, meet deadlines, and enjoy a fast-paced work environment
  • Able to work outdoors in varied weather and able to lift 50 pounds

Philadelphia Center Urban Farm 2018 Internship

The Penn State Center Philadelphia (PSCP), located in the heart of Philadelphia’s historic district, connects Penn State researchers, educators and students with opportunities to collaborate with local organizations to apply their expertise and address urban challenges.

Philadelphia is home to a flourishing and diverse variety of community-based non-profit organizations whose work is to improve the lives of all Philadelphians. These organizations not only promote healthy living practices within underserved populations, but also help to form other connections to bridge the gap between healthy lifestyles and healthy environments.

We are seeking enthusiastic undergraduate students for the summer of 2018. The selected interns will have opportunities to sharpen their skill sets, gain experience in unique environments, and build their professional networks. This internship is an exciting opportunity for students who are interested in the broad issues of food justice and relationship building through community immersion. Interns must be capable and excited about a hard day’s work, and values time in the field. Each student will spend three days/week working with one of our partner organizations, and the other two days working collaboratively at the Penn State Center Philadelphia. This internship will cover the salary and work expenses for each intern. Spanish language fluency a plus.

Areas of Student Interest

  • Urban Agriculture
  • Food Policy
  • Community Development
  • Nutrition Education
  • Youth Leadership Development
  • Social Media/Public Health Communication


  • Duration: 10 Weeks (Monday, June 4, 2018 – Friday, August 10, 2018), 40 hours/week
  • Pay: $11/hour
  • Placement: 3 days at partner site/ 2 days at PSCP


Due to the broad range of internship focuses available at our partner sites, the responsibilities will relate to the bullet points below, but may vary depending on individual site selection.

  • Assist in the management of an urban farm: bed preparation, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting and other daily farm-related tasks
  • Assist with operations of a community supported agriculture (CSA) program: boxing shares, distribution and weekly/seasonal marketing efforts
  • Assist at weekly market stands
  • Lead tours for local community members, schools and other organizations as needed
  • Assist Penn State Center Philadelphia staff in addressing current and future opportunities for reaching communities in need
  • Be prepared to tackle any issues that may arise, as each day will typically be different with varying degrees of challenges

For-Credit Internships & Student-Led Research

Students seeking for-credit internships are invited to work with the Student Farm. Students may work on the farm as part of the production team, where you will learn the ins and outs of production, harvest and marketing. Students can also develop a project with the farm tailored to each person’s own interests and area of study. Student interns could trial different production methods on the farm, develop a new market opportunity, start a workshop series, organize a food donations program, or build an app for organizing farm records. The sky is the limit!

If you are interested in learning more about for-credit internships, contact Leslie Pillen at lrp143@psu.edu.

Skip to toolbar