By Mary Lemmon
Hello all! My name is Mary and I’m a fall intern on The Student Farm at Penn State. I am a senior in Plant Science in the Agroecology option. I have been a part of The Student Farm Club for the last year and was also a part of the Student Farm Initiative the year prior. Before working as an intern I worked as a research assistant for a lab at Penn State. While working for this lab, I worked at the research farm at Penn State, which was my first experience working on a farm. Besides working at the research farm and growing my own garden, I have had very little experience working in agriculture.
Being a part of The Student Farm Initiative gave me the opportunity to work on an independent project that explored ways to integrate the (what was then) future student farm with the community, especially with youth and senior citizen programs.
Through my experience as an intern, I have been able to apply pest management tactics as well as other conservation agriculture tactics I have learned in class to an actual agriculture system. Also being an intern has taught me what it takes physically to work on a farm as well as the importance of social connections that make a farm run. As an intern I mainly worked on harvesting, prepping and distributing the Campus Supported Agriculture (CSA) baskets. It was such a cool experience to be able to teach people what certain vegetables were and to learn what members did with their basket every week. It has been so rewarding to be able to hear our members talk about how the CSA was the best part of their week, and that they are proud of what we are doing as students at The Student Farm.