by Nick Michalisin
When I first started my path with the Student Farm in my sophomore year at Penn State I would have never thought, in my wildest dreams, the progress that was made in only three years. From my past experiences working on a farm in my hometown and as an Agricultural Science major, I saw the Student Farm as a perfect fit with my farming interests. When I first started as a club member there was much work to be done with planning fundraisers like the plant sale and also film screenings that showed the importance of knowing where your food comes from. Every year I tried to become more involved with the majority of the projects that the club was doing and as a result, I became a Co-Director of the Student Farm this year, my senior year. I was also hired on to be an intern at the student farm this fall. This experience has taught me valuable experiences that will stay with me forever.
My experience on the farm is a unique one to say the least. I was able to be a part of the planning committee that put together the one-acre site with what we were going to grow, what beds everything was going to grow in, and how much of each vegetable we thought we were able to grow and sell. Throughout the summer, I would stop by on my way home from my internship, and day after day I was able to see that all the planning and preparation was paying off. When I came on board as an intern this fall I was able to build on all the hard work that was done in the summer by all the summer interns and I knew it was going to be difficult to keep the farm up to the precedent that the summer crew established.
The crisp mornings in October and the fall afternoons were the best way to start and end my day. This fall I was able to get back into the swing of harvesting vegetables. This experience taught me more than just picking produce, it taught me how to manage other interns and volunteers from all ages on an active agricultural setting, as well as the ins and outs of purchasing and distribution. One of my most memorable experiences will be the camaraderie
and fun that all the interns shared as we worked together to make the Student Farm a success. We were able to do great things within such a short window of time.
Throughout my entire experience, from Student Farm Club to being an intern, it has been nothing short of the best thing I have done at Penn State. I have made friends from the club that will last a lifetime, as well as built strong relationships with faculty and staff. This experience will give me a leg up on everyone once I graduate in the spring and start the next chapter of my life.