Farming: Summer's Hot Internship Opportunity

A child stands in a field at a lavender farm in the Columbia River Gorge. (Photo: woodleywonderworks [CC BY 2.0]/Flickr)

Summer is here and college students across the United States are beginning their internships. While many college students may be seeking cushy corporate opportunities, a new trend has emerged this year – farm internships. Perhaps these students have read Fast Company’s report that farming will be the hottest green job for the next decade.

Kim Severson wrote about this new trend in her article for the New York Times, Many Summer Internships Are Going Organic. “Katherine L. Adam, who runs the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, financed by the Department of Agriculture, said 1,400 farms sought interns this year, almost triple the number two years ago.” Source: The New York Times

The article goes on to explain that the students seeking these internships are not all agriculture majors looking for an opportunity at one of the nation’s large conventional farms. Instead, students come from a variety of degree programs and are seeking internships at organic and sustainable farms.

To get a better idea of what kind of opportunities are available, I visited the Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships Database run by the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. The database was just updated this morning and it appears that there are still quite a few opportunities available.

Hay Creek Stock Farm in Sebeka, Minn., is looking for one person to intern at their 160-acre farm. The intern will gain skills in animal husbandry, pasture management, organic vegetable production and direct marketing. The internship begins on June 1 and runs through Sept. 15.

If you’d prefer to gain experience in a non-traditional farm setting, the Lavender Hill Farm in Vashon, Wash., may be a good fit. The intern will work on a 1⁄2-acre lavender farm and garden and live with the farm owners and their two children. The lavender internship begins on July 1 and ends Aug. 15.

Other farm internships still available as of today include opportunities at Flat Creek Lodge in Swainsboro, Ga., and Charis Eco-Farm in Staunton, Va. For more information on the hottest green job for the coming decade, read my green jobs spotlight on farming.

Photo by ILoveButter