Work-study gives you experience and credentials
The University Farm is largely a student-run enterprise. Part-time work-study students and full-time summer interns carry out the day-to-day work that keeps the farm productive, clean, and safe. Permanent Farm staff maintain continuity and manage the farm when students are off campus. During the school year there are approximately ten work-study students and two to three interns work on summer projects. Soft skills, such as showing up reliably for work shifts, and learning to lead new crews translate into staff recommendations that help farm alumni land real world positions.
Work-study students take part in everything that happens on the farm, and they leave with a wide range of experience in general farming practices. Animal care is a high priority; working with our herd of goats and flock of chickens involves feeding, watering, cleaning, egg-collecting, hoof-trimming, deworming, pasture rotation, and more.
On the fruit and vegetable side of the operation, work-study students get the rare satisfaction of watching seeds they plant flower and fruit into produce they eat at the McClurg Dining Hall. From preparing soil in garden beds to harvesting and washing finished produce, work-study students have their part in all aspects of production. Experiencing the "fullness of time" throughout a crop cycle helps everyone understand that somethings can't be rushed or crammed into a deadline.
There are always infrastructure projects going on around the farm. These give students the option to try their hand at mechanical skills. Common projects are irrigation and plumbing installations, raising a greenhouse, fencing that needs maintenance, and building animal housing. These physical projects are often the first opportunity students have to manifest large, landscape scale projects that will still be in place when they return for alumni events years later. Our goal is to provide an enduring and transferable experience that will help them understand the nature of the built environment and to gain project management skills.