A launching pad for my sustainable ag career
By: Kelly Lewis (Mar 6, 2013)
I was a WWOOF intern for a month during the summer before I started college at Ohio State. I went there because my mom's college roomate knew Annie and Jay and trusted them.
It was an incredibly empowering experience and it was integral in helping me launch my career in sustainable agriculture. Not coming from an agricultural background, I was able to learn basic animal husbandry and natural building from some of the most interesting and supportive people I've ever met. It was a lot of hard work but there's absolutely no way to learn about sustainable agriculture if you're not willing to get your hands dirty. The WWOOF agreement is that you have a place to stay and plenty to eat but you're expected to work hard and sometimes that means putting in more hours- just like any other job. It's not a vacation and you need to care about the end results (why else would you be there?). That being said, there were also days when we just went to town or to Blue Rock State Park. There's a natural ebb and flow to the work. Also, you will to help with cooking and dishes since you're eating with everyone (just like every other time in your life). It's certainly not the type of experience where you clock out at 5pm but I still had plenty of time to read and go for beautiful, amazing walks in the woods and down the road. They also watch good movies (like Casa Blanca)
Interning at Blue Rock Station is an opportunity. If you treat it as such and work hard you can gain a lot out of it. I've used the things I learned there in my agriculture classes at Ohio State and another internship I took at an herb farm. I hope continue to use the skills I learned in my future job (I'm thinking about agricultural development as a career). My internship with Annie and Jay wasn't easy but it was an absolute success. I personally know many interns that they have successfully mentored. I keep in touch with them, see them every year at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Conference, and I farm sat for them two summers ago. They've been an ongoing source of support and guidance in my life.
Finally, I'd like to add too that I always felt safe and supported at the farm. If you come here meaning well and are respectful of Annie, Jay, and their granddaughter as people, hosts, and owners of the farm you will have no troubles.
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