Students can earn academic credit for their work at the farm: 30 hours of work earns students one unit. In addition to completing these hours, interns are required to complete reflective written work and check in regularly with an assigned mentor. Interns are encouraged to sign up well before the quarter begins.
We offer a number of opportunities across a wide variety of programs. You can find out more about these programs here.
Types of Internships
Students who are just starting out at the Student Farm sign up for a General Internship. This internship is designed to offer a broad array of activities so that interns can become familiar with as many new activities as possible. Even if you are experienced in gardening and farming, this is the place to start so that you learn how things are done at the Student Farm. General Interns are asked to complete and submit weekly journals, in which they are able to reflect on their experiences and pose questions that come up. General Interns are each assigned a mentor, who works during their scheduled hours and who can check in with them through the quarter to answer questions and respond to concerns.
Field Learning Demonstration Internships
Once students have completed one or two quarters as a General Intern, they have the option to participate in a Field Learning Demonstration (FLD) Internship. FLD Interns identify a farm-related activity in which they want to become fully proficient. This could be any of the activities they experienced in their first 1-2 quarters as a General Intern. As an FLD Intern they will learn to do the task independently and be able to show and lead others in this task. For example, in the general internship, a student is closely instructed and works with others to prepare a garden bed for planting. In the FLD, the student becomes comfortable doing all steps of bed preparation independently and also can explain how to prepare a bed to others and can guide them in doing it. FLD Interns identify their topic by the third week of the quarter and turn in an initial brief report providing what they already know about the topic and what they still need to learn in order to gain independence and proficiency. Through the quarter they work with their mentor or lead staff to learn more about their FLD task. This typically takes 30-40 percent of their total internship hours with the remainder of the time used in general tasks. The intern provides the actual 15-20 minute casual Field Learning Demonstration and discussion in the 8th or 9th week of their internship for peers and mentors. They then write a final report on their experience about what they have learned and that includes a thorough written description of how to do the task and why we do it.
If students have completed a few quarters as General and FLD interns, they may identify a particular area of focus for a Specialized Internship. This is a project that the intern will devote most of their time to throughout the quarter. Typically this is something that another staff person might be covering or that has been identified as a priority but that without the intern would not be accomplished. These are projects that require significant understanding and perhaps outside research to complete successfully. These projects meet criteria that they are part of the overall goals and needs of Student Farm operations. Students should discuss potential Specialized Internship opportunities with farm staff in order to confirm the internship.