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The Weblog is a forum for students to share up to the moment news stories and narrative experiences from the Berea College Farm. We hope you will return often to this feature of our online store.
In order to tell you about our unique operation,it is crucial to introduce you to the remarkable labor program of Berea College.
As you may or may not know, each student at Berea College is granted a full tuition scholarship upon acceptance. Part of the contract is a requirement to work on campus for the duration of their enrollment. Students work a minimum of ten hours a week and positions vary from residence facilities assistants (janitors) to beekeepers, cooks to accountants; Berea College students do it all. In fact, the College depends greatly on the work of its students. This is especially true for the Berea College Farms and Gardens.
Students who work in these areas devote a tremendous amount of time and energy to ensure the success of our operations. As with any agricultural business, this is a full time job and requires much responsibility. Students who work on the farm and in the greenhouses know that weekend commitments and evening hours are part of the deal.
They love what they do … And it shows.
We are committed to excellence in every aspect of our operation and a great deal of this comes from our student workers. From the pig pit to the hoop houses, diligence is our modus operandi.
HARD WORK TAKES NO VACATIONS
This post expired on June 02, 2008.
Summer is when the Farm needs its crew the most. Although the main team of Aggies have left to pursue their own summer adventures, the livestock still need feeding, the plants need watering, and the myriad cares of managing a farm will not flee with those departing students. It’s a fragile time, but a good team can make it a fruitful one.
The first day of summer labor on May 23 ushered in a new mix of eager student workers. These young men and women will be the brains and muscle of the farm and greenhouse for the next few months. Some of them worked at the Farm during this past academic year and have come back for more. Others have been newly inducted into the family.
A decision to work at the hottest, sweatiest, most intense job on campus is not to be made lightly. The “newbies” have personal reasons for committing to the farm or greenhouse this summer.
Samantha Williams, who joined onto the livestock team, had prior experience with cows and goats on her parents’ hobby farm in eastern Oregon. She is currently enjoying the novelty of working with pigs at Hunt Acres, especially getting the newborn piglets ready for farm life.
Brittaney Simmons, a Biology major from Louisville, has found a way to link the farm experience to her desired career as a Physician’s Assistant. Taking care of the animals, she says, is good practice for working in the medical field. So far, she has happily participated in giving shots, trimming hooves, and helping to deliver piglets.
The summer group has already been served a generous slice of the farm’s to-do list, but there is always more work to do. Assistant Farm Manager Jamie Rowse offered a preview of what’s in store for Sammi, Brittaney, and the other members of the summer farm crew. The agenda includes replacing old fencing around ram pond and elsewhere, introducing the Spanish goats to a newly built research area called the “Goat Gazebo”, and preparing for the upcoming conversion to pastured pork scheduled to begin this September!
Affairs at the greenhouse are just as action-packed. With a much smaller staff of only three students, each one’s contribution carries extra weight. Weeding the lettuce, planting pepper transplants, and staking tomato plants are the current, short-term chores. Of course, harvesting and daily watering are persistent priorities!
International student Antonio Marchi, a Physical Education major, is enjoying the variety of tasks and chores at the greenhouse, although he admits that strawberry-picking can be a big backache. At his home in Argentina, his experience was limited to growing corn. This summer he hopes to learn the planting and harvesting skills necessary to own a greenhouse someday and produce a variety of vegetables and fruit.
Oliver Pogue, from Knoxville, Tennessee, worked for the greenhouse during the spring semester and decided it would make a good summer job. His favorite activities are harvesting strawberries and planting, but perhaps the honeybees are the real reason for his stay. During the fall semester, Oliver was the Teaching Assistant for Dr. Sean Clark’s beekeeping class. He’s looking forward to managing and monitoring the bees again this summer.
For both the greenhouse and farm, the Farmer’s Market is an ongoing project that will require the cooperation of every member of the summer crew. Look for these new, smiling faces at the usual time on Tuesdays and Fridays. And when you do, recall their stories and know that they love being there!