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Fostering Sustainable Agriculture through Research, Education and Policy since 1984

2016 Garden Intern Updates

“Hi, my name is Hoa and I’m from Vietnam. I am doing my 2nd year apprenticeship at MFAI which I feel so fortunate to have. This year is a big change for me since I have learnt and worked at the same time with coaching the 1st year interns. I’ve felt so mature in compare to “me” one year ago!!! The 2nd year program gives me the chance to learn more about making farm plans, liability, finance, marketing, managing the farm and producing process. Being equipped with those things, I feel much closer to the idea of having my own farm in the future in my home country. Besides the work, I have fun with other students by exploring different parts of beautiful Wisconsin and enjoying the state’s unique living style.”

Judith , from Botswana. “I decided to apply for the gardens program at MFAI after developing an interest in organic food production despite my main interest being in animal feed production as I believe these are still interlinked. To me organic food production is the basis of good nutrition and health and feel I have the responsibility as we all do to be accountable for what we produce or take in as well as the land we use. MFAI has certainly played a role in giving me the tools I need and a push in the right direction in terms of understanding the basis of sustainable agriculture.”

“My name is Marissa and I am a graduated student from the University of Milwaukee Wisconsin, where I majored in Community Education and Engagement. Originally from Northern Wisconsin, I discovered a passion for sustainable agriculture, public health and community education while in college and began volunteering for a farmer’s market. After interning and working in various environmental education nonprofits in Milwaukee, I realized I wanted to dive headfirst into organic farming and see what it was all about! This interest and desire to expand my knowledge about healthy food systems led me to the Apprenticeship at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute.

At the Institute, I live and work with other apprentices and interns who have become great co-workers and even better friends. I have been able to gain practical agriculture skills as well as insight into farming business practices. Traveling around Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois to learn from other organic farming operations has also helped broadened my view of what successful organic farming looks like, and what challenges and solutions farmers face. After my apprenticeship, I will be moving to the Twin Cities with my fiancé, where I hope to work one or two more growing seasons on organic farms. I seek to continue participating in the world of sustainable agriculture in urban and rural areas so that everyone may have access to healthy food!”

Rose says “For me, summertime is the best time of the year, it is where the sunshines, grass is mowed, and the waves rock as the boats speed by. I grew up on a farm and during this time crops were always growing and being harvested…there was lots to be done. I choose to be an intern at Michael Fields to gain an experience to enjoy the summertime in an active outdoor setting while learning about some of the greatest things about organics and community. Upon my reflections, from the time I arrived, each day was a new day full of lots of surprises among routine. I found growing and connecting with myself, people from other parts of the globe, and the beautiful scenery which I got to help grow so many wonderful veggies (and weeds) an experience that while over will remain present within my life’s story.”

Hi! My name is Juan I come from a place where monarch butterfly arrives every winter, México.
I grew up in a small farm village growing vegetables mainly corn, pumkins and beans and also some fruits. I decided to be an intern this summer at Michael Fields because I was looking for something different in my life but at the same time doing what I’d seen every day as a child in that familiy’s farm. Now I am here in this beautyful land doing farming and growing my own healthy food. Every day working on the fields is a very confortable experience you not only learn how to seed or how to grow certain kind of vegetable but you also keep your mind and body healthy. Michael Fields has just changed my life. I would say I found the ritgh place to conect with nature!

Sonja, from Romania says “I applied for an internship at Michael Fields because I wanted to build a bridge between my background in finance with my passion about healthy food and nature. I grew up in a mountain city in Romania with food that was natural, uncomplicated, and flavorful. Then I moved abroad to Germany where I studied business administration, worked for a few years, and did a PhD in Finance. All these years I have been trying to find those tasty fruits and vegetables of my childhood. And I actually found them very far away, in Wisconsin, in the Gardens at Michael Fields. I went there to gain hands-on experience in sustainable farming, to learn how to build a healthy soil, and, deep inside, to see if farming would be something for me or just a romantic dream. After having spent a few months as an intern at Michael Fields, my passion did not fade away. I am now studying organic agriculture in the Netherlands. According to my best friends, I will be a farmer with a PhD in finance.”