Ten weeks are up. On the 10th of August I will be attending the Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA) conference in Amherst, MA, that World Farmers invited me to attend– I’m looking forward to it!
Nonetheless, a lot has passed in a short amount of time and there is still much left to do…
This past summer I learned that the work at a non-profit is never finished. Anything and everything we’ve accomplished in the ten weeks I was at World Farmers were only small components to a much greater picture. Small components, but necessary ones. You realize the 2013 CSA while taking note for improvements in 2014; you work towards this year’s grant objectives while applying for the next year’s grant; you archive organization publicity while keeping social media up to date. And all of this is done in stride with the organization’s mission statement, which is only a small facet of an even greater picture, the organization’s vision: the end-all be-all, the ideal we hope to one day reach.
I am very thankful for my time at World Farmers and the Flats Mentor Farm. It was a learning experience that reached far beyond my expectations, introducing me not only to different ways I can use my writing in non-profit work, but also to deeper cultural sensitivity, agricultural work, policy-making, ethics, immigration, marketing, numerous life skills… I could go on for a while.
I remember planning out the nine interviews I would have to conduct and nervously asking myself if I could re-attack journalism after having left it behind as a high school memory. Now that I reflect on my experiences at World Farmers, I think this was honestly my most enjoyable and rewarding assignment. Though I loved learning about the various components of working for a farm and a non-profit, it was through these interviews and short story write-ups that I was able to get closer to the personal meaning behind the Flats Mentor Farm. I sat next to farmers as they cracked jokes or told me about farming in their home countries. As I completed various writing assignments, I was able to tap into a deeper understanding of how and why World Farmers functions for immigrant and refugee farmers in the United States. And what’s more, I realized that I have been afraid of journalism for so long that I forgot how much I enjoy it.
And though my internship at World Farmers is over, I am glad to say that my time there will reach far beyond those ten weeks. What I have learned will stick with me as I approach the “real world”. Thank you, World Farmers, Flats Mentor Farm, and SIP– I am truly grateful for this summer of experiential learning.