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Penn State Extension Philadelphia Summer Urban Agriculture Internship

Posted: January 30, 2015

Penn State Center Engaging Philadelphia is seeking two enthusiastic undergraduate students from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences with extensive background in rural agriculture production, community and economic development, and/or landscape design.

The City of Philadelphia is home to a flourishing and diverse variety of urban farms. These operations often include 90’+ high tunnels, in-ground crop rows, berry vines, and fruit trees. Collectively, the farms are working to make fresh and healthy foods geographically and financially more accessible to residents in their communities. Produce from these farms is sold to CSA’s, farmer’s markets and restaurants with a percentage of their total produce often given to an on-site food cupboards. Many Philadelphia farms and gardens include a youth entrepreneurship focus.

We are seeking two enthusiastic undergraduate students from Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences with extensive background in rural agriculture production, community and economic development, and/or landscape design. The selected interns will be given opportunities to both learn from a new experience in a very different environment and teach from their experience. This internship is an exciting opportunity for students who are interested in the broader issues surrounding food justice, nutritious alternatives for underserved populations and community relationship building through hands on interaction. It is imperative that this person is capable and excited about a hard day's work, and values time in the field.

The person selected must be very cognizant and respectful of the populations being served, with the ability to work with a diverse group of people of any cultural background. It is likely the intern will be in situations where delicate decision-making and cooperation is required to achieve tasks, and he or she needs to have a personality to quickly adapt as needed at any given moment. This intern will be a part of a team, and must function in a manner that maintains a spirit of corporation and enthusiasm with other staff, management and clients.

This paid summer internship will be run from May 26th through July 31st (10 weeks) for 40 hours per week. Employment will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies. The selected intern will have opportunity to work in multiple locations throughout the summer, but will primarily be based at a single host farm or organization.

Responsibilities may include:

  • Management of the urban farm: planting, weeding, watering, harvesting and other farm related tasks
  • Assist with operations of CSA program including; boxing shares, distribution and weekly marketing efforts 
  • Provide training for onsite farm and gardening personnel; create educational opportunities for youth gardeners 
  • Lead tours for local community members, schools and other groups 
  • Assist in managing large high tunnels; assist in weekly farm stands 
  • Spend some time each week with Penn State Extension staff for various Extension related activities.

Individuals interested in applying should send a resume to Theresa Lorentson, by March 20, 2015. For additional information, please call 215-471-2200 X0.

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity and the diversity of its workforce.

Submitted by John Byrnes (jbyrnes@psu.edu)