High Country Conservation Center looking for agriculture intern
May 1, 2014
High Country Conservation Center is still accepting applications for its Cultivating Students of Agriculture (CSA) internships.
The original deadline, set for Friday, might be extended to Monday, said Jen Santry, community programs coordinator, because she hasn’t received enough applications for the high school positions.
Interns will work with the Summit community-supported agriculture farm-share program and help coordinate garden- and food-related projects, including greenhouse production, educational tours, produce sales, marketing and outreach.
The internship’s goal is to inspire college students to start similar businesses and programs as future farmers, ranchers, agricultural leaders, community organizers and healthy food advocates.
Depending on how many hours students want to commit, the program will have two spots for high school students and three or four for Colorado Mountain College students. High school students will receive a $375 scholarship for 40 hours, while college students will receive a $500 scholarship for 50 hours or $1,000 for 100 hours.
Those hours will be spread out during the summer, with students working four to six hours one day a week.
The internship is funded through grants from the Climax Foundation and The Summit Foundation youth council, Santry said, and the scholarships are for students’ college or professional development classes.
Students can also choose to receive three credit hours through business or sustainability internship classes, and college interns will serve as mentors for the high school students.
A typical day begins at one of three greenhouses sowing seeds, irrigating, weeding and composting and ends with harvesting and preparing shares, but Santry said every day is different.
Students also contribute to special projects, including working with WIC familes, exploring the business side of food, helping the seed library, improving soil fertility and writing about nutrition and recipes.
This is the second year the CSA program has included intern volunteers and the first with high schoolers.
The CSA is run through High Country Conservation Center, a Frisco-based nonprofit that promotes practical solutions for waste reduction and resource conservation in Summit County.
This summer all of the community-suppoted agriculture program’s two dozen shares are sold out, with about 60 people on the waiting list. Santry said those interested in a share should contact her so she can add their names to an interest list she is creating to support the program.
She would like to slowly grow the program to serve about 100 people, she said, but right now it is limited by space issues. She is seeking suitable land, as well as partners and grant funding, and is trying to make the program self-sustaining in the next couple of years, with the cost of shares paying farmer salaries.
She also is exploring partnerships with local farms to offer shares of the fruit harvest this summer.
The nonprofit is also still accepting applications for the few remaining plots left at some of Summit’s community gardens.
The organization has five gardens — two in Frisco, one in Breckenridge, Dillon and Silverthorne — and soon will schedule cleanup days, said programs coordinator Cassidy Callahan. People can start planting after the last freeze date of the season.