Farm Internships: Lots of Laughter, Lots of Weeding

Mar 30, 2015

One of the best ways to learn anything is through experience. Farming is no exception.

Over the course of the last year, Iowan Ash Bruxvoort has been traveling the country apprenticing on organic farms. She started out on a small CSA in Atlantic and says getting on farm experience has taught her more than anything else she could have done.

When getting started - slow down. You have to temper your idealism with reality. The risks are very high. - Rick Hartman, Small Potatoes Farm, Minburn, IA


 “Working gave me confidence and got me comfortable on the farm,” she explains. Bruxvoort says she found her internship in Atlantic through the Women, Food and Agriculture Network and the mentor she worked with has played an integral role in her life ever since.

During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Bruxvoort about the lessons she’s learned and maybe the most important thing she’s pulled away from the experience – farming is not for everyone.

planting spinach
Credit Courtesy of Ash Bruxvoort


Kate Edwards, who co-founded the Farming Institute in Solon and runs Wildwood Farms and Steve Carlson, who works with beginning farmers through Practical Farmers of Iowa also join the conversation.

Edwards helped found the Farming Institute after leaving a career as an engineer and looking at a lot of programs to help young farmers that were 10 months long or longer.

“I started to realize that a lot of people didn’t have that much time,” she says. “I also saw the need to be holistic about it. There is a business component to farming; there’s marketing, operations. We combine the practicalities of farming with the life of farming. It’s a lifestyle.”