Minimum GPA: 2.75

Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2024
    May 20, 2024 to August 25, 2024


Carrie Simon

Cornell Affiliations:

Agriculture and Life Sciences, School of Integrative Plant Science


This internship is in-person

Fellows are expected to work with the farms for an estimated 8 hours per day, 5 days a week (varies per farm context) for two months.

Opportunity Description

The Lund Fellows Program for Regenerative Agriculture provides Cornell undergraduate students across disciplines with the opportunity to broaden their perspectives and understanding of natural ecosystems and to learn about ecological and social approaches to agricultural systems. 

The Lund Fellows Program provides students opportunities to gain applied experience working on an agroecological farm and contribute to the farm in meaningful and helpful ways, while learning about the process and considerations involved in managing such an enterprise.

We work to spread awareness about the value and mission of agroecological biodynamic, organic, regenerative, and sustainable approaches to farming, strengthen relationships between the university and local farms and provide assistance to small farms that could not otherwise fund summer internships. 

Host farms participating in the Lund Fellows Program were prioritized based on the following values: 

  • Explicitly uses agroecological, biodynamic and/or organic farming methods
  • Diversified farm (not just certified organic with industrial farming approach)
  • Small-scale farm (less than 200 hectares)
  • Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) farmers when possible

Internship description

Internship Description: The SyRAP Regenerative Agriculture Initiatives Intern will be responsible for undertaking projects on the farm that will increase the future sustainability of the farm economically, socially, and environmentally. As RISE moves onto a new property, there is a lot to do to update the land to meet SyRAP program needs. This intern will spearhead an initiative to design and build a perennial garden to supplement and bolster our current demonstration garden that we use for farmer education. The garden is also a production space used to supplement vegetable sales for the SyRAP program. The intern will carry the project from start to finish- including researching crops, measuring the garden space and designing sustainable bed structures, identifying and speaking with vendors, purchasing plants within the supplied budget, formulating a planting strategy, implementing the work, and designing a plan for future seasons harvest and maintenance. The intern can also coordinate with the educator for developing a curriculum that incorporates perennial strategies to integrate into the farmer education program. 

Throughout this season, other infrastructure updates and daily farm operations will be occurring that the intern may assist with as directed by their supervisor. Some daily tasks may include maintaining the drip irrigation system, assisting farmers, ensuring equipment stays organized, etc. As time permits, additional projects may be assigned for the intern to develop such as working with NRCS to research cover crops to incorporate into existing vegetable rotations, create a management plan for the hay growing on the property, and research available cold storage units and funding for acquiring them.

Required Qualifications:

  • Passion for learning about farming and food systems among refugee and immigrant communities in Central New York
  • Ability to work independently with minimal direct supervision
  • Knowledge of and interest in regenerative agriculture practices
  • Ability to research topics independently and apply them to problems at hand
  • Ability to work in a flexible environment that may shift due to weather or emerging needs 
  • Enjoys working outdoors in various weather conditions
  • Good attitude to contribute to work of a mission-driven organization

Internship Schedule: 8, 40-hour work weeks, flexible start and end dates 

Reports To: Assistant Farm Manager, and at times will work with others such as the Program Coordinator, Market Manager, or farmers. Should be prepared to work independently for large swaths of time. 

Location: 136 Wart Road, Lacona, NY 13083 most days, but periodically may work from home or RISE offices in Syracuse, NY when research related to farm projects is required.

Other Information: 

  • SyRAP staff will conduct interviews with candidates prior to offering any candidates a position
  • 1 hr/day of ‘work time’ will be incorporated in as commuting time, as the drive to the farm requires a longer commute
  • Sublets are available for the summer in Syracuse, NY. Transportation will be provided to the farm on days when the intern will be working there, but the candidate will need reliable transportation within Syracuse.ble transportation. These options can be discussed based on candidates needs in interviews.

Organization: RISE (Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment) promotes self-sufficiency through employment, education, social support, and economic independence for members of the refugee and immigrant communities in Onondaga, Erie, and Oswego counties. SyRAP (Syracuse Refugee Agricultural Program) is a program of RISE that aims to achieve this goal by providing the agricultural resources and education needed to grow culturally appropriate food in Central New York. For the second season, approximately 20 New American farmers and their families will be growing produce at RISE’s 180-acre farm property in Lacona, NY. Each year, SyRAP provides farmers with farming supplies, transportation, and relevant training in small-scale diversified agriculture, farm safety, and business planning topics. Over time, farmers move towards a more hands-off model with increased agency over their production. Farmers currently bring most produce home to their direct communities, but also have the option of selling produce through local vendors/markets. SyRAP also has a series of community gardens on the Northside of Syracuse and a goat farm apprenticeship program operated out of Tully, NY.

Type of Farming: Farmers in the SyRAP program practice small-scale mixed vegetable farming using organic practices and often combine knowledge from agriculture practiced in their home countries with those taught in the first year of the program by the SyRAP Educator. On the new property, RISE is working to implement additional regenerative agriculture practices to promote the long-term sustainability of the program and environment.