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.
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
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 plant hedge rows made up of perennials between the farmers’ 1/8th acre plots. The intern will carry the project from start to finish- including researching crops, measuring fields to calculate plant needs, identifying and speaking with vendors, formulating a planting strategy, implementing the work, and designing a plan for future seasons, propagation and maintenance. 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.
- 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: Farm Manager, Xinyuan Shi, at times will work with others such as the Assistant Program Coordinator, Market Manager, or farmers as well but should be prepared for mostly independent work.
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
- 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
- Housing may be available on the farm property, though sublets are also available for the summer in Syracuse, NY. If living off property, the candidate will need reliable transportation. These options can be discussed based on candidates needs in interviews.
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. This season SyRAP farmers will be moving onto a new, 180-acre property in Lacona, NY. SyRAP partners with CCE (Cornell Cooperative Extension) to provide farmers with relevant training each year in small-scale diversified agriculture, direct-to-consumer marketing, and business planning topics before they move towards a more hands-off model where farmers operate with less support from the program and take on certain financial costs of farming. Farmers currently have the option of selling at the CNY Regional Market, through a Harvest Share program, or directly to their communities. 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 CCE 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.