Tristan Rhodes ’20 studies the correlation between sheep growth and pasture diversity at Stone’s Throw Farm in Walla Walla, WA

Research/Farming Internship at Stone’s Throw Farm

This Summer I am working at a local farm called Stone’s Throw.  You may have seen them at the Downtown Farmer’s Market slinging juices and produce like it is nobody’s business.  We have sheep, ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys, fruit trees, veggies, worms, and A LOT of compost to take care of every day.  As the Summer intern, it is my job to take care of most of the basic tasks on farm as they become urgent, but I am also producing an analysis of sheep growth and pasture diversity.  A normal day might involve me arriving to the farm, spending some time cutting thistle, turning compost, taking care of the ducks or chicks, taking a water break, harvesting some veggies,

taking another water break, and finally recording measurements from the sheep pastureland.  It is hard work.  After every task, however, I can look back and see an immediate result from my labor.  I must say, there is not a whole lot that is more satisfying than this.  The position has taught me that in a relatively small parcel of land, when managed right, a farmer (or farm family) can produce a ton of edible material while making the land healthier.  Farming has become a very scientific operation whether you are on a multi-thousand acre wheat farm or a small diversified farm.  In order to be successful, the farmer must know where each input is going and how she can harness the outputs in a way that keeps the energy moving through the farm as opposed to away from it.  By spending time in the thick of things with sheep bleating all around me and ducks quacking at my feet, I believe I have developed a sixth sense for noticing how each part of the farm system fits in to the other.  I am proud to be working with Kimi and Christopher at Stone’s Throw and encourage anyone in the Walla Walla Valley to support their environmentally sustainable, humane, and (very tasty) work.  See you at the market!

Experiences like Tristan Rhode’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Mitzy Rodriguez

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