I should have known better than to try to write blog posts during our intern check out weeks – the first 2 weeks in Dec and then Christmas on top of that.
So, if you’re okay with it. Let’s continue our discussions on Fields of Farmers by Joel Salatin
This week were talking about COST. This is in the Especially for Interns portion of the book.
Perhaps the most misunderstood aspect of a form of farm internships is how costly they are to the farm. As I’ve already noted, education is expensive. In our case, we don’t charge for it; we just ask for some work – okay, a lot of work – in return.…
The major costs are broken machinery, loss tools, and work slippage. That includes work that must be redone because it was done incorrectly; work that didn’t get done when it should have; and things like Gates left open or the electric fence unchecked. Open gates and dead electric fences usually mean animals were you don’t want them. Sometimes lots of animals, and sometimes very far away from where you want them.
Joel goes on to talk about the emotional cost of lost mementos, the high cost of reinventing the wheel, accidents, and many trials and errors the Polyface apprentices have added to our internship program.
Some of these errors were major and others were simply small mistakes.
The bottom line is that education is expensive. At Polyface, we don’t charge interns to learn from us. I wouldn’t categorize our internship is just a job, I would say that it’s more of a partnership. It only works with both parties give their 100%.
For those of you who went to college, think about how much it cost you in education, not to mention cost in housing and food and clothing and books. Something that we would like for our interns to understand is that rather than them paying for this cost we pay for this cost. Someone must must pay the price of learning. In a true internship program, the mentor is usually the one to absorb the cost. In exchange, a good intern will apply himself to thoroughly learning the trade of the master.
Have you participated in any internship programs? What were the pros and cons of this? As an intern, what would you have liked to be done differently?
I know the internships today are not the norm. But what if they were?
If you’re just tuning in, here’s what we’ve covered so far:
- Friday, November 8 – Discussion on Chapters 1 and 2 – “What’s the Big Deal?”
- Friday, November 15 – Discussions on Chapters 3 and 4 – “Especially for Mentors, Part 1”
- Friday, November 22 – Discussion on Chapters 5 and 6 – Especially for Mentors, Part 2
See you next time!