My name is Christina and today marks the beginning of my internship here at Farm Aid. My internship will last six months as part of Northeastern University’s ‘co-op’ program, which allows students to take a break from classes, work like a grown up and boost their resumes.
I know I am not the first and, hopefully, not the last Northeastern student to tackle the tasks awaiting me over the next few months, but I hope to bring a unique and personal perspective to the projects I take on and the challenges I must confront.
The first thought that ever occurred to me when I sent in my resume to Farm Aid, was ‘If I ever meet Neil Young, I might faint.’ That is probably a bit of an exaggeration, but not too far off. It is hard to believe I am working for an organization with a board of directors with such great musical talent and great contributions to their fellow man. I was raised listening to Neil Young and now you can find songs from Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews floating around on my iTunes.
After my initial mental freak out I settled down and tried my best to focus on what Farm Aid does. I knew the basics. My older sister first introduced me to the concerts when I was in middle school and we would watch them on CMT. I knew they helped farmers but was unaware to the extent.
I come from a small town in Connecticut and have seen family farms and stables slowly go under giving into the high costs of living and the inability to make ends meet. This is the first year that there seem to be no farmers markets around. As the economy continues to recede, gym memberships and nights out on the town are the first to go, but they are shortly followed by healthy food. A fast food menu is cheap and easy when everyone is working all the overtime they can manage.
I was raised to eat healthy food and have spent many summers in my grandfather’s garden stealing tomatoes, still warm from the sun, and eating then on the spot. I have sat with my grandmother shelling peas for what would always seemed like hours after crawling around the garden to pick them. I love Boston, but I am a walk around barefoot in the grass type of girl.
But I digress. I have only been here for less than a day and I already cannot wait to do more. The idea and the possibility to help family farmers and ensure safe and healthy food for the masses is something I can truly stand behind.