By Kyra H., 2021 Youth Leader in Ag (Summer Youth Staff), Staunton High School ’23

After getting major spine surgery and relearning how to walk, I wouldn’t have expected myself to start working at a farm.

I love the environment here. Everyone is so respectful of different types of people. I have had debates and discussions of important topics with my coworkers. For example, we talked about climate change and about if we are scared for the future of the environment. We have laughed and we have all explored the woods together. I have learned farming is not really my thing and sometimes it was really hard to get up and go, but the environment of people around me made it easier.

The tasks at the farm can be very expected, like weeding and planting, but I have also done really random things like building a shelf or rolling up drip tape. We have seen beautiful insects and spiders that we all stopped to look at them. For example, we have seen moths with fluffy legs that I forgot the name of. I have seen shiny June Bugs and Japanese beetles. We have had to squish squash bugs and potato beetles. We have gotten visitors who teach us about their professions or hobbies. I learned so much here at the farm.

I am most proud of actually applying for this job. This experience has meant meeting new and different people and learning new things that you won’t normally learn on your own. It has meant taking multiple people’s advice and figuring out how to do things. Weirdly enough, I have learned farming isn’t my thing and I don’t want to spend my life growing food, but I DID learn I really like insects! I have learned that my body can really take the heat and I need a lot of food to keep me going.