Working on a farm is probably not the top summer vacation choice for most college students — but some Iowa State University students are doing just that. A group of about 15 students is working this summer at the I-S-U Student Organic Farm near Ames. Karen Joslin, one of the farm’s student managers, says students make most of the decisions on the six-acre farm.She says they market their produce in the local area and make decisions on what types of crops to grow, how to grow them, and what to charge for them. Joslin is a graduate student in horticulture and sustainable agriculture, but says not all the students have an ag background.She says getting hands-on experience is part of the reason some students work on the farm, but she says they have people from a variety of backgrounds that want to get out, join a group and have fun. Joslin says they mainly grow vegetables with potatoes, tomatoes and onions making up the bulk of their harvest.She says they have put in some raspberries and are looking to eventually expand their fruit crop. Joslin is one of two paid farm managers, but most of the help volunteers.She gets paid on a part-time basis from May 15th through September 15th, while most of the rest of the students are volunteers. Joslin says they’ve had a good growing season thus far.She says they had enough rain that they didn’t need their complex irrigation program for a couple of weeks, but are back to managing the irrigation now. She says they’ve sold out of vegetables each of the last three weeks at the farmers market in Ames. The crop sales help fund the farm’s operation.
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