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Getting College Credit for a Farmer's Market Internship

written by: Lynne Ringle•edited by: Amanda Grove•updated: 9/30/2010

Getting an internship for credit at a farmer's market can be a great way to get real world learning experience in agriculture and food systems, as well as complete your college course requirements. Communicating with both your school and the farmer's market will help make sure you get credit.

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    Why Do an Internship at a Farmer's Market?

    Internships for college credit working at a farmer's market give students the opportunity to learn more about the functions of a farmer's market, which allows farmers to sell their fresh produce and related products directly to customers. It may seem like a simple concept, but there is much that goes into growing the food and getting it ready to be soldFarmers Market . You may want to learn more about this process if you have an interest in organic agriculture, sustainable food systems and other aspects of agribusiness or sustainability. As an intern, you may get college credit for learning about specific foods and how they are grown. If you interact with customers, you may find yourself educating consumers about the produce that is being sold. You may also be asked to help promote the farmer's market by writing flyers, brochures or web text. If the farmer's market it a non-profit organization, you may also learn about tasks such as fundraising or writing grants. Localharvest is a good starting point for finding a farmer's market in your area.

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    Talk to Your School

    The first step in making sure you get credit for your internship is to talk to your school. You will most likely need to speak with your advisor or the school's internship coordinator. Do not assume that because somebody at the farmer's market told you that their internships are for credit, your school will actually approve the internship for credit. In order to receive credit for an internship, your school could have specific guidelines that internship providers must meet. Some questions that your school may have about the internship are:

    • Where will the internship take place
    • What tasks will you be expected to do
    • What will you learn from this internship
    • How many hours are you expected be at the internship per week
    • Is the internship paid or unpaid

    Also make sure you understand the school's requirements for you and what types of internships are typically approved for credit. Will you be required to take a class to get credit for the internship? What type of assignments are expected? How many hours do you have to complete at the internship? How many credit hours will you receive?

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    Talk to the Farmer's Market

    After you are clear on your school's requirements, then you will need to talk to the person responsible for internships at the farmer's market. Explain that you are seeking an internship for credit so that it is clear that there may be specific guidelines that your school expects them to follow. If they are willing to offer an internship, follow the process that your school has given you for doing an internship for credit. However, before you agree to an internship, make sure you ask questions and are clear on the type of internship this is expected to be. Internships for college credit working at a farmer's market can be a great learning opportunity, but it is important that you review the internship description and understand what tasks you will be expected to complete, as well as what the compensation will be, if any.