Farmers Market Manager Internship
Starting in the Spring 2012 semester, the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice developed a Farmers Market Manager Internship. This internship is an exciting opportunity for a talented Sociology major to manage a real farmers market! The internship evolved out of the great success of our university's first farmers market on Oct. 24, 2011, National Food Day. It was hosted by 'Reconnect', our environmental sustainability student organization, with assistance from several graduate students in the Applied Environmental Sociology course.
As the market manager intern the student applies their sociological skills in coordinating and helping to host, along with Reconnect, the two farmers markets that occur each semester. The student intern works with multiple stakeholders in producing a successful market and gains invaluable experience. Some of the required duties of the intern include:
- Maintaining continuous contact and coordination with the farmer vendors and with school officials to set up the market and make sure that all required University policies are met.
- Work with the students in Reconnect to fulfill their needs and produce a successful market.
- Work closely with our independent market consultant, Darlene Wolnik.
- Marketing and promotion of the market.
- Maintain and enhance plans for the market day events.
- Planning and implementation of market research or evaluation.
- Work with all market participants to build the educational component of the market which aims to help create a local, fair and sustainable food economy through educating our campus and the larger community about the social, economic and ecological benefits of such a system to all.
- Act as the "public face" of the market representing yourself, the department, Reconnect, the university and the values of the farmers market and a sustainable regional food system in a positive manner.
This is a wonderful opportunity for any Sociology major looking for experience in applied environmental sociology and food systems. The internship is a three hour credit course (SOC 400) for a full semester's work of 90 hours in the Spring or Fall and requires sophomore standing or higher and at least a 3.0 GPA. Any qualified student who is interested in this internship opportunity can contact Dr. David Burley for more information on the internship.
Spring 2017 Market Manager Intern
The farmers market internship was a great opportunity to learn about farmers
and local vendors in Hammond and the surrounding areas. The Reconnect
Farmers Market accomplishes the triple bottom line of economic, social, and
environmental profit. It is a forum to share information about sustainability and
for students to participate in the environmental awareness movement of our
campus community. It has helped me to apply my skills by communicating with
vendors, organizing events, spreading awareness to fellow students about the
benefits of supporting the local farm community and economy, and by eating
food that enriches our health and our environment.
Spring 2016 Market Manager Intern
This internship was about raising awareness for sociology itself, for the need for alternative food sources, and for the ability for us as individuals to take food sustainability into our own hands, for our families, ourselves, and for our communities. The farmer's markets are a live demonstration of sociology, the kind that addresses public concerns, as well as a mutual education for the students and vendors we serve, and also for those of us in Reconnect. Being the only university in the state to have a student-led farmer’s market, we are attempting to educate our fellow students and spark conversations such as “Why are you doing this?” and, importantly, “How can I get involved?”
Spring 2015 Market Manager Intern
Working as the market manager was not just another notch in my belt. This experience has left me with a deeper appreciation of the processes behind a farmers market. There are more considerations than yourself or the consumer that you have to address. Farmers markets are not grocery stores, but something much stronger that has the ability to tie communities together and push environmental and food justice. I believe I now possess the skills and mentality to tackle the problems I seek to resolve in my future. I want to pursue a career in environmental sustainability, and through sociology I have a stronger knowledge about human specific interactions that I did not grasp before. I have always told myself that my hands were meant to build mountains, and now I think, no, I know, that this is indeed possible.
Fall 2014 Market Manager Intern
This internship was an outlet for me to apply my theoretical knowledge to community. Customer appreciation, patience, delegation, optimism, community outreach, and organization are only some of the many skills that this internship assisted me with. It helped me be a more informed citizen and truly made me realize that small steps contribute to making the bigger vision come to reality. Not to forget, I had SO much fun that semester!
Spring 2014 Market Manger Intern
"I chose to be a Reconnect Farmers Market Intern because I saw it as an opportunity to gain skills that would help me after graduation. But the experience has given me so much more. Other than working in a team, communicating with several stakeholders, organizing events, marketing and managing my time, this internship program allowed me to be a part of something that truly works to make our community better and less alienated. This internship gave me a chance to know local farmers, work with them and visit local farms. I got to see students, faculty and staff who come to our market every semester and also plenty of new faces eager to know and learn about real food. It was a rewarding journey where I was able to continue the much needed fight for real and better food on campus and support for the local economy."
Fall 2012 Market Manager Intern
"Having this much responsibility scared me at first. However, as the semester went on, I learned and grew with the internship. As the manager, I was exposed to a lot of different experiences and people that someone may not be exposed to on a normal basis. This provided me with an elevating learning experience and opportunity to learn more about my community and environment."
"A market needs cooperation and publicity. I could see myself working for or with a co-op (market cooperative) and providing a vital need to a community. This is the first time that I have clearly seen a career float out of the midst of my college courses. I cannot see my life without activism."
"Everybody eats and as far as day jobs go, I can't imagine a better one for me then feeding people."
"For me this internship is all about creating and maintaining relationships between our community and the student populace. It was wonderful to show our school that there are people in our community who are dedicated to a sustainable way of eating and growing food. It was great to teach people what they can do on a small scale that will ultimately make a huge impact on our ecosystem. I learned so much about marketing and organization through first-hand experience. I could not have learned these valuable lessons without taking this internship head on."
Spring 2013 Market Manager Intern
"When I first started it's safe to say that I wasn't sure what I was doing. By the end of the second market, the farmers told me to come visit them anytime. It felt good to hear from people who at the beginning of the semester did not know anything about me and vice versa. This ties back into building community. I connected back to my culture and changed my life in a positive way. Between the farmers and the Reconnect members, I have built a bond that will never be broken."