Worm’s Eye View: Reflections from My Internship

Inga Haugen interned with us last year and appeared several times in the newsletter. She has departed to study in Tennessee, but left us with her view of the Center’s past and present.

At times I felt like a little worm wriggling my way through the Center. A teeny little bookworm, I sipped and supped my way through heady ideas and rapid-fire conversations about people and politics.

I’ve had a blast working in the archives and learning the history of the Center, its programs, and campaigns. I like the fact I’ll leave something that really will be helpful for all the folks in the office.

When I came to Lyons, I had no idea how I was going to be able to live and be happy and engaged with work off the farm. It’s easy to feel I’ve done a good job when I see the calves happy, watered, and fed. But I quickly found ways to be engaged in the Center’s work. And finding a program that allows me to combine my library skills and agriculture is more than a dream come true. I hadn’t even thought to dream something so fantastic.

Over the course of seven months, I spent a lot of time with the Center’s past achievements. It made me think about the nature of service. To use another anal¬ogy related to worms, service is like planting a garden. A garden’s bounty can come from a sprin¬kling of seeds and some good luck. But it may also come from years of planning and design. This purposeful path is evident in the Center’s past work. By working the same ground, over and over for years, the Center has become an expert in its field.

It also made me realize the importance of policy work. As a farmer, I made a difference for those downstream, upwind, and over the counter from me as a sustainable producer. As a librarian, I can assist hundreds with finding accurate information in direct service work. But working in policy, it is possible to have an even bigger impact. I can help the librarians, the farmers, and all the folks down¬stream, upwind, and across the counter.

With some skills to offer the policy realm, this little bookworm is now off to taste new bookshelves down in Tennessee. This internship has been exactly the kind of introduction that internships should be. I started out as a little worm, but I’m a big fat caterpillar now – fat with insight and inspiration. A few years cocooned up in Tennessee, and who knows where (and what!) I’ll be.

A most heartfelt thank you.

Har det bra
(goodbye & take care),

Inga

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