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Bethany Benoit

Employer: Vriend Organic Farm/Ag-Quality International
Position: Farm Worker/Organic Inspection Assistant
Location: Edmonton, AB./Edmonton and Area
Dates of Employment: May 20 - August 31, 2004

My internship was a combination of hands on experience working on an organic vegetable farm, and experience observing and helping in the completion of Organic farm inspections with a certified organic inspector.

My work on the Vriend Organic Farm largely involved typical farm work such as planting, harvesting, irrigating, packaging, and selling vegetables. This farm not only adheres to the regulations for organic growing practices, but also works to ensure that they are minimizing the negative environmental impacts of agriculture (minimizing erosion, proper crop rotation). I spent some time recording the layout of the field for their crop rotation, and updating their records.

I spent the rest of my time working for Ag-Quality International, observing and helping with organic farm inspections. I was involved in touring the farms and going through the farm inspection questionnaire, and in writing up the reports afterwards to be submitted to the certification decision-making committee.

It was interesting to gain insight into both the practical side of organic farming, and the paperwork side. Being able to learn about the regulations for organic farms, and what they must go through to gain certification was definitely enhanced by my firsthand experience on a farm.