Cultivating growth and experience: The Farm at South Mountain internship program

Matthew Waldman headshotOriginally studying to become a civil engineer, Matthew Waldman was so inspired by a sustainable neighborhoods urban development class that he changed his major to sustainability at Arizona State University. As a School of Sustainability student, Waldman was able to participate in first-hand experiential learning opportunities that allowed him to serve the community while gaining real-world experience. He said his most meaningful opportunity was his internship at The Farm at South Mountain. “My internship at The Farm at South Mountain was such a welcoming place for newcomers to urban agriculture," Waldman said. "It’s a place where you can learn, network and make lasting connections in the Valley." Two men working in a farm greenhouseIt was at The Farm that Waldman was able to turn a barren space on the property into an urban walkway. He and others saw it as an opportunity to transform the space through sustainable design practices that included the utilization of reclaimed materials and native plants. Now, the urban walkway beautifies the space and provides educational opportunities for visitors to learn how they can do the same in their yards or community spaces. Waldman said his experience as an intern at The Farm not only gave him first-hand agricultural experience, but also created opportunities to become a leader, a marketer and a community advocate for food systems and policy. Greg Brownell, director of sustainability and community outreach at The Farm, is happy to have the opportunity to work with ASU students: "Having a partnership with the School of Sustainability internship program has not only helped The Farm create a new area of community outreach, but also we have encouraged the student’s roles to create a hands-on and real-life experience in a business that has hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. We always want our interns to find a passion project that will leave an impact at The Farm, and that they can always come back and visit in the future.” After graduating from the School of Sustainability with a bachelor of science in 2018, Waldman enrolled in the school's Master of Sustainability Solutions program. He said he looks forward to continuing his support of The Farm at South Mountain and being a connector in the Valley around community agriculture and applicable sustainability solutions. If you are a School of Sustainability student looking for an internship and want to get involved with The Farm at South Mountain, reach out to Caroline Savalle, internship and experiential education specialist: [email protected]