Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Introducing Farm Aid's new co-op Emily Quinlan

EmilyI grew up in Walpole, Massachusetts, which is a small suburban town about thirty minutes southeast of Boston.Although I was always outside as a kid, running around playgrounds and walking in the tiny patches of "woods" in Walpole, the extent of my farm exposure is from when my parents would take my brothers and me pumpkin picking at a small farm a few towns over. After graduating high school, I moved to Boston to attend Northeastern University.

Although I have many interests, I have no one passion or calling that I feel I must take part in in order to be satisfied career-wise. In high school, I was involved in sports and my school's annual film festival as a movie director. I took as many art classes as I could, but there was no one academic subject that stood out to me as a future career.

When I began applying to colleges, I let my father talk me into being a pharmacy major. I quickly decided pharmacy was too structured and predictable for me and switched my major to art. This was also not a good fit for me because something that was once relaxing and enjoyable for me became forced. I reflected on all of the courses I had taken and realized writing was the one that stood out as a natural fit. I decided to pursue a journalism major and have loved it ever since .I enjoy speaking to different people and researching a broad range of topics.

When it came time for me to choose my co-op, I again put trust in what interested me about my classes: journalism and public relations. Paired with my interests in health, nutrition, painting, celebrities, dogs and entertainment, my advisor suggested I apply to work at Farm Aid. Farm Aid incorporated many of my interests and that former co-ops came back to Northeastern with glowing reviews of their experience there!

While my knowledge of healthy eating is far greater than most of my friends, after just a few days at Farm Aid, I'm realizing I know next to nothing about the intricacies of the food system. Although some things about the mass production of our food are shocking and horrifying, I am excited to continue learning how to get fresh food that is good and good for you. I am especially interested in how much guidance and how many resources Farm Aid provides individual farmers. Because my father is a small business owner, I am proud to support entrepreneurs like family farmers and I am eager for them to succeed.

I look forward to the next six months here at Farm Aid. I hope to walk away with greater knowledge on the food and farming system in America, and to gain career and life experience!

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