My name is Alex Hage and I have just graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Agricultural Business. This summer I interned with Nature Road Farm just north of Boone, Iowa. Linda and Randy Naeve founded nature Road Farm. Linda also works as an Extension Program Specialist for Iowa State University and Randy is a full-time farmer during the growing season.
Nature Road Farm is a vegetable farm that offers a large variety of fresh produce to its customers. There are about 100 customers who receive the farms abundance of vegetables every week in the form of shares. Nature Road Farm offers both Full and Half shares throughout the season. These shares are spread out over a span of 15 weeks and customers receive whatever produce is in season each individual week. This is what is known as CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Local support is what allows CSA’s to thrive. Many CSA’s rely on drop points where customers must meet their grower to pick up their produce. Nature Road Farm takes it a step further by delivering it directly to your house or workplace.
This summer I had an incredible experience working under Randy and Linda. Since the summer internship is a 12-week program, I started a little bit later in the season so I would be able to see the whole process through until the end of August. Some things I hoped to gain through this internship are some horticulture experience and a better understanding the logistics of the business. I gathered a lot of valuable knowledge every day and am very excited about how I will be able to use it in the future.
Next summer I will be starting my own CSA just outside of Inwood, IA in the far Northwest corner of the state. It will be a fraction of the size of Nature Road Farm but will still offer many of the same foods.
I would like to give a special thanks to Randy and Linda for a great experience at Nature Road Farm thus far. Also, I want to thank all of the people in the AgEI program that put these summer internships together for their students. Without these summer internship opportunities, I would not have been able to pursue a job that I am passionate about.