College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA Internship Stories: Ben Prigg

Author: 
Andrew Small
Ben Prigg (at right) with Pearlstone Farm Director Greg Strella.

The Legend at Pearlstone

During his first day harvesting beets at Pearlstone Farm in Reisterstown, Maryland, Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) student Benjamin Prigg became very sunburned. On that day, the second-year Sustainable Agriculture major learned his first lesson: wear sunscreen every day.

Since Pearlstone Farm is part of a Jewish community center, Prigg’s second lesson was to learn about the Jewish culture and the work environment. “Because I’m not Jewish and was not familiar with their practices, I wanted to make sure I didn’t accidentally offend anyone,” said Prigg.

He selected Pearlstone as his internship site partly because it was close to his Catonsville home and partly because he felt it was “a perfect starting point in agriculture.” Prigg is new to farming and was excited to milk goats, collect eggs from chickens, weed the gardens, and harvest crops. He had milked a cow before so milking a goat was no problem. He admits that weeding the gardens was hard work, but well worth it for appearance and growing purposes. He learned that weeding requires removing the roots, otherwise the weeds come back.

At Pearlstone, staff harvested numerous crops to provide a variety of choices for the community. Prigg learned how to harvest lettuce, carrots, beets, kale, and onions. In one week alone, they harvested 460 pounds of onions.

Prigg also learned about farm animals. In addition to milking goats, he built a chicken coop which took him just a few days. On another day, the farm's four sheep escaped and it took over an hour to find them before they were corralled back into the pen.

Prigg enjoyed working outside and learning from all of his co-workers. He liked the hands-on aspect of learning the tasks on the farm. This internship made him want to work on a farm for as long as he can. Prigg states that farming taught him that hard work pays off. He also adds, “Don’t forget to apply the sunscreen.”

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