IAA Internship Stories: Emily Richardson
Imagine a typical day at work during a thunderstorm. Most people may hardly notice the rain and occasional claps of thunder from the comfort of their workspaces. Through office windows, they may watch lightning flashes brighten the dark sky. However, for Emily Richardson, an afternoon thunderstorm was a noticeable event.
Richardson, a sophomore at the University of Maryland majoring in Agricultural Science and Technology while also completing a certificate in Agricultural Business Management, interned this summer at Babikow Greenhouses, where there was no office window from which she could watch the thunderstorm. She worked outside--rain or shine.
Richardson has always had an interest in agriculture, thanks to growing up with her family's business, Richardson Farms in Baltimore, Maryland. The store and farm have been in the family for five generations and will eventually be passed down to Emily. She also has an interest in greenhouses, and would love to make horticulture a bigger part of her family’s business. When Richardson landed a summer internship at Babikow, she was excited to learn more about operating a greenhouse facility and “see how another family runs their agricultural-based business in the Baltimore area,” Richardson stated.
During the internship, Richardson performed a variety of tasks. A typical day could include anything from picking annual or perennial orders, to filling millions of flats with soil to get ready for the fall season. Richardson was able to see all aspects of Babikow’s business because she rotated into each department. Supervisor Tim Babikow stated, “I wanted to give Emily every skill I possibly could over the eight-week period, in order for her to get the most out of her experience here at Babikow, and so that she can be successful in this industry.” Richardson definitely got everything she wanted out of her summer at Babikow. She identified and cared for countless plant species, learned how large-scale greenhouse operations work, and gained a love for the work she had spent all summer doing.
Working at Babikow inspired a passion in Richardson for horticulture that she hadn’t felt before her summer internship. Before Babikow, she was interested only in gardening and landscaping. Now, Richardson says she has a well-rounded love for all things plant-related. Once she finishes her education, she plans to revamp her family farm’s greenhouse business. Through the amazing opportunity that Babikow Greenhouses provided for Richardson, she was able to develop the goals she has today.