College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA Internship Stories: Frank Bohne

Conrad Mellin
Hiking the scenic Waipio Valley was a perk of Frank Bohne's summer internship in Hawaii.
Image Credit: 
Meredith Epstein

Imagine being 4,753 miles away from home -- not for vacation, but for an internship. Frank Bohne, a second-year Sustainable Agriculture student at the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA), spent last summer working at Big Island Farms in Honokaa, Hawaii.

Bohne was excited to hear that he gotten the internship, and he spent eight weeks in Honokaa, working a typical 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. day. While interning, Bohne did permaculture design, weeding, planting, general maintenance, and clean-up to prepare the landscape for the next group of student-interns. He met Coconut Chris, a farmer well-known for his work in sustainability and permaculture. Bohne also learned about many new topics; ranging from the various types of bananas to a malady known as Rat Lungworm Disease.

Because he lived on location, Bohne could spend his free time working on the farm or just being a tourist. This afforded him the opportunity to hike Canton Avenue, the world’s steepest road, to Waipio Valley multiple times per week.

^ The tree nursery at Big Island Farms in Honokaa, HI.

This internship opportunity caught Bohne’s eye because he "wanted to learn about tropical agriculture," and because "getting to intern in Hawaii is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” Bohne's initial love for sustainable agriculture came from his high school AP Environmental Science class, which initially made him want to help solve the world's food crisis.

After he graduates from the IAA, Bohne would like to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Horticulture at the University of Maryland. Bohne says the main reason for pursuing this career path is his affinity for being outdoors. He looks forward to a career as a manager or supervisor of a tree nursery or forestry business.

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