IAA Internship Stories: Michael Perise
Local Farmer Helps Feed College Students
Agricultural Business Management major Michael Perise spent his summer working in the fields of the University of Maryland Terp Farm located in Upper Marlboro.
Perise is from Dunkirk, in Calvert County, MD, where he grows small plots of tobacco and vegetables. He enjoys being outdoors whether it is hunting ducks in the winter or fishing in the waters of Ocean City. Wherever Perise is you will always find him putting in 100%.
Term Farm is run by the University of Maryland Dining Services and is responsible for growing all aspects of the produce served in the dining halls. Perise, an intern, was involved in all parts of the farm: planting, harvesting, irrigation, propagation, washing, packing, and being a general mechanic. Of all the tasks, Perise’s favorite was the harvests. He said he enjoyed seeing something that he planted grow to maturity and then be harvested.
While farming involves hard work, Perise admits that his summer on the farm had some fun times. One day he and the other interns got into a rotten tomato fight. This created their quote of the season, “Life is hard on a spaghetti sauce farm.”
Working as a Terp Farm intern, Perise gained valuable new skills such as teamwork and a stronger work ethic. He also learned that large scale production is possible on a small farm. This will be helpful to him because he wants to run a small produce farm once he graduates from the Institute of Applied Agriculture.