College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA Internship Stories: Becky Jones

Cameron Smith
Jones at the North Beach Farmer’s Market, selling meat from her family farm on a beautiful Friday evening.

Many people wonder what it would be like to be a business owner and have responsibilities dealing with customer service, marketing, and safety. But for second-year Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) student Becky Jones, this is just a small list of what she experienced this summer from May to August.

Jones, an Agricultural Business Management student, got the chance to complete a variety of tasks during her summer internship at her family's farm, Windy Willow Farm, in Sunderland, Md. From coming up with specials to sell at local farmers markets, to practicing good marketing skills, to completing the sometimes grueling and difficult responsibilities on the farm, Jones has proven that she is not one to back down from any challenge. Jones’ advisor, Larisa Cioaca, had the chance to witness Jones’ work ethic after shadowing Jones for the day. “I was impressed by Becky’s can-do attitude and her ability to complete anything she is given without flinching. As we stood in front of a 10-foot-tall pile of firewood that Becky had cut on her own by using a log splitter, it became very evident to me that there was no task too large that she couldn't handle,” says Cioaca.

^^Jones standing in front of the huge pile of logs that she was tasked with splitting.

Jones’ great work ethic was a major contributor to getting work done on the farm this summer. Jones’ supervisor during the summer was Debbie Jones, who states, “Becky
was able to concentrate on getting the meat freezers organized and inventoried, which allowed her to create weekly specials for us through the end of the summer, which was a great help.”

Along with completing these tasks, Jones also had the responsibility of building relationships with customers through farmers market management, which is where she was most passionate. Over the course of the summer, Jones was able to re-brand, improve the farm, and increase sales by adding social media and a website to form a connection with customers and share their business history. In the IAA's Agricultural Marketing course last fall, Jones learned about the basic principles involved in marketing. However, it wasn't until Jones completed her internship and got to apply everything that she learned in a hands-on setting that she realized that marketing - and more specifically, farmers market management - is the path that she wants to follow.

From the beginning to the end of Jones’ internship, she learned from multiple experiences that offered new and valuable knowledge regarding what it takes to manage a farm. She had the responsibility of completing different tasks each day that led her to find her niche in marketing.

Jones looks forward to applying everything she learned last summer to her classes this year, as well as her future career. Whatever Jones chooses, she is sure to make an impact in the agriculture community. As she said herself, “I find it incredibly important that agriculture continues to have a public presence. Pursuing a career in the agriculture industry is something I truly value; not only for myself, but for generations to come.”

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