While many in-person summer programs at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station were canceled this summer, the W.K. Kellogg Farm and Pasture Dairy Center was able to welcome two college students for internships. Turns out, farming is pretty similar whether there’s a pandemic happening or not.
Kylee Kunse, originally from Caro, Michigan, is an intern for the Farm. She’s a Michigan State University student studying animal science and is particularly interested in nutrition. “I have a huge interest in … how what we feed our livestock affects their performance,” she says. “I am currently planning to begin my career after graduation working as an animal nutritionist, either with a feed company or with a farm that staffs their own nutritionist.”
Alyssa Schuck, originally from Battle Creek, Michigan, is a sustainable agriculture intern. She’s studying agriculture technology at MSU and Kellogg Community College, and she’s interested in the emerging field of hemp and cannabis research. She says, “I started in [my] program wanting to be a professional resource for information on this topic. I felt like there was so much more I didn’t know.”
No such thing as a typical day
A typical day at the Farm changes, of course, throughout the growing season. One constant is early mornings spent feeding cattle at the Pasture Dairy Center. Over the past few months, Kunse and Schuck have planted beans, fixed fences, rotated cattle between pastures, weeded research plots, and harvested and collected data from crops.
Of course, no KBS summer is all work. Kunse recalls that a favorite memory (so far!) has been “getting together with a few of the others at KBS this summer, socially distancing of course, to stargaze and see Comet NEOWISE on the lake.”
For Schuck, there have been moments of reflection interspersed between all the work: “The beauty of KBS for me,” she says,”has been the peace it has brought to my summer in such a time of discouraging emotions.”