By Russell Boone
Naomi Becks, a sophomore food and nutrition major from Augusta, Georgia, recently completed a virtual internship with American Farmland Trust (AFT).
AFT was founded in 1980 to preserve farmland along with the environment.
The Fort Valley State University student learned about the internship from her chemistry teacher. After reading the criteria, which included a 3.0 grade point average and current enrollment status, she applied and was accepted.
For eight weeks, Becks worked for AFT’s Farm to Institution New York State (FINYS) program. FINYS focuses on increasing the amount of foods grown by New York’s local farmers to be served in numerous state run institutions. This includes colleges, schools and other establishments.
The Augusta native’s main duty included working with the organization’s communications unit. “I had to put together a communications campaign that highlighted any program that American Farmland Trust offered,” Becks said.
Furthermore, Becks said the internship made her more responsible because it was virtual. “It challenged my integrity about how many hours you have to put down,” she said. The Richmond County native said she worked an average of seven and a half hours per day.
As a food and nutrition major, Becks said that her experience with AFT made her appreciate the efforts farmers make in getting food to the table. She also said through the internship, she learned that farmland is very important in producing food for consumption and farmers should be fairly compensated for their food production efforts.
Additionally, the FVSU sophomore said she plans to apply to other internships. After graduation she plans to enroll in the military and earn a master’s degree to pursue a career as a registered dietician.