Cassidy Calcaterra '20

What are you doing now?

I am currently working with the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, Minnesota as a Farm Field Manager. In collaboration with my boss, a few interns, and some new WWOOF volunteers, I help to grow a portion of the food served in the kitchen on the campus. While the farm is currently only able to produce about 30% of the total vegetables needed, the long term goal of the site is to produce all of the food eaten by campers and staff on the organic farm.

How did you get there?

I started my relationship with Wolf Ridge in 2019, when I served as the Farm Intern. I had never experienced any farm work before, and was very lucky to have worked with people who were not only experienced and enthusiastic, but were able to help teach and encourage me. I completed my undergraduate thesis research on some of the challenges that the Wolf Ridge Organic Farm is facing, and offered up potential solutions. I applied to come back to the farm as the Field Manager, and began my position there in June after graduating.

Can you share any exciting experience or opportunities you have had, and how they have benefited you?

The farm has had to adapt drastically during the pandemic. Instead of serving campers, we began a CSA share program that was open to staff and employees. Additionally, we began serving wood-fired pizzas on Friday. Orders were open to any member in the surrounding communities, and most of the ingredients were grown on the farm, or made with farm produce. Additionally, my coworkers and I were able to sell frozen pizzas, pesto, sauce, and dehydrated veggies at the local market. Though my experiences between my internship and my full-time employment differed, I learned that small-scale organic farms are extremely adaptable. It is so exciting to know that farming expands far beyond the daily tasks of planting, pruning, and harvesting!