Interning at Mapleton's

Wed, Jan 11th, 2017

Students Working on the Farm

At Mapleton's we are always welcoming visitors to the farm. This includes students on internships.

These interns live on the property and receive hands on experience with organic farming. We have had interns from many different countries at the farm.

This past summer, we had 3 interns to help us keep the farm running. These interns were from Finland, Quebec and Ottawa.

Anna from Finland

Anna is 23 years old and studies at the Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences- Agriculture and Rural Enterprise.  

Anna grew up on a farm until she was 12 years old but dealt mainly with beef cattle and did not have experience with dairy cows.

Favourite Memories

 I was surprised how calm and gentle all of the cows were at the farm. I still have my favourites, 124-Ernie and 105-Yoshiko. I have so many good memories at Mapleton's. Everyday I had the chance to learn something new, everything was new to me and I could put my studies into action.

I think the most memorable moment was when the first calf was born and I got to name her. I named her Valo, which means 'light' in Finnish. I still remember Martin trying to pronouce it!

After that, I became a happy mother by naming a few more in Finnish: Tuuli, Kuu, Sade, Aurora, Aleksi and also one with my second name Katariina.

Lessons Learned "This is a list that could go on for days"

With farming, especially organic, there is always something to learn. For me, organic farming in Canada reminds me of general farming in Finland.

My home country is known to produce the cleanest food in the world with almost no pesticides or artificial fertilizers.

The amounts are so restricted because of the European Union that it is sometimes really hard for us. We also do not feed our cows soy or corn because it is hard to grow here and importing is expensive.

The variety of different animals and the different ways to feed them gave me a lot to think about. All of the information about the alpacas was interesting. Alpacas cannot eat soy or they could die.

Where Anna is now

Now a days, I work on an organic farm with 150 milking cows, with 3 LELY A4 robots. The same robots as Mapleton's but only with more cows.

I must say that everything I learned during my internship has come in handy here. But I really miss the compost barn. I absolutely loved it.

And I miss THE ICE CREAM SO MUCH! Favourites are lavender, pumpkin and chocolate!

Joëlle from Quebec

Joëlle came to us from Quebec through her studies at Laval University. Joëlle loved being in close proximity with the animals. 

My internship went really fast because I literally loved the animals and I felt comfortable when I was surrounded by them.

The people working on the farm were all really kind to me. I found a new family. My summer passed really quickly becasue of all of the activities that we had everyday. Taking care of animals, working in the plant, weeding the green house, scooping ice cream. My summer was well filled.

Craig from Ottawa

Craig grew up on his family's dairy farm in Edwards, Ontario (near Ottawa) and studies at  McGill University. Craig had prior experience with dairy cows but was interested in learning about organic farming and the on-site processing plant. 

Lessons Learned

A big lesson I learned at Mapleton's was to be prepared for the unexpected!

The morning of May 15, 2016 wasn't any different. I was on deck for the morning feeding of the calves and the animals in the demo barn. When I woke up and looked out my window there were big, beautiful snowflakes falling. However, weather never stops the work on the farm. All the morning chores went on as originally scheduled, but with a Christmas feel to the work!

Always Something Different

One of the things I enjoyed about interning at Mapleton's was getting to do something different everyday. Whether it was getting to work with the voluntary milking system, in the dairy plant, scooping ice cream at shows or taking care of the many different animals in the demo barn- Mapleton's offered a new adventure everyday!

With the vast amount of areas of work on the farm to be involved in, you can always learn something. I can remember one day helping to mill logs into boards with the field manager, Danny, sowing soybeans in the field beside us.

Favourite Memory

A favourite memory of mine is working out in the pasture field.

As Martin would always mention, "those cows are smarter than we give them credit for". One of the tasks of being an intern was setting up, moving and fixing electric fence in the pasture fields. However, those crafty cows kept playing jail break on us! When checking the the pasture it wasn't rare to find a group of bovine had jumped a fence to get to greener pastures. It became some what of a game to keep ahead of the pasture cows and make sure they stayed in the proper field rotation.

More Memorable Moments

We appreciate everything that our interns do for us!

Our interns are always flexible and willing to help in any aspect of the business. Thank you all, and we wish you all the greatest success.

Looking for an internship? 

We accept students who require a placement through post-secondary education programs related to agriculture.

Email us at Space is limited and not all applications can be accepted. 

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Benefits of the Compost Pack

At Mapleton's we use a Compost Pack in our Main Dairy Barn.

To read more about this system and the benefits it offers our cows please visit here...

 Read More
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