ROCKPORT — Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization, offers teens ages 14 to 18 paid internships through the Teen Ag Crew program at Erickson Fields Preserve (164 West St ., Rockport). Interns will gain hands-on experience in sustainable agricultural practices and learn about their local food system, from food production, processing and distribution to consumption and waste management. The produce they harvest will power food pantries, public schools and restaurants. The internship will be part-time and offered in three semesters: spring (April 19 to June 16), summer (June 21 to August 26) and fall (Sept. 6 to Oct. 27). The stipend for the fall and spring sessions will each be $260 and the stipend for the summer session will be $1,300. Interns will receive training on COVID-19 safety protocols and will be provided with PPE.
MCHT’s Teen Ag Crew has been an open door for many teens entering the workforce. No previous farming experience is required, just a desire to be outdoors, work hard in a team and learn new skills. The work is both challenging and rewarding and contributes to the Midcoast community by partnering with the Good Shepherd Food Bank and other hunger relief agencies to address food insecurity. Last year, the Teen Ag Crew distributed 26,235 pounds of produce from their 4-acre garden.
“Teen Ag Crew is a great first job,” said Aaron Englander, manager of Erickson Farm. “It gives teens the opportunity to positively impact their community, build their resumes, and expand their social circles beyond the walls of their schools.”
The application deadline is Monday, March 7. Interested teens can apply online at aldermere.org/teen-ag-crew or call 236-2739 to request a paper application.