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Why am I having such a difficult time getting accepted to intern on a farm?

 
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Hello, all!

I am making my first post tonight! I have been browsing the permits.com forums for quite some time now and decided it would be a great place to voice a concern I have.

I am currently applying to internships that interest me on organic permaculture farms all over the United States. I have applied to several and sometimes do not even receive an email back.

I have no farming experience yet, and convey this well in my initial contact while always including a cover letter written specifically for that farm and my resume along with a few great references. I state the reasons why I want to learn about permaculture and organic farming and I feel m cover letter really conveys my genuine passion.

Why am I having such a hard time getting a positive response? Starting to feel down, and I am really capable and I am trying to make this a lesson of trust, but sometimes that can be hard!

Any input is greatly appreciated, and any stories of internship experiences would be great as too.
Thank you!
 
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Hi Krista, and welcome to Permies.  If you feel comfortable with the idea, you could post the text of your letter and maybe your resume.  That might give people a better handle on it.

You may just be up against a surplus of available workers and they're taking the experienced ones, or it may also just be bad luck.  It's always a numbers game, even if you've got everything as polished as possible.  As to why they don't respond, maybe they're overwhelmed with applications, work or both.  It's also hard for most people to say no, so they just respond to the ones they want to follow up with.  The thing I hate most about having employees is the hiring process.

See what feedback you get here, but just keep on keepin' on.  You'll get a job somewhere.  I would also suggest trying to be objective when looking at any offers.  Trying to force a bad fit pretty much never works out, so you're better off to wait for the next offer if your spidey sense is tingling.  You could also look at opportunities in other countries as many have young worker visas for those under 35ish.

Best of luck.
 
pollinator
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Welcome to permies!

My advice would be to go WWOOF/helpx on a couple farms. Quick experience annd a source of relevant dwferences.

If you can provide your own housing(rv, camperized minivan... tent..) you may find doors open that otherwise would not, as the on farm housing may be full. Short stays may extend themselves when a mutually beneficial fit is found.

It should be much easier to find these opportunities vs full internships.


My internship experience left me wishing I had done the above instead, or at least first. With no farm experience I wasn't well equipped to assess the farm I interned on ahead of time... By the time it became apparent to me that it was being badly mismanaged, I had made a firm commitment that I felt obliged to see through.

It was still a valuable experience, but I certainly didn't learn much about farming well!
 
pollinator
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Krista, what Dillon said is very true and worth serious consideration.

As someone who has had interns when managing the landscaping for a community I can speak a little about the other side and maybe that will give you some insights.

1st and foremost. Farmers are not always the best business and office workers. In fact they often suck at this. So everything you mention could be a result of that simple issue.

2nd there are a lot of people out there asking for internships, this is a good thing but the farms might not be able to handle the amount of requests. I actually had too many interns apply when I took over the landscaping dept. It was amazing how many people wanted to come, but the community I was in also did workshops. I had to leave room for workshopers to have a chance to join my crew. So capped the interns at only 2, because they stayed for a lot longer than the workshopers who only did 5 weeks.

3rd are you sure the farms you are sending your info want or need an intern? Where you responding to an ad or something? Or just picking farms you thought you would like and sending them your paperwork? Unsolicited requests might just go ignored or a quick reply saying they are not interested.

Something you might consider. If there is a farm that turned you down that you really really liked, ask them what about you they didn't like. Get feed back from those folks who turned you down and find out what you might be able to do to improve your odds. It can't hurt to ask they already said no once, worst they can do is ignore you.

Hopefully this might shed some light on things for you.


I hate to hear you are feeling down and sorry it is hard. You should though take it as a lesson not just of trust but patience and perseverance.

If this is really something you want then keep on trying. Life is always filled with set backs and hurdles. What makes people successful and able to live their dreams is not letting things stop them from achieving what they set out to do.

I spent over 20 yrs of my life barely getting by while learning the skills I needed to start a homestead. I have only just now started to build that homestead. Some things in life take time, but are worth the wait.
 
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Hi, Krista.
I may have an option for you.
I sent you a Purple Moosage, Permies alternate to private message.
 
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Funny for me it's hard to find help at all.
 
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Apply with us if you like.
Look for ~ Stone Garden Farm ~ at:
www.ic.org or www.wwoof.org

 
Timothy Markus
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Any luck, Krista?
 
Dee-Bee Hilly
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Could it be you are not having any luck, because you are not following up or responding to people that offer you chances.
If you were polite enough to communicate even with a no thanks, the world may open up with generosity towards you in return.
 
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Krista-You posted 3 weeks ago about not being responded to then ignored someone who made you an offer. I think I might be seeing your problem....


I am making my first post tonight! I have been browsing the permits.com forums for quite some time now and decided it would be a great place to voice a concern I have.

I am currently applying to internships that interest me on organic permaculture farms all over the United States. I have applied to several and sometimes do not even receive an email back.

I have no farming experience yet, and convey this well in my initial contact while always including a cover letter written specifically for that farm and my resume along with a few great references. I state the reasons why I want to learn about permaculture and organic farming and I feel m cover letter really conveys my genuine passion.

Why am I having such a hard time getting a positive response? Starting to feel down, and I am really capable and I am trying to make this a lesson of trust, but sometimes that can be hard!

Any input is greatly appreciated, and any stories of internship experiences would be great as too.
Thank you!
 
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Dee-Bee Hilly wrote:Could it be you are not having any luck, because you are not following up or responding to people that offer you chances.
If you were polite enough to communicate even with a no thanks, the world may open up with generosity towards you in return.



This was my first thought.  A good strategy is to contact them after two weeks and ask if they received your resume.  Then ask for any feedback.

If you haven’t heard back about your job application after two weeks, it’s perfectly acceptable to call the hiring manager unless the listing states otherwise. You can say: “Hi, I’m following up on an application that I sent. I’m very interested in the role and your company, and I just wanted to ensure that you received it.” This way you’ll know if the person is still sorting through resumes or if the position has already been filled. Then, listen to what the person says. If they say, “We’re still in the preliminary stages of vetting candidates and going through applications,” you can say something like, “Do you know when you’ll be in touch with candidates you’re interested in?” If you don’t receive a phone call or an email during the time period specified, you are probably not a contender for the position.



https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/how-to-follow-up-on-job-applications/
 
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