On Caitlin's first day, this city girl from Lake in the Hills, Illinois, found herself doing a full day of fieldwork, furiously planting pumpkins during one of the early summer's brief dry spells.
"I thought Kyle was a little crazy for making a city girl plant pumpkins on her very first day, especially because the internship job description didn't say anything about farm work," she says. "But it was fun seeing and being involved in the prep work for fall season."
After that first day, Caitlin kew she would be doing pretty much anything and everything that was needed, something that this UW-Platteville business administration major adapted to very quickly and is totally okay with. She started in our internship program this summer after spending 4 ½ months studying in London and touring Europe (she visited 9 countries during her trip!), and immediately felt at home on the farm.
"I love the people," says Caitlin, who applied to the farm because she had some really fun times here visiting during fall season with her friends. "I felt like family from the first day I came to work and that has grown every day since. Everyone is so welcoming and it's so nice to see a work community all be involved in anything that's needed to do what's best for the company."
"Everyone here pitches in and helps this business succeed," Caitlin added, stating that this is one of the most important things she's learned on the farm so far.
In Caitlin's free time (when she has it), she helps manage the UW-Platteville soccer team (she used to play but now manages due to an injury). She also loves to cook, watch movies, and hang out with friends. And she especially loves being outside and interacting with people, which has made this internship a perfect fit for her.
The very last thing this friendly and bubbly person wants to do in the future is sit in an office all day - which is exactly what she's NOT been doing here! So far, Caitlin has been involved in starting our ice cream business - she's been the primary person at our tastings, serving up ice cream - and has staffed our strawberry tent. She's planted pumpkins, helped with events, worked with Kyle on some social media projects and contests, and has been learning the general ropes of running a small business that has its hands in about fifteen different pots at once. She'll be sticking around throughout the summer and will help us during fall season, which she's really excited about.
One of her favorite things has been interacting with the farm guests. "Everyone has their own unique stories about the farm and it's been so fun to hear why they enjoy the farm," she says. Your feedback and conversation with Caitlin has been a great learning experience for her - "It helps me to learn what people value in a business, which I'll take with me in my future endeavors!"
For life after college, Caitlin has big plans. Her dream job is to work in a non-profit that benefits children, but she would be happy working for a small company that makes a difference in some way within their community. At the farm, she's been learning all about being involved in a small business, gaining leadership skills and developing planning/organizational skills to work projects from their original conception to the final project. She's excited to keep learning skills and gaining experience during this internship that will help her towards her future dreams.
Overall, Caitlin really likes the Platteville/southern Wisconsin area because it is so different from her home, where there is a lot going on all the time. When she came to school, she says she slowed down and felt less rushed. We hope that this city girl loves the country so much she sticks around for awhile, because we love her at the farm and are basically not letting her go!
Thanks so much Caitlin for everything that you're doing!
This year we hired on a new person, and her name is McKenna. She's from Fennimore and is super awesome at graphics and things, but the most important thing is that she's a redhead, which means we're best friends on principle.
McKenna is from the farm so she likes farm stuff, but this type of farm is a whole new ball of wax for her.
"I used to come during fall season when I was younger and have some really good memories of going through the corn maze with friends and spending time with my now-husband," says McKenna. But working here isn't anything like she expected!
Her first reaction when she came to interview for the job was that she was waaay overdressed. She was in formal interview attire while Kyle was in his ripped yellow t-shirt and farm jeans. Even though she felt uncomfortable in her heels, McKenna felt like part of the crew right away. And now that she's been here a few months, she's grown accustomed to the relaxed farm dress code. And she's learned and figured out all the weirdness of the farm: the strange hours, the weird projects, and all the bizarre things we get involved in. Plus, she's put in quite a bid to have Bruce teach her to run the catapult!
McKenna has made a lot of the graphics and videos and fun marketing things that you might have seen on the Facebook page lately, and she's been working really hard with Kyle to get our new ice cream business off the ground. She even spent an entire day with my (very grumpy) child taking photographs and arranging sets so we could get some fun pictures of our ice cream! She's really been enjoying bringing the farm into more visibility and testing out her creative chops.
In her free time, McKenna enjoys crafting; hunting in the fall; fishing on the boat in the summer; and dirt biking and four-wheeling. But in the last few months, she's been super preoccupied with wedding planning and traveling! She didn't get married on the farm (we're not holding that against her), but her wedding was Saturday, June 29th and she just got back from her honeymoon in Punta Cana. She's super excited to not only be married, but buy a house, and settle down in the area with her new husband, Kyle (not our Kyle; diesel mechanic Kyle Richard whom she's been dating for the past few years).
We're super happy for her and wish her the best! And we are excited for her return to the farm to hang out with us!
With the new barn comes new events, and with that comes a new employee!
Morgan Spitzer is our new wedding and events coordinator, and (funnily enough) our blogger, too! So let's drop the third person and I'll tell you a little about me:
For the past three years, I've worked at UW-Platteville as a writing professional. During my time there, I planned a number of events, and found out I really liked it! So I decided to make a career out of it. So here I am!
I'm thrilled to be a part of Vesperman Farms and I am so excited to help brides plan their special days and to help everyone else plan big and small events in their lives. I can't wait to talk to you about your event! To contact me, just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from you soon!
Fun on the farm...in blog form!