Matt Currin, a participant in our Ag Voices series, has spent the summer learning more about North Carolina’s green industry as a full-time landscaper. In addition, he has volunteered with a summer camp, worked on his family farm and prepared for his fall harvest of pansies. He sent us this post about his experience.
This summer has been very productive thus far, especially with my involvement in agriculture. Since summer break started back in May, I have been working full time with a landscaping company. I have learned a lot about the horticultural and ornamental side of agriculture by gaining experience in hardscaping (laying pavers and concrete for patio, sidewalks, etc.), installing trees and shrubs and even spreading mulch and cutting grass. In addition to my job as a landscaper, I worked on our farm harvesting wheat and bailing straw.
I also volunteered at Kopper Top Life Learning Center for my Teaching Fellows Junior Enrichment program. At this camp, I served as a counselor along with a few other Teaching Fellows. We helped children that attended this day camp, many of which had disabilities. I learned all about therapeutic animals, including horses, cats, dogs and rabbits, used to work with people at nursing homes and the disabled people that attended the camp.
I have also been active in preparing the greenhouse for the fall. This will be my second year doing pansies in the greenhouse. In the past few weeks I have been busy planting 18,000 pansy seeds, which will keep my schedule full for the next 11 weeks until they are ready to be sold in October.
Although this summer has been full of great learning experiences that will be very beneficial to my future as an agricultural leader and educator, I am ready to start my junior year at North Carolina State University. I hope this year holds many more great opportunities just like the past.