The internships at Howell Farm are designed to teach participants skills practiced here in our interpretation of turn-of-the-century farm life. These skills may be useful to those working with small farmers in developing countries, working at other living history farms or agricultural museums, or to the 20th century homesteader (see "Applying Program Skills" for more details on this point).
Howell Living History Farm is a 130-acre farm where the techniques that farm families used to feed and clothe themselves at the turn of the 20th century are practiced and demonstrated to thousands of visitors each year. The internship program is integrated with the overall needs of a historical farm, which include cropping, equipment restoration and repair, site maintenance, and educational programs for schools and the general public.
Hand, horse, ox, steam and gas engine power are used to operate field, barn, and other equipment. As a working farm, Howell Farm offers recreational and educational opportunities to its visitors, involving them in the work and play of a traditional family farm.
We are offering twelve-week sessions in Spring, Summer, and Fall which let people experience the seasonal activities of the farm, and longer sessions for those who want to participate in the full range of activities.
Technical training includes grain and forage production with draft animals and simple equipment. Small-scale livestock production, crop processing and storage, and kitchen gardening are also important activities. An introduction to woodworking and metalworking skills related to equipment maintenance and repair is provided when there are projects that require such skills. Interns get some exposure to modern farm equipment as well. All activities are organized around the needs of the season.
The animal-powered turn-of-the-century farm was geared to producing food for the family, as well as a marketable surplus. Farmers of this era kept a larger percentage of the money they got for their products than they did before or since. At this time, oxen were declining in number, horsepower was at its peak, and the engine was just beginning to be applied to agriculture.