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Moshe Skoglund

Project Title: 
Japanese Beetle Mass Trapping in Massachusetts Grapes and Blueberries
Program Year: 
Sustainable Food and Farming (AS)

I grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, right along Amythest Brook. My favorite ways to spend time there were exploring the local trails and walking just a few hundred feet from my backyard to play in the river. I also loved visiting local farms with my family. Most years my family would get a CSA share and a garden in our yard where we grew various vegetables, herbs, ornamental, and medicinal plants. This love of nature led me to engage in challenging experiences that gave me confidence in myself as a child and brought me closer to others with similar interests. In the summers before tenth and eleventh grade I participated in two six-week internships at Abundance Farm in Northampton. 

I chose to participate in these internships because they were Jewish community projects with other high schoolers geared towards connecting people of all faiths, beliefs, and backgrounds, and focusing on growing and providing food to those in need. I worked on a number of local farms that donate their food to survival centers and help low-income communities have increased access to locally grown produce.

These experiences helped me understand that working in the community matters to me, motivates me, and has allowed me to explore my innate love for nature and gardening. In the fall of 2022, I enrolled in the University of Massachusetts Amherst's Sustainable Food and Farming Associates degree program. Throughout the last year, I have learned many important skills and key knowledge of soil health, botany, community-supported agriculture, farm management, and extension all from an academic view.

The Research and Extension Experience for Undergraduates this summer has changed my view on the relationship between research and farming, through Extension. I know now the importance of community outreach to farmers in order to understand real-world problems that need to be addressed by researchers. This internship has also given me the opportunity to connect with my academic peers who are involved in similar research and areas of study at the university.

As I enter my senior year, I realize how my upbringing in Amherst being surrounded by farms and communities involved in food, has influenced my decision to pursue a “career” and more so a life, in agriculture.