Hi, my name is Samina Mian and I am an undergraduate senior studying Sustainable Food and Farming at UMass. Prior to transferring to Stockbridge, I completed a two-year degree in Natural Resources Conservation. I am passionate about everything related to food production, human health, and the environment and understanding how these three fields are interconnected. After graduating from high school and self-studying nutrition and food policy, I began to realize the negative implications of the industrial food system in the United States and how our modern diet is negatively contributing to the prevalence of diet-related diseases, especially in childhood. This realization brought me to the field of agriculture. My professional goal now is to combine scientific knowledge with practical experience gained at UMass Amherst to channel ideas of sustainability and healthy eating into improving human health through the agricultural sciences.
Being a REEU intern this summer has exposed me to a wide range of research, professional, and technical skills that I will carry with me throughout my future career. Whether it was learning how to conduct an independent research project and write a scientific article, visiting local farms throughout Massachusetts to hear directly from growers about their operation, using a soil auger to take soil samples, or identifying common plant diseases and pests on apple trees, I took away something new each day. This style of continuous learning, outreach, and education is something that I truly admire about extension work. Going forward, I hope to apply the knowledge that I have gained through REEU to pursue further research in agriculture, connect younger children with where their food comes from, and operate a diversified farm long-term.