Cruze Farm

Home of Jersey cows and farm girls

Q & A with Elisabeth Spratt (from Maryville, TN) who spent almost a year in between undergrad and grad school being a Farm Girl. She is currently pursuing her masters in Agriculture, Food, and Environment at Tufts University.

 

What was your hardest job?

Elisabeth: Milking cows!

 

What was your favorite job?

Elisabeth: Milking cows! 

 

How did working at the farm prepare you for grad school (or not prepare)?

Elisabeth: Since I study farms and food systems in school, I would say my time at the farm gave me a lot of context about dairy farming, local food systems, and small-scale farms. I also felt very grounded going into grad school--after all, I had just been doing the sometimes dirty but very important task of producing food. There's a sort of peace that comes with knowing that I can always return to it. 

 

Why are small farms important?

Elisabeth: Small farms are well-suited to direct marketing their products to their communities, like at farmers markets and in locally owned grocery stores. Because of this, they become a sort of ambassador for agriculture in their communities. They become a direct link for people to know more about where their food comes from and what tools and practices farmers use to produce it. 

 

What did you learn about yourself while working at the farm?

Elisabeth: I learned that regardless of how utterly impossible a given task is, if I just finish it, it will be easier next time, and easier still after 3 or 4 times. This works in grad school, too!

 

Which dairy product did you enjoy the most from the farm?

Elisabeth: Coffee milk and ice cream! 

 

What advice can you give a new employee at the farm?

Elisabeth: Eventually you will learn to work smarter and use your weight to perform physical tasks more efficiently. Be patient with yourself and keep trying! It gets easier and fun after the learning curve! 

 

What do you miss the most?

Elisabeth:I miss cows, open spaces, and dark night skies. And hard physical work!

 

It's a good time of year to count our blessings. What are you thankful for?

Elisabeth:I am thankful for all the farmers and farm workers at Cruze Farm and at every other farm in the country who work through all types of weather to provide us with full tables of food this holiday season.