We love getting the chance to work with our community members who are passionate about becoming food producers, whether they plan to launch their own enterprise or start a garden at home. We offer a variety of internships for individuals of all ages to come and learn with us throughout the year while earning a fair wage to support themselves and their families. We're currently accepting applications for our Community Food Leaders program. Check out our opportunities below!
Our Community Food Leaders program for adults launched in 2021, with the goal of helping volunteers bring their dreams for community food projects to life. Food leaders are paired with a mentor and work with SFSI staff to design, plan, and implement food projects to build food sovereignty directly in their home communities, & empower individuals and families to take control over the food they eat. Applications for our next cohort will open in February 2022.
Our WIK internship is a year-long paid opportunity for adult tribal members interested in becoming small-scale food producers. Developed in collaboration with Dakota Rural Action and running from November to October, interns have the opportunity to experience a full year in the garden to learn exactly what goes into producing food for our community - whether that be winterizing garden beds in the fall, starting seeds in the greenhouse in the winter, or transplanting in the spring.
Over the course of the year, interns complete 800 hours of on-farm training, assisting the Garden Manager at the Three Sisters Garden and developing their own small production plots. They also spend several hours completing virtual classroom time each week, putting together enterprise plans & budgets and diving deep into the business side of running a successful food production operation. Interns travel to other small scale farms throughout South Dakota to learn from local food producers, building connections to strengthen our regional food system, and hear from members of the South Dakota food community at our bi-monthly presentations.
Every summer we’re joined in the garden by our AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates, who play an integral role in producing the food we grow each year. Our interns spend ten weeks with us in the garden, helping with planting, weeding, composting, taking care of chickens, watering, and other general maintenance.
Interns work as a team to complete a variety of projects, and have a number of opportunities to learn more about Lakota culture through wild food harvests and workshops where they learn traditional skills such as how to make herbal salves and timpsila (wild prairie turnip) & bapa (dried meat, usually venison or bison) soup. By the end of the summer, our interns will have gained the skills and knowledge needed to start their own gardens at home, building food sovereignty directly in Sicangu Lakota families and communities. Approximately half of our interns return the next summer to complete a second internship in the garden.
Our youth internships are offered to young adults aged 14 - 19 at various times throughout the year. Youth interns work on a variety of projects, centered around strengthening their Lakota identity and gaining the skills and knowledge to empower themselves and their families to take control of the food they eat. Our internship is currently offered virtually and provides an exciting opportunity for Sicangu youth to learn more about growing food and develop a mindful perspective on food production as it relates to Rosebud.