Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

August 5, 2013

MG internship a rewarding experience


CROSSVILLE — Landon Smith, Cumberland County Master Gardeners Association's 2013 intern, is nearly through his ten week summer program. Landon is the son of Ricky and Lisa Smith of Crossville. Learning is second nature to this family as both parents are in the field of education. Landon is a 2010 graduate of Stone Memorial High School. He is currently attending Tennessee Tech University and will be a senior in the fall. His major is biology with concentration in botany and his minor is in environmental studies.

Under the guidance of Walt Hitch, UT PREC director; Gregg Upchurch, Cumberland County UT Extension agent; and Nancy Christopherson, Master Gardener, Landon has been busy with duties relating to the Discovery Gardens and UT Research & Education Center. The program allows the candidate to experience real life situations applicable to his field of study and assist with on-going research at the center.

Landon feels this opportunity has allowed him to zero-in on a variety of possible careers. By observing and working with professionals, both at the station and while on field trips, he was able to identify his likes and dislikes about future career options.

While working at the UT Plateau Experimental Station, Landon was able to witness trials from the planning and preparatory stages all the way to data collection and analysis stages. He was also able to develop close relationships with his co-workers and learned how important communication is in a career.

At the beginning of his internship Landon was given the task of pruning nearly 200 hydrangeas in the Discovery Gardens. It took a week of non-stop trimming and pruning to complete. Landon's 40-hour week, plus blisters to prove his hard work, only added to the feeling of accomplishment in knowing the job was done well.

Landon was happy to be part of the Master Gardener's internship program. He was glad to work with such an unrelenting and passionate group of gardeners. All told, the summer was a very satisfying and rewarding experience.