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Internship Blog by Shelby Mumma

Hello & Welcome to my blog!

My name is Shelby Mumma and I have the amazing opportunity to serve as a Cheese/Animal Husbandry Intern for Flint Hill Farm Educational Center for the summer 2019 season.

I am originally from the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area but I am attending Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton Georgia where I am pursuing a degree in Agricultural Communications.

Follow along below as I document my summer at Flint Hill Farm.

Sunday - 5/19/19 – Today was my first day on the farm and boy was it a wild one. Every year, Flint Hill Farm does an open house for the community where the public can come and explore all the aspects Flint Hill Farm has to offer. I started the day by helping Miss Kathy feed the animals and milk. I had never seen a milking machine before let alone watch the goats and cow be milked from it. When Miss Kathy asked me if I wanted to hand milk, I was very hesitant because this was all brand new to me. I ended up opting out to trying to hand milk and did more observing than anything. I also met Anita who is one of the Spring interns and she showed me how to make cheese. When you think of making cheese, it sounds easy. However, there is a lot to consider when making cheese. First, you have to transport the milk which includes cleaning the lines to make sure everything is clean. After you transport the milk over to the cheese room, you have to clean the lines again to make sure all the milk is out and ready to go for next time. All the milk sits in a big giant tank where it pasteurizes and waits to be made into smoothies, cheese, yogurt, butter, etc. We also had a man come in to sheer the sheep during the open house which was cool to watch.

Monday – 5/20/19 – Today we continued working with the cheese to make Chevre. Chevre came from the origin of France and means ‘goat’. After chevre reaches a certain temperature with its ingredients in it, it is left over night. Today, we did something called ‘hanging cheese’. When Anita told me that, I wondered how on earth we were going to hang cheese if it looked so soupy in the tank. I shortly found out just how to do it! You take cheese clothes and a large mixing bowl. Place your cheese cloth in the bowl and start to pour pitchers of the milk/cheese mixer into the bowl. Then you tie it up and place it on big hangers where it stays over night – see it is a long process!! But after that is it all done, you can flavors the cheeses with all kinds of different herbs. Anita and I made tomato basil chevre the next day with our cheese.

Wednesday – 5/22/19 – Today I met another intern for the Spring named Donna. She wants to start a farm of her own and figured she should get some experience before she started one herself. She said “This internship has helped me so much…things you will never be able to learn in a textbook. It is important to get that hands on experience.” I am thankful she came to Flint Hill Farm and have already experienced what she has said in the couple of days I’ve been here. I look forward to all the many things I am going to learn throughout this internship.

Thursday – 5/23/19 – Today was Anita’s last day for her internship. I only worked with her 4 days but I am thankful for all she had taught me in that short amount of time. She taught me that it’s okay to have a bad day, just know that tomorrow is a new day to have a great day. She taught me how to feed all the animals and their names (which is a lot). She taught me how to make cheese, package it, label it, and put it in the store and so much more.

I also learned how to make smoothies today with Anita and Donna which was a lot of fun. The smoothies are sooo delicious.

Monday – 5/27/19 – Today was Memorial Day and there was a family staying in the bed and breakfast for a weekend getaway. I was accompanied by the whole family this morning to help me milk the goats. They wanted to learn how to hand milk and they did a phenomenal job!

One of my favorite parts of this internship is meeting new people and learning about their story and what brought them to the farm.

Tuesday – 5/28/19 – Today was one of the first days where I was by myself most of the day. It went by quick and Jenn kept me company while I transported milk.

Jenn is another lady that works on the farm here 7 days a week. She said one of the things she enjoys most is setting everything up and knowing it is in order for afternoon feeding. Jenn helps with many chores on the farm and one of them is cleaning chicken eggs.

Thursday – 5/30/19 – Today was my last day working with Miss Donna since she was another Spring intern. I have loved getting to know both Anita and Miss Donna even if it was only for a couple weeks. Before I left, Miss Donna taught me how to give the goats corid, do famacha scoring and a little crash course on how to clip hooves. I learned that corid is a oral solution that is given to goats that help prevent coccidiosis which is basically diarrhea that is caused from a parasite that can get into their intestines and lay eggs. I made sure to take a picture with Donna before I left so I can always remember her positivity and smile.

Monday – 6/3/19 – I came back to the farm yesterday afternoon to do my afternoon milking hoping to see a calf born while I was gone but no luck. However, I still experienced something new today. Miss Kathy taught me how to make Manchego from goat milk. Like last week, I had to transport the milk over to the cheese room but since I was still milking the goats, Miss Kathy helped me do that so it went by a little quicker. It is different from Chevre because there is no hanging process and Manchego requires lipase. The picture below shows the three ingredients used to make Manchego cheese from goat milk : lipase, rennet, and culture.

Unlike Chevre, Manchego is pressed in molds after it is done pasteurizing and sits in those forms over night. They will then be taken out of the cloths and turned one more time tomorrow before setting out to dry.

Tuesday – 6/4/19 – This morning I went to the barn to find our new baby calf. It is a boy!!

He must’ve been hungry because he drank a whole bottle of milk in the morning when Miss Kathy fed him. He was the talk of the farm all day long.

Wednesday – 6/5/19 – Something that I love about this internship is that no day is ever the same. Today was a perfect testament to that because as I was wondering what I was going to do with my afternoon, a family pulls in and asks to be given a tour. I later find out that they are from the same area I am from and live down the road from me…the world is smaller than I think some times.

They enjoyed walking around to all the animals and learning about each one. I like that these conversations can be as personable as you wish while still filling them with information they may not have known before coming here. It was a great day to be on the farm!

Monday - 6/10/19 - One of my duties on the farm is to package milk for the store. This is one of my favorite satisfactions of working on the know I helped make something someone is going to buy and appreciate.

Step 1: Take milk from the milker and use the transporter to funnel it into a half gallon container. I always make sure I put a filter in the funnel just in case something happened to slip through the milkers.

Step 2: Make labels. I like that the label explains what raw milk is because a lot of people are unaware. We always make the date 2 weeks ahead of when it is packaged.

Step 3: Stick the labels on and put them in the store. They are ready to purchased. Come pick yourself up one for $4 and see what other goodies you can find in the store.

Tuesday - 6/11/19 - Today was a little quiet on the farm. I love that some days it is so peaceful. I took one of our calves for a walk because next Monday, Miss Kathy and I are going to take some of the animals to a camp. They need to get used to having a halter on and being our 3 month old calf Bucko and I on our walk today.

Wednesday - 6/12/19 - As my internship moves further along, I realize that this place would not function as good as it does without the volunteers. A lady named Tiana came to the farm looking for some volunteer opportunities while she has off for the summer. She couldn’t have come at a better time because we had a lot to do in the cheese room today. She helped Miss Kathy and I hang Chevre cheese, flavor cheddar cheese and put them into molds, and cut and package cheese for the store. One thing I keep hearing Miss Kathy say is, “I ask the Lord to send me help and He always brings people that are willing to use their talents.” Tiana was such a blessing and a big help today.