Website The Wallace Centers of Iowa

The Wallace Centers of Iowa (WCI) is seeking a Garden Programs Intern who is interested in a hands-on working/learning experience in vegetable/fruit production. This non-profit organization ( carries on the Wallace family legacy through programming and the preservation of two historic locations – the Wallace Farm near Orient and the Wallace House in Des Moines. This position will be based at the rural Orient location.


The Intern will help the Garden Programs Manager manage the organization’s 12 acres of tillable land and orchard for vegetable/fruit production for use by two kitchens. The site also includes space for cover crops, pollinator habitat, flowers and other land use. The Intern will participate in educational programming and special projects, one of which could be work on integrating the newly completed geothermal greenhouse into food production and educational opportunities. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required. Minimum of 10 weeks, maximum of 14 weeks – actual dates to be mutually determined.

Practical Experience operating an organic vegetable and fruit production garden:

  • Use of organic farming practices
  • Planting seeds, transplanting, and care of greenhouse plants
  • Preparing plant beds
  • Transplanting to garden
  • Direct seeding
  • Weed and insect management
  • Record keeping
  • Produce harvesting and cleaning
  • Orchard care and harvesting
  • Shade house production
  • Small field equipment use, cleaning tools and keeping workspace clean
  • Compost management
  • Irrigation techniques and strategies

Supporting Activities – Public Programs and Events

  • Donation garden: a plot set aside to grow produce for area food banks with volunteer assistance
  • Assisting with tours of the garden for planned programs, bus tours or other visitors
  • Supporting the WCI Chef to provide produce for menus, events and value-added products

Adjunct Farm Experiences/Learning

  • One-year membership to Practical Farmers of Iowa
  • Attendance at one sustainable agriculture professional development meeting/event (virtual or in-person) OR one off-site visit/work day to other sustainable agriculture operations in the region with a different focus such as a large CSA program, direct-to-consumer flower farm, value-added production, farmers market operation and sales outlet such as a cooperative.
  • Post internship assistance – WCI will be available beyond the internship to offer advice, connections and/or review and edit business plans

 Internship Remuneration

  • $450/week for full-time work
  • Basic housing can be available on-site – private bedroom, Wi-Fi & access to bathroom, kitchen, shower & laundry facilities, some located in other buildings.
  • Employee discount for programs/meals
  • Opportunity to be an integral part of a comprehensive local food production system




  1. Are you currently a college student? Highest academic year completed & institution:
  2. Why does this garden intern position interest you?
  3. Tell us about any previous experience with agriculture, gardening, or farming.
  4. Do you have any health issues/allergies that would prohibit you from doing physical work outdoors? Can you lift at least 40 lb.?
  5. Have you worked with the public previously? Have you done public speaking or presentations?
  6. How will this internship further your plans for the future?

Please provide 2 references (academic or work related but not a relative) who are familiar with your work ethic and interest in agriculture.

  1. Name:
    Relation to Applicant:
    Phone #:
  2. Name:
    Relation to Applicant:
    Phone #:

The Wallace Centers of Iowa
Attn:  Debra Houghtaling, President/CEO


Job posted: March 1, 2024. Position open until filled.

A Word document version of this job description/application that can be filled out and emailed is posted at

To apply for this job please visit