Pre-O Potato-Picking Opens First-Year Eyes to Rural Life

Story posted September 07, 2009

A dozen first-years headed north to potato country for their pre-orientation, or pre-o, experience. They spent three days in Aroostook County at the Southern Aroostook Agricultural Museum in Littleton painting, mowing lawns and washing windows.

They also spent time working at a potato farm in Presque Isle and became the subject of a local newspaper story.

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(L. to r.) Jenny Stobiecki, Sarah Levin, Audrey Blood, Chloe Huang, Tasha Sandoval, group leader Annabel Boeke, Sam Vitello, Emma Cutler, group leader Chase Taylor, Noah Glennon, Jason Kwong, Rodolfo Edeza, and Director of Student Life and group advisor Allen Delong. Lisa Bloom is the truck driver; farm owner Dan Stewart is the truck bed. Houlton Pioneer Times photo/Karen Donato.

Karen Donato wrote the article, "A Course in Picking Potatoes for Bowdoin Students," in the September 2, 2009, edition of the Houlton Pioneer Times.

"I think that this hands on experience made the students more aware of the work that a farmer does and it was something many had never thought about before," said Donato, who, in addition to writing for the local paper, volunteers at the museum and has helped coordinate the Aroostook County pre-o trip for four years now.

"They were great sports and sincerely seemed to want to learn about the annual harvest when the schools in the past shut down for three weeks, so children could pick potatoes and earn money to buy their winter clothes."

Read the article.

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