Student Workers Keep UMF Thriving

Kaitlynn Tarbox, Contributing Writer

    UMF’s student employees have proven to be an integral part of campus life and functions as they maintain a variety of positions on campus such as giving tours, delivering mail and secretarial positions. Without them, work loads on staff would increase significantly. 

    Joseph Toner, Assistant Director of Financial Aid said in an email interview, “Student employees make our campus go. In just about any corner of campus you will find student employees whose work is not only vital to campus operations, but who are building their resumes through experiential work and hands on training.” 

    Student success is one of the most important things to Toner. “Not only would the day to day operations suffer greatly without student workers, but more importantly, there would be a noticeable difference in overall student success at UMF,” he said. “Student employment is one of the main success indicators for students here; meaning, those who choose to work on campus persist at a higher rate, do better academically, and are more socially engaged.” 

    Student employees are often the first to greet upcoming students whether it be through a tour or open houses.  By welcoming these new students, employees create a student’s first impression of UMF. During the application and tour process Toner said that “as [new students]  begin to dig deeper and learn more about UMF they will see student employees at every step along the way. Whether our student employees know it or not, they are all equally important to the success of UMF and the Farmington community.”  

       Andrea Butterfield, Mail Services Assistant in the mailroom said that “student workers are very important, our department is very dependent on them for things to run smoothly.”  

    The mail room offers 20 work study positions and usually fills 18 of those. Currently they have 11 employees and without them Butterfield said, “ A lot would not get done, I would be the only employee in the mailroom and mail would no longer be delivered to the residence halls or departments. They would have to come pick up their mail at the mailroom.” 

    The mailroom struggled during the first few weeks of the semester with a system glitch and lack of employees. In difficult situations, like the large amount of packages that needed to be checked in after their computer system glitched, Butterfield said, “I’m grateful for [the student workers] everyday.”    

     Lilly Spencer, a sophomore who receives work-study, said,  “If we didn’t have student workers a lot of people probably would not be able to attend college. College is really expensive and having a way that we can work towards our tuition is really empowering and beneficial.”  

    There are many benefits to working on campus: career readiness, time management skills, networking, creating positive relationships with others and other skills that vary on the employee’s position. 

     Quinlan Boyle, sophomore, worked for the mailroom last year. “I am thankful for student workers every time I get my mail, eat in the dining hall or have a technology problem,” he said. 

    Without student workers filling over 700 employee positions much of campus life would come to a standstill. Boyle said, “It would not be great without student workers, there is a lot going on at UMF all the time, people who give tours, deliver mail, work in food service. There would be a lot that would not get done due to the lack of student workers.”

Morrison Hill Apple Orchard Steadily Growing Their Business

Morrison Hill Apple Orchard Steadily Growing Their Business

Melissa Wood, Contributing Writer

    Morrison Hill Orchard in Farmington, ME has been owned and run by Jeanne Simpson for some time now, but five years ago was passed down to her two daughters Jodi and Jan. In the near future they aim to add more to the farm.

Currently operating under 60 acres and 12 varieties of apples, additional food and drink options are some ideas for future expansion

    Since taking over, oldest daughter and UMF alumni Jodi Hollingsworth and her sister Jan Rackliff have been adding and evolutionizing their family-owned farm. With 350 trees to tend to and many other events hosted at the orchard, “It is definitely a lifestyle,” says Hollingsworth, in a phone interview. “It is not a full time job. It can be difficult at times.” 

    With there only being 60 acres and 12 different varieties of apples she says, “It is a very intense two month long season.”  

   Once starting her journey, Hollingsworth says she has more “expansions for the future.” More importantly, she says she wants to add in more food and drink options, as well as lawn games and more animals. 

    The big outcome is for “people to come, enjoy it, and experience it,” says Hollingsworth. Even though there has been a big reduction in small orchards, the 12 different types of apples really help. 

    Their season doesn’t start until the apples are ripe and ready to be picked. Every year they have their regulars who come with their families to pick their apples, but they “want to reach out further,” said Simpson. 

    This year they started their pick-your-own apples season on Sept. 20. In preparation for that, they have to work 12-16 hour days. Though Simpson says they enjoy it together as a family.

    Hollingsworth owns County Seat Realty in Farmington, as well. As a result, she must find a way to balance her two careers and the need to be at both places at once. “It can be very challenging at times. It’s a matter of looking ahead and focusing,” says Hollingsworth. 

     Everyday she starts her mornings at the orchard and then works her day around her realty company. “I always have my schedule set for the season. It is quite a bit of business,” says Hollingsworth.

     This 60-acre, family-run orchard in the past has been run by Jerry and Jeanne Simpson. “It is constantly changing,” said Jeanne Simpson. They decided to go with a pick-your-own style of apple picking 10 years ago. They then moved into people buying bushels of their apples.

    Simpson decided to retire from teaching in 2002 to help her husband tend to the orchard. Once her two daughters were old enough, they decided to hand the business over to them.

    Sisters Jody Hollingsworth, and Jan Rackliff have been running the business for five years and have big plans for the coming years. From apple slingshots to hard cider tasting and many more. They are hoping to bring in a wider base of customers and continue to grow their family business.