Last year our team launched Compost Crew’s Composting Fellowship program. The fellowship offers hands-on experience and training in composting operations provided by a MDA Certified Compost Facility Operator.
Our fellows gain exposure to compost industry learning materials and opportunities including hands-on sales experience, commercial compost facility tours, compost industry seminars, networking opportunities, and academic materials.
In this series we’re sitting down with some of our past and present Compost Fellows to learn more about their experiences with the program. We’re kicking off the series with Brian Campos, who was a Fellow this past Fall and Winter. Since finishing his stint as a Fellow in February, Brian is now working with the Crew as a Composting Operations Assistant at our Compost Outposts.
Compost Crew: What projects did you contribute to during your fellowship?
Brian: As a fellow I worked on two projects, both of which are still ongoing. The first project seeks to quantify the beneficial effects of our compost in terms of plant growth and overall soil health via controlled experimentation. The second project is focused on figuring out practical ways of capturing some of the heat produced during the composting process and harnessing it for use in other on-farm activities.
Compost Crew: What was your favorite part about the program?
Brian: What I liked most were the countless opportunities and resources that were made available to me. Because of the fellowship program, I was able to study for and earn my Maryland Compost Facility Operator certification, attend multiple composting/recycling center facility tours, sit in on various online seminars, and gain copious amounts of hands-on experience with the composting process by actually doing it.
Compost Crew: What did you learn from your experience?
Brian: To be honest, I learned pretty much everything I know about composting through the fellowship program. I came into the program without any prior composting experience and little knowledge on the subject. The combination of hands-on experience and supplemental educational material provided by the fellowship allowed me to learn much more than I thought I could in just a few months.
Compost Crew: Is there anything you would want to let a new fellow know about the program?
Brian: Come prepared to get dirty! Our work is done 100% outside and involves digging through food scraps; boots and old clothes are highly recommended.
The Composting Fellowship Program’s goal is to empower individuals interested in pursuing sustainable agriculture and food waste diversion with the resources and experience to do so.
Our Fellowship program is offered seasonally, biannually, and annually with flexible hours that best fit your schedule! Want to learn more? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apply to join our composting division as a Fellow here, and stay tuned for future Fellow spotlights coming soon!
Edited by: Ivy Nargiz, Composting Coordination Associate