I just found out today that I got the job at the MN Zoo!!!
I CANNOT even describe how frickin excited I am… I cried when I read the letter. I know it is just a silly volunteer job, but it has ALWAYS been a dream of mine to work at a zoo. I am hoping that maybe it will turn into more, maybe I will do well enough to become an interpretive guide on one of the trails in another part of the zoo. The lady that interviewed me told me that if I got hired I would get to come back earlier next year, and work with the farm babies. (the have a big event planned for this week) and that if I do well enough there are volunteer supervisor positions.
Anyway… here is a description of my training.
Farm volunteers are trained in all areas of the Farm. These include; Poultry Barn, Swine Barn, Dairy Barn, Goat/Sheep Barn, horses, the cloned bull and the Grain Elevator. Training is an important part of the volunteer program and is mandatory, so that volunteers have the correct information to talk to visitors at each barn. You will also learn general Zoo information, the locations of other exhibits, restrooms, food facilities and show times. Other topics included will be interpretation techniques, how to handle lost children or health/weather emergencies.
They take these jobs very seriously… if you remember I had to answer four interview questions, fill out an application, have a personal reference fill out a form for me, and then there was the actual interview. There were lots of people at the interview, and they made it clear that there were more people than there were positions…. and it took them three weeks to notify me of their decision.
One of the interview questions asked how I feel about the raising of farm animals for human consumption… that was a hard question for me. I wish all animals lived in humane conditions, or on free range farms…. but I am gulity of eating a cheeseburger and not giving a passing thought to where the hamburger came from.
This part of the agreement I had to sign freaks me out a little, as I am imagining a PETA person cornering me and confronting me…
I understand that the Wells Fargo Family Farm is a working farm and the purpose of the farm is to educate the general public of the past, present and future of farming. I understand that the animals at the farm are raised for specific purposes, including their products, and that these animals have the possibility of being sold at their appropriate weight or age as an agricultural product. I understand that this means there is the potential these animals could be bought by other farms or bought by companies that slaughter these animals for their products and by-products. I understand that the Zoo recognizes that this can be a controversial issue for some people. I understand that all media communications are handled in a coordinated effort through our Communications Office. If I am approached by a member of the media, I am to direct them to the Guest Services Desk. While representing the Zoo as a farm volunteer, I will respect the Farm Policy and support the Zoo in a positive manner.
But despite my PETA person fear… I am still beyond flippin excited! I will have a farm manual to study and will have to take quizzes on farm animals to work in different parts of the farm. My first day is May 16th, when I will shadow a farm worker for the entire day.