5 Minutes With Henry McClellan

Henry McClean, senior, often helps out at JK Farms by doing a variety of tasks, including a passion project.

Katie Gibbs

Henry McClean, senior, often helps out at JK Farms by doing a variety of tasks, including a passion project.

Elise Bowen, Features, Opinion, & Sports Editor

Here in Loudoun County, it’s not unusual to pass a farm on the way to school. 

It’s a little unusual, however, to intern at one. 

Despite this, senior Henry McClellan can often be found hard at work doing a variety of tasks for JK Farms, per his job as an intern. McClellan does a variety of tasks each time he’s there, and they all require quite a bit of work. 

“I help with the mowing, harvesting, packaging foods, leading volunteers through their jobs, weeding and plenty more jobs that can be completed on the farm,” McClellan said. “I start the day with checking in with the ‘boss’ of the place, and she decides what I need to do for the day.” 

Although McClellan works the various jobs described, he also has an intern-specified role: a passion project.

“One of my requirements as an intern is to do a passion project,” he said.  ”Interns at the farm make something or give back to the farm to help them.” 

McClellan chose to build a three-bay composter (which is 3 bins side-by-side), so compost can be rotated through the different stages of decomposition. 

The process hasn’t been completed yet, but it starts by digging holes for fence posts. Then in the spring, McClellan will cut up fence boards to make the bins. The fence boards must be close together to keep the compost in the bin but allow sunlight and oxygen to filter through, too. 

This internship has been an influence on McClellan’s personal life. He believes  being an intern helped teach him life lessons— even providing him with a beneficial resume for the future. 

When interviewed, classmate and friend Xavier Jankowski said that “Henry has always been involved with farms and animals, whether it be his personal animals or for community farms like JK.” 

“It is a great thing that he is giving back to the community in such an impactful way.” Jankowski said. 

Given that McClellan wants to go into the field of environmental science, he thinks it allows him to learn more about what his future in the field may hold. 

“I would definitely recommend going to volunteer for JK Community Farms. It’s a very good way to give back to the community and if you’re recognized for your hard work you may get offered an internship.”