Name: Lily Horne ‘23

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Major(s): SOAN

ACE course(s) taken: Agroecology Fall 2021

Carleton student Lily Horne '23 holding the world's cutest orange kitten at a farm visit

At Carleton have you been able to find a sense of belonging through engaging with the community? 

Lily: I really have. Taking Agroecology was totally part of that. I feel like that was the beginning of my immersion or connection to the broader Northfield community. 

Was there anything that surprised you about the community of Northfield when you took Agroecology? 

Lily: I think what surprised me was just that there’s a really strong sense of community among the farmers, or at least that’s the impression that I got. They all have a lot of respect for one another because they all face a lot of the same challenges. We went to this one fundraising gathering held at a farm, and there was food, and it was just really cool to see all these farmers coming to this one event. David [Hougen-Eitzman] and his band played music, which was awesome to see, for everyone, but especially for our class. 

Was there a moment from your ACE course that is really memorable for you?

Lily: At one farm we visited, there were kittens— such cute kittens. There were three or four of them, and they were so friendly and they were just hanging out under a picnic table. And immediately we parked the vans, got out, and someone saw the kittens. And the whole visit was just consumed by the kittens. We’re all holding them and passing them around and we have so many cute photos. It was just really wonderful. We all needed that. 

How do you think talking with farmers every week affected your learning experience in this class? 

Lily: The real world is much messier than any sort of classroom experience or what you’re learning from a PowerPoint presentation. David did a really good job letting us come to that on our own. Seeing the real world application of all the things that we were learning and how complicated it is, I think we all came away from the class knowing that farming is very, very complicated and very, very difficult. I think that was our main takeaway. 

Do you think there are parts of your identity that shaped your experience of this class?

Lily: When you’re on these field trips and it’s beautiful out and it’s so fun to be off campus and you’re playing with kittens and stuff— it’s very easy to romanticize that way of life. Having worked on a farm, I knew that there were really good days when you love it but also days when it’s really exhausting and not as enjoyable. So I think it was good for me to kind of keep that perspective of, yes, this is amazing work that they’re doing, but I also knew not to romanticize it. 

What advice would you give other Carleton students about ACE courses or community engagement in general?

Lily: In our group project with a community partner, we felt a lot less academic pressure to “succeed” in this project but more real world pressure, like, Oh, we want to do this well, because this matters to someone. I guess my thought for Carleton students would be to do your best and do good work for the community partner, but also take a deep breath and remember that they [community partners] want to work with you, too.