Training Multiple Generations of Conservationists

August 25, 2023

By Julia G. King


Conserving the places we all know and love wouldn’t be possible without the people to steward the land, work with farmers and landowners, share our message, and so much more. Each year the Trust hires interns and Quail Hill Farm (QHF) apprentices to learn more about our work and gain hands-on experience. Thanks to your support we’re able to pay them for their time or work with their school to earn them college credit. Over the past 40 years, we’ve had over 175 interns working on the North and South Forks including apprentices at Quail Hill Farm. That’s multiple generations of conservationists out there in the world! Here’s a short roundup of where some of the apprentices and interns are within the Peconic Land Trust community.


Matt Swain

Intern: 2007 & 2008

Current Role: Vice President, Peconic Land Trust

Matt’s work with our Stewardship Department during college inspired his senior thesis on conservation easements and land use planning. In 2009 he joined the Trust full-time as a Land Steward and has worked with us ever since. Appreciating all the Trust has done to help him succeed, he looks to mentor the younger staff and lay the groundwork for the Trust’s next 40 years.

Learn more about Matt’s time at the Trust.


Amanda Merrow

Quail Hill Farm Apprentice: 2008

Current Roles: Co-Founder, Amber Waves Farm; Board member, Peconic Land Trust

As a QHF apprentice, Amanda met her friend and business partner, Katie Baldwin. Together they went on to found Amber Waves Farm on land conserved by the Trust in Amagansett. Today, Amanda sits on the Trust’s board and works to educate other people on agriculture. Amber Waves has gone on to graduate 50 farm apprentices from their program.

Learn more about Amanda Merrow and Amber Waves Farm as it celebrates its 15th year of business.


Julia G. King

Intern: 2011

Current Role: Digital Communications Associate, Peconic Land Trust

Julia worked with our North Fork Stewardship team as an intern. Her days involved maintaining the Ag Center for community gardeners, organizing files, and visiting easements. Joining the Marketing and Communications Department full time in 2020, she now shares the work of the Trust with all of you.

Learn more about Julia’s journey with the Trust.


Madison Aldrich

Quail Hill Farm Apprentice: 2020 & 2021

Current Role: Farm Manager, Quail Hill Farm, Peconic Land Trust

After two years as an apprentice at Quail Hill Farm, Madison was asked to lead the next round of apprentices in 2022 as Farm Manager. “The purpose of the apprenticeship is to create a space where young farmers can develop farm management skills, and I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to see that through at the very place that planted the seed for me.” - Madison Aldrich

Read more about Madison’s perspective on her first year as Farm Manager.

Were you an intern or apprentice at the Trust? We’d love to hear from you and learn more about what you’re doing now. Email Julia G. King, Digital Communications Associate, to connect.

Do you know a high school or college student interested in a conservation-based internship? Please have them send a resume and brief cover letter to Human Resources at

Support the Peconic Land Trust
Peconic Land Trust needs your support to protect the working farms, natural lands, and heritage of Long Island.