University of South Florida

Patel College of Global Sustainability

Making a Difference in the World


Laura Castillo - Fat Beet Farm ACE Internship

Student: Laura Castillo

Student: Laura Castillo

Concentration: Food Sustainability and Security

Laura Castillo's academic journey at USF Patel College of Global Sustainability led her to an internship at Fat Beet Farm in Tampa, Florida. This farm operates with a commitment to sustainable agriculture. Their mission, "to feed people food with integrity in a beautiful setting without destroying the land it's grown in," captures the essence of their approach to farming and environmental stewardship.

Location(s): Fat Beet Farm (Tampa, FL)

Castillo's internship provided her with hands-on experience in organic farming, aquaponics and educational outreach. Castillo practiced core sustainable practices such as composting, weeding, and blanching. She further developed co-planting strategies to enhance biodiversity and promote healthy plant growth. Alongside fellow intern Dylan Wilbur, Castillo contributed to Fat Beet Farm Foundation’s educational goals by creating a video and newsletter. Her lasting legacy at Fat Beet Farms was the proposal of an aquaponics-specific tour. This includes a tour of the aquaponic hoop house, an interactive class with a scaled-down aquaponic system, and a take-home sample of aquaponically grown lettuce.

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