Internship returns writer to her roots

Melissa Bezan, the WP’s new intern, was raised on a mixed, multigenerational farm in western Manitoba, just north of Inglis. | Supplied photo

Last year was a year of firsts for me: my first year of journalism school, my first pet of my own, my first summer away from home, and my first real journalism job, here at The Western Producer.

Here is another first, one you’re reading right now and one that I’ve rewritten five times — my first column.

I am The Western Producer’s newest intern, fresh from the University of Regina’s School of Journalism and still learning how to row my boat through the journalism world. You are all joining me on my first voyage out to sea.

I hope you have life jackets.

I’d like to think I’m just as much a farm girl as I am a writer, although my dad would tell you I’m more of the latter. I was raised on a mixed, multigenerational farm in western Manitoba, just north of a small town called Inglis.

When you’ve known something your whole life, you take it for granted. For me, it was everything. I took the farm for granted, the country, and my family. I didn’t realize how much I appreciated it until I moved away for university and missed it acutely.

When I moved back home after my first year of university, I worked at the Inglis Grain Elevators National Historic Site. I spent my days under the watchful eyes of five grain elevators, walking the train track with cleaning supplies in my hand or guiding tourists through the workings of the elevator. (If you want to know how an elevator works, I’m your girl).

Highlights of my (very short) career have been working Dauphin’s Countryfest as a freelance photojournalist for the Dauphin Herald, and a photo essay I did for one of my journalism classes about calving on the farm. I was hoping to capture the birth in real time, and followed my dad around for days. It happened at 11 p.m., but it was worth the wait.

I have always said I am in limbo between two homes — between the life I have made for myself in Regina and the farm in rural Manitoba. Now, I’m living in the city during the summer for the first time, away from my family and our pets and our farm as I start my internship at The Western Producer. But I feel as though I’ve finally found my roots again, even though I’m a province away from home.

I’m so excited to continue to grow here. Although the pandemic has changed how this internship operates, I’ve already learned so much.

And so far, it’s been nothing but smooth sailing.

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