Apprentice at Shakefork Community Farm

Every season we welcome apprentices to live, work, and learn with us on our farm.

We are currently seeking qualified applicants for a unique farm apprenticeship.  

Internship Starts: Monday, April 1st, 2019

Internship Ends: Sunday December 1st, 2019

Number of Interns: 4

App Deadline: Ongoing, until we find the right team.

Minimum Length of Stay: Full season commitment (35 weeks) preferred.

To Apply: Please email shakeforkcommunityfarm@gmail.com with a brief introduction to request an application. We require a completed application, resume, and at least one professional reference.

 Shakefork apprentices in the pasture.

Apprenticeship Description: 

Our program is a hands-on, intensive training for future farmers, regenerative land stewards, and aspiring land-based entrepreneurs. We work closely with our oxen teams in every season and offer serious experience in draft power on a diversified farmstead. A full season commitment of 35 weeks provides the most well rounded experience, but shorter commitments are also possible. Applicants considering a shorter apprenticeship must be willing to camp for some of the mid-summer weeks. All apprentices can expect to work an average of 50 hours a week - less in April & November, more in the high summer months - and learn about every aspect of our diversified farm throughout the season. We are transparent about our farming journey and all aspects of our business and are eager to share what we’ve learned with you. All apprentices will become skillful in a wide range of livestock care, learn basic teamster skills, gain meaningful skills and training in many garden tasks, and be exposed to the core business principles and practices that make for a successful farm.    

Livestock/Pasture skills:     

--Work closely with livestock including oxen teams, cattle, sheep, pigs, and poultry.

--Move livestock fences.

--Move chicken tractors.

--Feed, water and care for livestock.

--Slaughter, butcher and package chicken for sale.

--Wash & package eggs.

Garden/general skills:

--Sow seeds in prop house and up-pot when needed.

--Amend and prep beds for planting.

--Transplant and direct seed garden crops.

--Irrigate, weed, and generally care for crops to maturity.

--Trellis and prune tomatoes and other high tunnel crops.

--Harvest, wash and pack produce for market or CSA.

--Pack CSA boxes.

--Communicate with customers and provide excellent customer service.

--Clean and organize farm facilities.

--Use and maintain hand tools and power equipment.

Moving 3 week old broiler chicks from the brooder to pasture. Cultivating cucumbers with oxen power.

Crop planning. Harvesting brussels sprouts. 

Educational Opportunities:

The work at Shakefork Community Farm is incredibly diverse, and you can expect daily tasks to vary considerably from day to day and week to week throughout the season. Lively lunchtime discussions cover a range of topics, from the philosophical to the practical. Opportunities for group readings and outings to other area farms are available and encouraged, depending on the groups’ interests. We have toured mushroom facility, commercial dairies, other CSA farms, and more. 

Work Experience / Skills Desired:

Required:

--Ability to complete heavy lifting tasks ergonomically.

--Willingness to work on weekends and holidays as needed.

--Effective communication skills.

--An ability and authentic desire to help customers.

--Drivers License and clean driving record.

--Willingness to keep records and take notes.

--Ability to hustle and multi-task.

--Attention to detail.

--Willingness to slaughter animals for meat.  

Preferred:

--Customer service experience.

--Previous farm experience.

--Experience using small tools and equipment.

--Knowledge and awareness of current challenges and dysfunction of US and global food system.

Competencies:

Food Values - Values high quality food and ingredients raised conscientiously; strives for physical and emotional health.

Teamwork – Contributes to building a positive team spirit; exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ views; gives and welcomes feedback; able to build morale and group commitments to daily and seasonal farm goals and objectives.

Diversity – Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; treats all members of the team with respect and fairness, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, age, race, and skill level.

Attendance / Punctuality – Is consistently at work on time; returns from breaks at arranged time; schedules time off well in advance.

Dependability – Follows instructions; responds to management direction; demonstrates a non-defensive learning style; takes responsibility for own actions; completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person; demonstrates “finishiative” – thoroughness in completing a project.

Oral Communication – Participates in meetings; listens and gets clarification; responds well to questions; checks in with management before and after a workday.

Written Communication – Able to read and interpret written information such as a daily “to do” list; records field notes and planting maps; keeps track of harvest notes and weights.

Professionalism - Reacts well under pressure; treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position.

Motivation – Holds self to standard of excellence; self-starter.

Initiative – Volunteers readily; seeks increased responsibilities; asks for and offers help when needed.

Quality Control - Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; applies feedback to improve performance; monitors own work to ensure quality; maintains Shakefork Community Farm standards. 

Crew 4th of July BBQ.

Meals: 

We eat primarily from the foods that we grow on the farm and provide for almost all of our own meat, vegetable, dairy and fat needs. We encourage apprentices to do the same and truly embrace what it means to eat seasonally off the fat of the land. We share a hearty farm lunch Mondays through Fridays and apprentices participate in our communal lunch rotation, cooking for a group that often includes volunteers, employees, and visitors. Apprentices prepare their own breakfasts and dinners.  

We purchase ingredients not grown on the farm at our local Co-op or from other local farmers. Non-staples and processed foods must be purchased independently.     

Your enthusiasm for the kitchen arts and good food will serve you well here. The enjoyment of food is central to our vision of a sustainable farm life, so we make time to prepare good food, by hand, fresh from the farm, three meals a day. Apprentices are encouraged to use their cooking time to develop skills working with farm-based, nutrient-dense ingredients. We seasonally make kraut, pickles, stocks, sausage, jerky, bacon, butter and ghee, among other things. We are advocates of the Weston A. Price / ancestral diet, mostly gluten-free farm, and cannot accommodate vegetarians or vegans.   

Stipend: 

Apprentices receive a $100 weekly stipend to start, at the successful completion of the 2nd week. In addition, apprentices receive full room and board (use of laundry facilities, landline, etc). Increases to the stipend are possible for committed apprentices showing aptitude and ability and will be assessed at regular check-ins every couple of months.

 Our tiny cabin. Three yomes in a row.Yome: inside peak. Another view. 

 

Housing: 

Apprentices each have their own 200 sq. ft. yome (a cross between a yurt and a dome – see redskyshelters.com or our website for details) for sleeping and personal space. One yome is insulated and equipped with a wood stove; the other two are tent-like and un-insulated. Solar power feeds one light and one car-charger type outlet per yome. We provide furnishings and a mattress or futon. Also available is a tiny cabin with 100 sq ft of floor space, a bed nook for a Queen sized mattress, full insulation and a wood stove. An outdoor communal kitchen space is equipped with a commercial sink, gas range, and fridge & freezer, as well as all the basic kitchen stuff – cast iron pots, stainless steel pans, baking pans, food processor, plates, bowls, knives, etc.  Expect clean, simple, and rustic.  Other amenities include a composting toilet, nice outdoor shower, laundry facilities, and satellite Internet (no video, TV, or streaming). Cell phone reception is spotty, but we have a landline for daytime use. A personal vehicle is a definite plus, and we strongly encourage all apprentices to bring a vehicle of their own.

Preferred method Of Contact: shakeforkcommunityfarm@gmail.com

Shakefork apprentices learn essential slaughter skills.

Apprentices work closely with our oxen.

Prepping beds in the high tunnels.