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: March 27, 2017

Internship Ends: December 2nd, 2017

Number of Interns: 4

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

Minimum Length of Stay: Full season commitment (36 weeks) preferred; half season (19 week) possible.

Picking peas in the spring. 

Apprenticeship Description: We have two apprenticeship terms, each running for 19 weeks.  The first begins March 27th and runs through August 6th. The 2nd term starts July 24th and ends December 2nd.  Apprentices must commit to a full 19-week term, and successful apprentices have the option of continuing for a 2nd term, for a full season on our farm.  2nd term apprentices starting July 24th must be prepared to camp for the first two weeks of their term. Apprentices can expect to work 40 hours a week and learn about all aspects of our diversified farmstead throughout the season.  We are incredibly transparent about our farming journey and all aspects of our business and are eager to share what we’ve learned with you.  Previous farm experience is helpful but not essential. You must be able to lift at least 50 lbs., if not more.    Highlights of the 1st term include managing spring pastures with planned grazing rotations, crop planting, and broiler processing. Highlights of the 2nd term include storage crop harvesting, turkey and broiler processing, and cover crop planting. All apprentices will become skillful in a wide range of livestock care, gain experience in the garden, and be exposed to the core business principles and practices that make for a successful farm.  

Educational Opportunities:  The work at Shakefork Community Farm is incredibly diverse, and you can expect the 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.  

Work Experience / Skills Desired: Apprentices must enjoy good hard work, take initiative, be reliable and responsible, and follow directions. Our standards are high and an innate attention to detail and organizational talent are appreciated.  We are looking for committed individuals highly motivated to hustle and work efficiently, both by themselves and as part of a team.  Come eager to learn and work, to stretch and be challenged. Be prepared to move through the workday with a sense of urgency, while also taking time to enjoy good food and be nourished by a life lived close to the land.   Apprentices must be clean and healthy, with no drugs, no pets, no ear buds, and most importantly, no attitudes.  We do not allow smoking - tobacco or cannabis - on the farm.   We prioritize applicants who have already received some basic agricultural training and those who are able to visit the farm before committing to a full season with us. However, all applicants will be considered.  

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 take a turn preparing communal lunch for the group each week (this often includes volunteers, employees, and visitors). Apprentices prepare their own breakfasts and dinners.   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, and butter, among other things.   We are a Paleo friendly, mostly gluten-free farm, and cannot accommodate vegetarians or vegans.

Enjoying a weekend crew BBQ.

Stipend: Apprentices receive a $100 weekly stipend to start, beginning from the successful completion of the 2nd week.  In addition, apprentices receive full room and board.  An apprentice willing to commit to a full season that shows exceptional skill and becomes an integral part of our team may receive up to $200 weekly.   We purchase ingredients not grown on the farm at our local Co-op or from other farmers.  Non-staples and processed foods must be purchased independently. 

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. Although aesthetically pleasing and quite structurally solid, the walls are tent-like and un-insulated.  Solar power feeds one light and one car-charger type outlet per yome. We provide basic furnishings and bedding.  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, 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. Our highway is not safe for biking.

Preferred method Of Contact: Email