General Description:Â Weâre an Animal Welfare Approved farmstead goat cheese dairy. We are unique in rotationally grazing our dairy goat herd, which is on pasture at all times and never confined; their shelter moves with them. Weâre on 97 acres. This means more work for us and for you if you join us, but it means they live a life that mirrors nature more than at most dairies. We know our 220 goats as individuals, and are devoted to their well-being.Â
Internship Details:Â This position is largely outdoors, except for milking. Every week, portable electric fencing must be set up and taken down to move three groups of goats. The work requires you to be physically fit, both in the ability to walk a lot, and to lift 50 pounds (feed bags, bales of straw) repeatedly. The portable fencing in particular requires upper body strength for sustained work â holding the reels of wire with one hand while spooling/unspooling with the other, for an hour or 2 at a time. There will also be some time in the cheese room, helping pack cheese and with the endless washing/cleaning that is key in cheeseroom hygeine; there's some opportunity to learn about our cheesemaking, though that is not a focus of this position. That also requires strength. Depending on your temperament and aptitudes, there may also be the opportunity to represent us at some farmersâ markets.
Skills Desired:Â We are looking for someone with a sincere interest in a career in farming, and a true affection for animals. Dairy farming is hard and ceaseless work, and producing for market is equally demanding, both physically and intellectually. The following skills/experience are desirable but not essential: animals/milking; tractor driving; chain saw/power tools.Â
Youâll need to be attentive to details of many kinds: is that goat acting differently today than it does usually? Was the electricity for the fence turned back on? Have you followed the proper cleaning steps, each and every time, in the milking room? We expect you to have good follow-through in completing tasks, and to communicate with us to ensure that we take ânext stepsâ as necessary based whatâs happened on your watch. We have early shifts (starting at 7 a.m., occasionally earlier if weather requires) and late shifts (ending at 8 p.m.), and you may be doing some of each.Â
Educational Opportunities:Â There's an old saying that "the eye of the farmer fatteneth the calf," meaning that careful observation and responsiveness is the best way to ensure the health of the animals. We teach what we know -- and sources to learn more about -- animal husbandry, including giving vaccinations, hoof trimming, nutrition, pasture management, breeding, and learning to analyze and treat those ailments that we can without a vet -- and when to call the vet. Depending on your interests, we can share a range of other knowledge, from carpentry, the business of farming, marketing, and making cheese and other products. There's plenty that we're still learning, and we invite you to learn with us.Â
We are very involved, too, in area farming organizations. Kathryn is chair of Durham's Farmland Protection Advisory Board, and we are active in a number of agriculture-related organizations. There are numerous opportunities to attend a broad range of agriculture-related workshops in the area, and if you are interested, we can plug you into those.
Meals:Â We provide food for all meals. Interns generally prepare their own breakfast and lunch. Dinner is a real meal, and we rotate cooking, as well as cleanup chores for the common areas.Â
Stipend:Â $100/week for the first 2 weeks then $150/week, plus room and board; we will bump you up earlier if you're on the ball.Â
While this position is temporary, we anticipate needing more farmhands next year, which can be on a live-in or live-out basis. This position could lead to further opportunities starting in Spring 2013.
Housing:Â We live in a double-wide on the farm; for farmhands, there are 2 furnished bedrooms and a bath at one end of the house and our bed/bath is at the other end. The common living/kitchen/laundry is shared. We heat mostly with our wood stove. Since we all live and work together, it's important to have good housemate skills and a cooperative and congenial attitude. We generally invite our farmhands to join us with friends and fun activities, but it's an offer rather than an obligation. To quote one farmhand, "we encourage a friendly, familial environment."
Internship Starts:Â October 1 Internship Ends:Â approximately December 23 Number of Interns:Â 1 App Deadline:Â asap Minimum Length of Stay:Â through 12/23 (end of milking season)
this position is PAID
This position has been filled.Thank you for your interest.