Livestock/Garden Apprentice Heifer International
- Date Posted October 04, 2017
- Location Rutland (MA) or Perryville (AR), MA
- Category Agriculture / Education
- Job Type Internship/Apprentice
Heifer’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the earth. Besides projects with small farmers in more than 30 countries we also work with small scale, socially disadvantaged farmers in MA and AR. We supported them to create and thrive with two farmer owned cooperatives, GrassRoots and New South.
Heifer USA invites applicants to be part of the inaugural apprentice program at Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas and at Heifer Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts. Participants agree to a one-year commitment, with the possibility of extension. This program will offer hands-on agricultural experience in both market gardening and livestock production.
The goal of the apprenticeship program is to provide education, mentorship and technical assistance to foster the development and capacity of new and beginning farmers to launch their successful farm enterprises. We will select four apprentices at each site who will experience hands-on technical training in sustainable agriculture, pasture-based poultry and livestock production, organic market gardening, value added production and food safety. Field experience will be complemented with trainings covering business planning, record keeping, marketing and relevant legal and tax topics.
At both sites, apprentices will benefit from connections to established, successful farms, farmer-to-farmer technical assistance, fully-furnished housing on-site, and a monthly stipend to cover living expenses. This is an opportunity to help Heifer USA shape this program, and we hope you join us in the journey.Job Description HEIFER USA
Heifer USA works with small-scale farmers to transform their communities. We offer an intensive multi-year Livestock and Garden Apprenticeship Program at Heifer Ranch in Perryville, Arkansas, and Heifer Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts.
The apprentices will work directly with Heifer USA agriculture experts and technical assistants. Upon successful completion of the program, apprentices will have a broad range of understanding of many aspects of farming.
Skill Development and Responsibilities (including, but not limited to):
Market Garden Apprentice
● Daily farm chores
● Production planning, marketing & sales
● Soil care & management
● Seeding & transplanting
● Season extension
● Weed & pest management
● Tools, equipment, and safety
● Cold chain, harvest, post-harvest & distribution
● Office skills & financial management
● Production techniques: mulching, irrigation, etc.
● Daily farm chores
● Livestock management and husbandry skills
● Value-added products
● Production management: poultry, cattle, sheep, hog, and dairy goats
● Farm mechanics: tools, tractor and trailer safety and operation
● Production planning, marketing & sales
● Animal housing and fencing
● Office skills and financial management
● Grazing management and techniques
YEAR ONE - Apprentices will live on-site and be mentored by agricultural personnel.
● Comprehensive hands-on technical trainings in conservation agricultural practices, and production management;
● Classroom sessions including enterprise planning, conservation agricultural practices, and production management;
● Technical trainings are complemented with relevant classroom sessions on business planning, record keeping, marketing and relevant legal topics:
✓ Introduction to business planning and record keeping;
✓ Introduction to marketing and market analysis;
✓ Introduction to USDA Support;
✓ Introduction to Farm Legal Issues.
✓ Business plan required to move to Year Two;
YEAR TWO – Apprentices will live on-site and have management responsibilities of an established agricultural enterprise.
● Comprehensive hands-on technical trainings in conservation agricultural practices and production management;
● Classroom sessions including enterprise planning, conservation agricultural practices and production management;● Ability to deliver more advanced agricultural presentations;
● Technical trainings are complemented with relevant classroom sessions on business planning, record
keeping, marketing and relevant topics:
✓ Whole Farm Plan utilized and updated, continued support from technical assistance providers;
✓ Farm structure identified in business plan, food safety plan developed as apprentice transitions to
✓ Compliance and management of USDA programs;
✓ Business plan including marketing plan required to move to Year Three.
YEAR THREE – Apprentices establish or strengthen their own farm enterprises.
● Apprentices receive ongoing mentorship from established farmers and Heifer staff
● Regular check-in’s on enterprise plans and cash flow analysis
● Continuing education opportunities
Commitment: One-year initial commitment required for a mid-January arrival. In order to maximize effectiveness
of the educational experience, we have developed a 3-year program. The learning objectives & skill development
will not be accomplished until completion of the third year. Successful completion of each year is a prerequisite to
continue to the next.
Schedule: Apprentices should expect to work between 40-55 hours per week with two days off per week. Frequent
weekend and evening work is necessary.
Benefits: Apprentices will be provided a stipend of ~$600 per month. On-site housing provided, if desired; at
Heifer’s discretion, vehicles can be available for local transportation; potential for profit sharing in Year Two.
Selection Criteria and Skills Needed:
Heifer USA is proud to use sustainable agriculture and food system work as tools for promoting social justice. We
are intentionally inclusive of limited resource and socially disadvantaged communities and individuals.
● Passion! Applicant wants to pursue a career in farming
● Self-driven – applicant does not need to be micromanaged
● Thrives in a diverse environment
● Whatever it takes to get the job done!
● Willingness to work outdoors during inclement weather
● Willingness to participate in all aspects of production
● Willingness & ability to share housing, including housekeeping chores
Requirements: Minimum age of 18 years old at start of service period, complete required training, and follow all
policies & procedures. Must pass a background check. Compensation this position is PAID: stipend How to apply