Farm Assistant Greenfield Highland Beef
- Date Posted November 20, 2017
- Location Plainfield, VT
- Category Agriculture
- Job Type Internship/Apprentice
The farm is owned by Ray Shatney and his wife, Janet Steward. Greenfield Highland Beef was named the SBA 2016 Vermont Family Owned Business of the Year. The farm has two locations, one in Greensboro Bend, Vermont and the other in Plainfield, Vermont--Greenfield derived from the combination of these two farm sites, which are separated by 30 miles. Ray and Janet self-market all of their beef product within 40 miles of their farm. Greenfield Highland Beef is a Conception to Consumption Farm--all beef sold born and raised on the farm. Both farm settings are picturesque with exquisite views.
Currently Ray and Janet perform all of the work required for their farm and beef business, Ray handling most of the feed production and animal husbandry, Janet the bookkeeping, PR, marketing and delivery. Their Highland beef is sold at Coops, Farmers Markets and at the farm in Plainfield. In addition to selling beef, Ray and Janet show their cattle at Highland point shows throughout the US, the farthest being the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO. Shat Acres Highlands have garnered several National and Regional Grand Championships. Highland Cattle are the oldest registered breed of cattle in the world and are considered a Heritage Breed. Highlands have not been genetically altered and have been working with and alongside humans since the 6th century. Ray and Janet's cattle are humanely raised with no hormones or antibiotics. People often call Shat Acres and Greenfield Highland Beef the "Home of the Happy Cows", because of the gentle and respectful manner Ray and Janet's animals are treated.
Highland beef is very tasty, and has just been found to be the tenderest beef ever tested in a scientific study conducted at the University of Missouri. Because Highlands are slow growing Ray and Janet cross their Highlands with Beef Shorthorns to get a faster growing beef animal while maintaining the qualtiy of the Highland beef. Ray and Janet's herd currently number over 150 animals, with just over 40 calves due each Spring.
Greensboro Bend and its surrounding communities are a hub of creative food entreprenuers--Hill's Farmstead Brewery, Jasper Hill Cheese, Pete's Greens, Center for an Agricultural Economy & Vermont Food Venture Center, Caledonial Spirits to name a few. The Greensboro farm is about thirty miles from the Canadian border. Plainfield is a few miles from Montpelier, the Capitol of Vermont--the smallest Capitol in the United States and the only one without a McDonalds! Montpelier is a "Foodie Town" with several Farm to Table restaurants and home of the New England Culinary Institute and Vermont College of Fine Arts. Lake Champlain and Burlington and the University of Vermont are about an hour from the Plainfield farm. Job Description Ray works on the Greensboro farm most days and is available to help train the farm assistant. Experience working with farm animals is strongly recommended. Although Highland Cattle are very docile and Ray and Janet's herd is known for their gentle temperaments, the Highlands do have horns. The crossbred cattle do not have horns as the Shorthorn bull is naturally polled, but they do pasture together. Experience operating machinery is also recommended, but training is available. The farm has two tractors with enclosed cabs and heat--one 85 HP and one 115 HP. Ray and Janet produce most of their own stored forage, so haying equipment will also be utilized. Chores include feeding the cattle large round bales of stored forage with the tractors during Winter months, monitoring cows and calves during Spring calving, haying and fence maintenance in the summer, and calf tending during weaning in the Fall. Much of the animal care revolves around the seasons, but because they are animals and this if farming it is hard to predict exactly what work each day will entail! Assistance with Farmers Market sales will occasionally be needed, and the intern is invited to participate in the sales, record keeping and technology component of the farm business as desired. Technolgy and marketing skills are not required but would be an asset for cattle and beef record keeping. The housing has three bedrooms, kitchen/dining area, living room, one bath and a full basement. It heats easily and has new flooring and exterior siding. The house is located on the Greensboro Bend property which consists of 177 acres, an older dairy barn and a new three-sided barn. The newer barn was designed based on the humane handling work of Temple Grandin, with gates for safe and easy movement of cattle (and for people), scales and a squeeze chute. Ray and Janet met Temple Grandin in Colorado over a decade ago, and have thoroughly embraced her philosophy of animal care. Temple Grandin has visited their Greensboro farm, saying she had never seen so many Highlands in one place and that Ray "really knew how to work with cattle"--quite a compliment coming from Temple! Jim Gerrish, the national Grazing Consultant formerly on faculty at the University of Missouri's Forage Sytems Research Center, used Ray and Janet's Greensboro rotational grazing system as an example for sustainable livestock production. This is an excellent opportunity for an individual who wants to learn about humane animal treatment, sustainable, grass-fed beef farming, rotational grazing, and personal, face-to-face marketing to the consumer. Compensation this position is UNPAID: room & board Work visa This employer is willing to sponsor a work visa for international applicants How to apply