Livestock Manager & Cheese Maker Valentines Farm
- Date Posted December 13, 2019
- Location Glen Head, NY
- Category Agriculture / Culinary
- Job type Full-Time
Our mission is to inspire and train young adults in the art and craft of agriculture and provide them with tools to make a positive impact. To grow high quality, nourishing food for the farm owners, the farm staff and the local community.
VF was originally established in 1975 and has been family owned for over three generations. Since 2016 a new impulse is bringing the farm back to life with the development of small-scale biodynamic farming.
At Valentines Farm (4 acres) we produce a wide variety of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits. We keep bees and laying hens. The Vegetable fields occupy 1/2 acre and are managed on a low tillage, permanent, bed system (almost all cultivation is done with a broad-fork). The remaining land is planted with fruit trees, berry bushes, and ornamental trees and shrubs.
We also process a significant portion of our harvests through drying, canning, fermenting and smoking to make pickles, krauts, chutneys, jams, jellies, salves and more.
At present we have a flock of laying hens, and honeybees and we are ready expand our operation by incorporating small ruminants.
A small herd of dairy goats and sheep will help us clear up land that is un-farmed and covered in brush, poison ivy and brambles. It will allow us to offer dairy products, and most importantly it will provide the farm with precious manure to sustain our vegetable fields and orchards and enhance the farm as a whole.
We are looking for an experienced livestock farmer to join our team and expand our livestock/dairy operation.
The Livestock farmer will work closely with the farm manager and the farm staff to carry out all aspects of the work involved.
- To join a dynamic farm and team
- The opportunity to develop the animal aspect of the farm
- The opportunity to make cheeses and dairy products
- The opportunity to teach and train young farmers
- Sponsorship with continuing education
- Long-term employment and a salaried position with benefits
- Housing on property (optional)
- Love farm animals and cheese!
- Has at least 3 years of experience with a mixed livestock farming and 1 year of experience working with dairy goats
- Has a background on biodynamic animal husbandry and farming
- Is willing to live locally prioritizing the animals welfare
- Is a self-starter, highly motivated individual
- Has an inquisitive mind and is open to learn and educate themselves through the work you do
- Possess great interpersonal and communicational skill
- Have a community oriented spirit and feel comfortable around children
- Is proficient at making marketable quality cheeses and dairy products
- Be comfortable sharing knowledge and teaching and training aspiring farmers
- Have great work ethic and lead by example
- Is organized and detail oriented
- Is a team player as well as able to work independently and unsupervised.
- Is able to keep a dynamic work pace and manage time, labor and productivity
- Is able to troubleshoot problems and find solutions.
- Is handy and able to repair simple structures and equipment
- Is able to be on their feet, walk, kneel and squat, for extended periods of time, and lift 50 pounds
- Is willing to work outdoors under all weather conditions
- Has basic computer skills and knowledge of Microsoft Office
- Is capable of keeping records
The work schedule is dictated by the animals needs with all farmers taking part of milking and chores. Our regular schedule is Monday through Friday and we rotate weekend chore coverage with the entire farm staff. This means that during the winter each employee is typically on duty for weekend chores every third weekend and during the summer every fourth or fifth weekend. We try very hard to honor time off, but there are occasional exceptions that require working late. Our typical work schedule is fifty hours/week from April through October and forty hours from November through March.
Duties may include and are not limited to:
- Participate in planning and establishing the livestock operation
- Apply biodynamic and regenerative methods and principals
- Maintain high standards of animal welfare at all times
- Ensure animals have access to food and water at all times and that their dietary needs are met in accordance to their yearly and reproductive cycles.
- Manage and carefully undertake rotational grazing
- Ensure quality forage supply
- Identify sick animals and determine proper treatment or contact a veterinarian
- Assist with selection of healthy animals and suitable breeds
- Manage breeding program and conduct artificial insemination
- Manage weaning and drying programs
- Assist with kidding and births
- Care for kids and lambs and feed according to schedule
- Perform routine animal care tasks: cut lamb tails, castrate male kids and lambs, shear sheep, trim hoofs, administer vaccinations and medications, apply ear tags
- Perform and assist in milking by hand or with adequate equipment
- Clean the milking parlor and equipment after each milking and ensure milk quality is not compromised by following standards
- Prepare marketable quality cheeses, yogurt, and dairy products
- Package, label and prepare products for delivery
- Maintain kitchen and cheese making equipment in spotless condition
- Transport lambs or goats once ready for sale or slaughter
- Collect and wash eggs, clean the chicken coop regularly
- Carry out chicken slaughter and processing
- Care for guard dog (if have one)
- Build, maintain and repair fences, shelters and other simple structures
- Clean and maintain farm grazing grounds, bedding, shelters and fences
- Operate and maintain farm tools and equipment clean and organized
- Keep thorough records
- Train apprentices and summer helpers
- Assist with eventual unforeseen incidents with animals and urgent property issues
- Assist farmers on any other tasks on the farm when time is available