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Cheesemaking Apprentices Cricket Creek Farm +2 more

  • Date Posted March 17, 2020
  • Location Williamstown, MA
  • Category Agriculture / Culinary
  • Job type Full-Time
Company description

Located in the beautiful Berkshire foothills of Western Massachusetts, our farm milks between 30-40 grass-fed cows throughout the year. Our mixed herd (primarily Jersey and Brown Swiss) is rotationally grazed on 200 acres of pasture during the summer, and fed local hay in the winter. We also raise a few grass-fed beef cattle and whey-fed pigs. The health and welfare of our animals, as well as of the land, are of primary importance to us. 
 

We have shifted to a seasonal calving system creating greater seasonality in the work. Spring and summer are the busiest times with calving, hay making and numerous farmer’s markets.

We are located in Williamstown, Massachusetts – a small college town in the northern Berkshires. Williamstown has a great independent movie theater, the Clark Art museum, a wonderful theater festival in the summertime and several great restaurants. We are surrounded by preserved land with many hiking trails. Nearby is Mass MOCA, Tanglewood, and many lovely small towns. Williamstown is 3 hours from Boston and 3 1/2 hours from New York City.

Internship description Creamery Apprenticeship at Cricket Creek Farm

Cricket Creek Farm is a small grass-based dairy in Western Massachusetts. We make seven award-winning cheeses from the milk of our herd of Brown Swiss, Jersey, and Milking Devon-cross cows. We bottle raw milk which we sell from our small self-serve farm store, along with our own grass-fed beef and whey-fed pork, our cheeses and a variety of other local and regional products.
 
Those interested in the creamery apprenticeship must be comfortable learning the technical aspects of cheese making, including some chemistry. Applicants should be very meticulous and detail oriented. Cleanliness is key. Work includes making cheese, affinage, and creamery maintenance. Work in the creamery is fun and rewarding and also requires long hours on your feet washing dishes and caring for the aging cheese.

All apprentices must have good people skills and enjoy interacting with the public. We’re looking for apprentices who are excited about taking on significant responsibility. All apprentices will be attending weekly farmers markets and occasionally making deliveries and helping with general farm maintenance. All apprentices work 5-6 days per week. We are looking for self-motivated people who are interested in learning through hard work.
 
Daily Structure: The day begins at a different time for each person, depending on their work for that day. In the morning, work on the farm and in the creamery begins at 8am with some exceptions. On a smooth day, work ends at 4:30pm (with the exception of evening milking and certain creamery tasks) but it is often necessary to stay later to complete critical tasks.  We are all here to learn and work, and we look for apprentices who are interested in fully committing themselves to this farm while they are here.
Every person who works here has an individualized schedule that they follow each day, whether working on the farm or in the creamery. The tasks in the creamery are very structured as we follow the same rigid production schedule each week. 
 
Key aspects of apprenticeships at Cricket Creek include:
 
Work Schedule and days off: All apprentices work 5-6 days per week. Work days vary from 8-12 hours, depending on the day of the week and the time of year. The average work week is 50-65 hours. Apprentices should come with the confidence that this schedule will work for them. All apprentices also have 18 vacation days to use over the course of the year. There are no farm-wide holidays.
If you have any doubts about your ability or enthusiasm for working long days, this position is not for you. The people who fit in best here are those who enjoy a long day of work, who find farm tasks to occupy any down time, and who are highly self-directed and motivated.
 
Compensation: We provide housing, a stipend, and some food. Apprentices will share the farm house with the other apprentices, located on the farm. The house has wireless internet, heat, two bathrooms, and a fully-equipped kitchen. Each apprentice will have their own room. We also provide a stipend starting at $500/month, that can increase up to $1,000/month over the course of the year.  Raw milk and cheese is free and available to all Cricket Creek staff and apprentices. Staff and apprentices receive a 20% discount on all items in our farm store.

Length of commitment: We look for a full year commitment from all apprentice applicants
Compensation this position is : stipend / non-monetary compensation
Details: We provide housing, a stipend, and some food. Apprentices will share the farm house with the other apprentices, located on the farm. The house has wireless internet, heat, two bathrooms, and a fully-equipped kitchen. Each apprentice will have their own room. We also provide a stipend starting at $500/month, that can increase up to $1,000/month over the course of the year. Raw milk and cheese is free and available to all Cricket Creek staff and apprentices. Staff and apprentices receive a 20% discount on all items in our farm store. Application instructions Please click here to sign in and view application details.
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