Employment Opportunities

GRAZING APPRENTICE POSITION

We are currently accepting applications for a highly motivated and hardworking individual who is interested in pursuing a career in regenerative farming, with a focus of grazing management, This job will begin on or around May 1st, 2020.  

All Grass Farms is a diversified 150 acre farm located just 45 miles northwest of Chicago, Illinois. The primary focus of our farm is on pasture-based livestock production, utilizing humane, organic, and regenerative agricultural practices. The farm currently raises A2 Guernsey cattle for raw milk, chickens both for meat and eggs, beef cattle, Berkshire hogs and heritage turkeys. We also have approximately 5 acres vegetable production, herbs, flowers and soft fruits. Most products are sold directly to consumers at the busy onsite farm store. To learn more about the farm and our farming practices, please visit our website at www.allgrassfarms.com.

                                     

Qualifications:

We are seeking a passionate individual who is interested in becoming a full time regenerative/sustainable grazing farmer and advancing into a farm manager or herd manager role. No experience is required but preference will be given to those with some farming experience and those who have knowledge of and willingness to strive for and work in regenerative agriculture as a profession. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age at start of position and able to lift at least 50 lbs to shoulder height (feed bags, bale of hay, bucket of milk etc.), and be available to work early in the morning - sometimes starting at 5 am - into the early evening (evening chores often stretch to 7 pm). Potentially up to 60 hrs./week during peak season (May – November) and 35-40 hrs./week during winter months.  We have partnered with the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program to provide additional classroom training and field days focused on dairy grazing management.  To learn more about the DGA program please review their website. 

Job Description:

The Farm Apprentice will participate in most farm activities with a strong emphasis on learning about the growing dairy enterprise on the farm, which is a year-round operation. Dairy operation includes AM and PM milking, cleaning the barn, feeding cows, cleaning out their sleeping quarters (mostly in winter), preparing them for milking, prepping and cleaning the milking equipment, and moving cows out to pasture as well as managing pasture rotations.  Occasional assistance with calving and care of newborn calves is also required.

The poultry enterprise also operates year-round. Specific tasks associated with poultry include taking care of chicks and poults while in brooder phase of production, taking care of growing broiler chickens on pasture including feeding and watering, moving portable shelters, loading chickens and turkeys for processing, gathering, cleaning and processing eggs from up to 2000 hens, moving eggmobiles several times per week and taking down/setting up their portable fencing. Other farm tasks will include managing pasture rotations for beef cattle and hogs, loading and unloading feed and hay trucks, helping operate farm equipment, planting and maintaining the pastures, feeding and moving pigs. Additional help may be required with farm store, customer interactions, product marketing, farm tours and events.

As part of your apprenticeship you will be working with:

  1. Livestock. Our livestock are to be respected and well-cared for at all times. It is essential to always be attentive to their needs and health issues. Apprentices will be taught how to handle and work with the livestock and expected to follow and remember instructions. Working with animals demands the development of intuitive observation skills.

  2. Farm equipment, machinery, tools, tractors, vehicles, etc. You will be taught how to safely operate farm tools, machinery and equipment and are expected to follow the instructions and handle the equipment safely and responsibly.

General Expectations:

The successful apprentice will have a strong desire to be here every day, to be interested in learning about everything we do, to work hard, to laugh when you trip over a fence or fall on a manure pile, to learn from your mistakes and ours, to be challenged, to have grit and determination, to look for inspiration, to ask questions, to try new things, to be observant, self-motivated, able to work independently and as part of a team, able to do repetitive tasks without complaining, with a willingness to be taught and accept constructive criticism, and be self-confident. You must be motivated, thrilled and inspired about our farm and world of regenerative farming. At times you will be working in 100 degree heat, subzero cold, driving rainstorms, and blizzards.  Our methods of farming can be very challenging but also very rewarding in humble ways.

Compensation/Hours:

Starting compensation is $12-$15 per hour depending on experience, with opportunities for additional compensation based on performance. No overtime is paid for this position. During the growing season the workdays will average 10-12 hours – 6 days per week.  During winter months the hours will be limited to 6-8 hours per day with 1-2 days off per week. At this time we do not have housing available on the farm, but there is ample affordable housing nearby as we are located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. There is also a substantial employee discount for farm produced goods including raw milk, grassfed beef, pasture-raised pork, chicken and eggs available at discount.

For the right person, there will be potential to advance into farm management roles as well as entrepreneurial ventures on one of our farms. If you think you are that right person for this position, please send a letter or note describing your background, education, work history, farming interests, and why you would be the best fit for this role to cliff@allgrassfarms.com. Those individuals with the right qualifications will be invited to visit the farm and interview in person for the role. 

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