FARM APPRENTICE POSITION
We are currently looking for a highly motivated and hardworking individual who is interested in pursuing a career in sustainable farming and thinks that our farm might be the right place to learn about and experience life on a regenerative farm.
All Grass Farms is a diversified 150 acres 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 dairy cattle for raw milk, chickens both for meat and eggs, beef cattle, Berkshire hogs and heritage turkeys. We also have 7 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, please visit our website at www.allgrassfarms.com.
We are seeking a passionate individual who is interested in becoming a full time regenerative/sustainable farmer. 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 sustainable agriculture as a profession and lifestyle. Applicants must be 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.
The Farm Apprentice will participate in most farm activities with a strong emphasis on learning about the micro-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:
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.
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.
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 sustainable 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.
Starting compensation is $10-$12 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 an employee discount for farm produced goods including raw milk, grassfed beef, pasture-raised pork, chicken and eggs available at discount. We also offer 50% scholarship to the Stateline Farm Beginnings Course through the Angelic Organics Learning Center for those that are employed with us for at least 6 months.
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 demanding job, please send a letter or note describing your background, interests, and why you would be a good fit for this role to firstname.lastname@example.org. Those individuals with the right qualifications will be invited to visit the farm and interview in person for the role.