Biodynamic Dairy Apprenticeship in Pennsylvania
Kimberton Hills Dairy is a certified organic, pasture-based dairy embedded in an intentional community with people of differing abilities. We are now accepting applications for Dairy apprentices, positions which integrate hands-on practical training with a solid theoretical study of Biodynamic Agriculture. Camphill Village Kimberton Hills is a 432-acre farming and craft community that includes adults with developmental disabilities, of which the Dairy manages 210 acres. We direct market most of our products in the local community.
We are a Mentor Farm through the Biodynamic Association’s North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program (NABDAP). Apprentices who participate in the NABDAP program attend classroom trainings on biodynamics and receive a certificate in biodynamic farming upon completion. Agricultural experience is helpful but not necessary; apprentices should be mobile on their feet and interested in a challenging but rewarding experience.
The Dairy manages a pastured milking herd and young stock — in total around 90 cattle. We also have a flock of laying hens and a few pigs seasonally. We grow forage and bedding crops for the animals. In addition to our grass fed dairy we have a 300 member vegetable CSA, orchard, apiary, woodlands, wood fired bakery, coffee shop, craft workshops and 17 life-sharing households. Our community has a very lively, participatory cultural life.
Under guidance from our mentor farmer, Tommy Trzcinski, apprentices learn to perform many key tasks on our dairy, beginning with milking and animal care, maintenance of fences, pastures, buildings and equipment, bottling and sales of milk and eggs and other products. Gradually, they learn to do tractor work to manage field crops and learn to manage other aspects of a dairy, such as acquiring supplies, dealing with special animal health needs, finances, etc.
Apprentices live in a village house and share life with people of varying abilities. Apprentices receive room and board, free access to village vehicles, and a monthly stipend of $150. They will receive health coverage after 3 months. Apprentices are expected to work around 40 hours per week including 2-3 early morning milkings. They may be asked to help in the house they live in. They have one full day per week off, not necessarily on the weekend, and 21 days of vacation per year. Apprenticeships run from April 1 – March 31 most years.
To request an application for the biodynamic dairy apprenticeship, please contact our Admissions office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (610) 935-3963. For more information, please visit our website at www.camphillkimberton.org and our listing on the BDA website at https://www.biodynamics.com/nabdap-kimberton-hills-dairy.