Prodigal Farm is an Animal Welfare Approved farmstead goat cheese dairy in northern Durham County. We’re looking for a new member of our team. We are unique in rotationally grazing our dairy goat herd, which is on pasture at all times and never confined; their shelter moves with them. We know our 178 goats as individuals, and are devoted to their well-being. We expect that you will become a key part of that effort.
This position is largely outdoors, except for milking. Every week, portable electric fencing must be set up and taken down to move three groups of goats. As the weather cools, we’ll be working on infrastructure projects: installing permanent fencing, milling lumber, repairing farm buildings, trimming hooves, giving vaccinations, mucking shelters. The work requires you to be physically fit, both in the ability to walk a lot, and to lift 50 pounds (feed bags, bales of straw) repeatedly. You’ll need to be attentive to details of many kinds: is that goat acting differently today than it does usually? Is that doe looking like she might kid today? Was the electricity for the fence turned back on? Have you followed the proper cleaning steps, each and every time, in the milking room? We expect you to have good follow-through in completing tasks, and to communicate with us to ensure that we take “next steps” as necessary based what’s happened on your watch. We have early shifts (starting at 7 a.m., occasionally earlier if weather requires) and late shifts (ending at 8 p.m.), and you may be doing some of each.
We have a live-in spot available, with food and a stipend, or we can pay hourly. We expect 40 hours a week, occasionally a bit more (with additional pay) in busy times. We are growing rapidly, and it’s a great opportunity to observe the many issues that a growing value-added farm-based business must confront. We look for congenial, conscientious people who will work well with others, and join our quest to be the best “in our field”. We don’t expect you to have past dairy experience, though some farm experience is useful, and, as mentioned earlier, good physical fitness is essential. Bonus points if you aren’t allergic to poison ivy. Oh, and you get to eat/take home some rather tasty cheese, cheesecake, bread and meat, and sometimes you’re asked to be a guinea pig for new recipes.