Farm and Livestock Assistant Position at Sterling College in Vermont

Position Description: Reporting to the Farm Educator, Farm and Livestock Assistant shares primary responsibility for the day-to-day management of the livestock, farmland, and associated agricultural buildings of Sterling College, works directly with the kitchen to provide food for meals, coordinates with faculty and staff, and interfaces with students, faculty, and staff around the educational purposes of the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems in support of the college’s academic curriculum.

The Rian Fried Center is the working farm of Sterling College and is a multi-faceted living classroom. In addition to the management of the farm, the Farm and Livestock Assistant must be an engaging teacher and skilled technician who engages in whole farm care to maximize educational opportunities for our students. The primary function of the position is essentially to make this agricultural classroom available to the Sterling College curriculum and community.

The Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems faculty is seeking a passionate, inspired, and enthusiastic individual who is ready to help teach Sterling College students how to manage a diversified year-round farm and live in a small close-knit college community. The position begins December 15th, 2014 (negotiable).

With support and mentoring from the Farm Educator and the Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Faculty team, the Assistant will:

  • Work with a team of twelve student employees and be responsible for creating an educationally stimulating work setting and facilitate completion of all livestock management tasks.

  • Coordinate with the faculty and staff to ensure the curriculum, kitchen, and farm is well supported throughout the seasons while interacting with and participating as a teacher in farm-based classes and helping to supervise students involved in independent studies at the farm.

  • Take responsibility for farm management: acquiring and breeding livestock, teaching appropriate feed regimens; preventative health management; diagnosing and treating minor ailments or injuries; construction and maintenance of necessary housing; conducting on-farm poultry and rabbit slaughters; managing pasture rotations; installing water and fencing systems; managing a campus wide composting operation for kitchen and livestock wastes; keeping accurate and appropriate records and planning documents; and, coordinating animal production that meets the needs of the curriculum and kitchen.

  • Act as the voice of the Livestock operation, through community announcements and awareness, developing periodic on-farm events, and presentation of the Livestock operation to prospective students, community members and other visitors to the College. This requires public speaking, informal presentations, farm tours, and attendance at agricultural events, both on- and off-campus.

  • Work closely with the Farm Educator and the Farm and Garden Assistant to manage the Farm and Garden as an integrated system and helps facilitate work in the Gardens as needed with particularly focus on harvesting and planting.


Applicants should have experience teaching, preferable in a small-scale farm environment, have a demonstrated ability to work independently, and as a part of a team, have experience in managing a small diverse farm or a similar system and have completed a B.A. or B.S. program in an appropriate field by the start date of the hire. Basic farm construction/carpentry skills, and familiarity with safe operation of farm equipment, are highly desirable.

Compensation & Benefits

The Farm Assistant is a 12-month renewable position that includes a $1000 monthly stipend, housing, meals, one three credit equivalent course per semester, and eligibility to enroll in Sterling College full-time employee benefits. This compensation package is valued at over $2800 per month. The position begins in mid-December 2014.

Sterling College & The Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Sterling College is the environmental stewardship educator in the United States. One of only seven federally recognized Work Colleges, Sterling was among the first undergraduate colleges to focus exclusively on sustainability through academic majors in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Outdoor Education, and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.

The Sustainable Agriculture academic program provides students with the tools to become stewards of the land while managing a productive place-based agroecosystem. Students utilize systems thinking as a guiding principle coupled with the application of ecologically sound practices.

The Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems is the farm laboratory for the curriculum and maintains a produce and livestock operation on 150 acres of mixed pasture, gardens, and woodlot. These educational operations also provide a significant portion of Sterling College meals, and nearly all of the farm’s lumber needs. Students are integrated into the farm through courses, the Work College program, and generally being a part of the sustainable Sterling College community. Students complete daily chores, conduct research, perform experiments, and receive hands-on experience growing crops, managing livestock, working with draft animals, and stewarding the College’s woodlot.

For more information, contact: Charlotte Rosendahl,

Please send a cover letter, resume, and the contact information for three references by November 28 to Katie Lavin, Sterling College, P.O. Box 72, Craftsbury Common VT 05827. Email:

Phone: (802) 586-7711 x101 Fax: (802) 586-2596

Electronic submission of application material is preferred.

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