Internship Opportunity Scratch-a-Lot Farm in Oregon

Scratch-a-Lot Farm in Oregon

Internship Opportunity on Scratch-a-Lot Farm in Oregon for 2016

Scratch-a-Lot Farm is located in the Columbia River Gorge about 15 miles east of Hood River, OR but on the Washington side of the river, in a small but friendly community. They are now in their fourth year of farming on Their own property and 4 acres that are leased nearby. They are quickly becoming THE place to buy pastured chicken and Turkey for meat in the area. They raise both conventional Cornish Cross and Heritage Delaware which are pasture raised in tractors, with organic GMO free feed, and butchered in their own on-site Washington State Department of Agriculture certified butchering facility. This year they expect to raise 850 chickens. They are also raising 60+ hens for laying, approximately 120 turkeys for meat, have a one-acre garden for market vegetables, vegetable CSA shares, and homestead staples, and a 30′ x 70′ poly greenhouse which is used for extended season growing. Although they have a tractor, much work is done by hand. They sell at two farmers markets, a local hospital, a local grocery store and have several vegetable and poultry CSAs.

Farm Goals: 

To be economically viable
To provide quality humanely and sustainably grown food for the surrounding community
To be an educational resource for surrounding area
To strengthen community ties though shared work and food

Internships available:

they have two internships available, one seasonal full time and one seasonal part time. The part time position has been filled.  Schedules may vary or be traded between Farm Personnel.

The Seasonal Full Time  intern will work 5 to 5 ½ days a week and will receive room and board and a $200 a month stipend. The position will run part time three days a week with no stipend from March 1-April 31st and will then turn into Full Time May 1 – Thanksgiving.   A typical day is 8 hours during spring and fall and 8-14 hours during peak season.   Typical Daily schedule will likely be

Sunday:  In charge of all farm operation while farmer is on Regularly Scheduled day off.
Monday: Intern Day off
Tuesday: Morning chores, harvest, afternoon CSA prep and White Salmon Farmer’s market
Wednesday: On butcher weeks Intern choice ½ day off in Morning or Evening and butcher Prep or field work.  On non-butcher weeks.  Intern Day off.
Thursday:  Morning chores, Butcher or field work, Evening Chores
Friday: Morning chores, harvest, CSA prep, Evening Chores
Saturday: Morning chores, Stevenson Saturday Market, Evening Chores

Living Arrangements: 

Interns are currently housed in our residence in one of two rooms in our upstairs loft.  A separate screened sleeping cabin may be built on site this year.   They share a small kitchen, bathroom, washer/dryer, Internet, and house phone with the owners.  They may choose to camp on site.  A small outbuilding for Intern use is planned to be built for this year. Meals are shared.  Owners are omnivores, the household is largely sugar and processed foods free.  Interns use the farm vehicles or bicycle to go to and from the leased pasture, but will need their own personal transportation for personal errands that can’t be combined with other farm travels.

Surrounding Area:
They are on the wet side of the wet/dry divide between eastern and western Washington at an elevation of about 1200 ft. The area is an old logging town and many of the inhabitants here still engage in that activity.  There are also lots of professionals and tradesmen and women that commute to larger towns and cities nearby.   The area is wooded with kayaking, hiking, windsurfing, and other water sports nearby.  Fishing, mushrooming, walking, and hunting are local favorite pastimes.  The nearest small cities and entertainment are Bingen and Hood River about 14 miles to the east and Stevenson and Carson 15-20 miles to the west.  The largest cities are Portland and Vancouver about an hour away.  The community has several events that happen yearly that much of the community attends.  Volunteer opportunities include the local Fire Department and Search and Rescue, and a K-8 grade School.  There is a small community church.

Intern Skills and Temperament

Interest and enthusiasm for the farm and animal welfare are an absolute must. Intern should have some experience in one area of farm operation: garden or animals, permaculture, irrigation, sales, education, marketing or some other aspect of farming. Creative problem solving, a strong work ethic, observation skills, and intuition are important. Ability to work independently or with a group.  Sales requires being personable and engaging with customers. Working with volunteers requires sense of humor, patience, and tolerance for different backgrounds and views.  Work is exceptionally strenuous; must be able to carry 40 pounds repeatedly throughout the day. Must be able work in hot, cold, or wet weather, and be flexible as to work day schedules which will change with the seasons.   Early morning work is the norm during peak season.

Skills that will be learned and practiced

Rotational grazing/Pastured poultry
Compost creation and management
Care of Turkeys, Bees, Chickens

Scalding, evisceration, packaging, cooling, killing
Knife sharpening

Soil Management:
Use various techniques including bio-char, compost tea, use of mycorrhizal spores, cover cropping, crop rotation, huegelcultures
Pasture grass management techniques such as grazing, mowing, root harrowing, PH management, plant species management.

Growing for CSA
Distribution Management

Farm Planning:
Crop Plans, Field Plan, Seed Orders, Planting Schedules
overall farm budgeting
Prioritizing farm tasks

Field Work:
Use of row covers and other season extension techniques
Use of hard and electric fences for animal management
Use of mulch
Planting, transplanting, harvesting techniques
Tool use and Maintenance
Weed Management

Scheduling of seeding
Planting soil creation and management
Watering, thinning, irrigation, and hardening off needs

Installation of drip systems
crop irrigation needs
maintenance of system

Driving and using a tractor
Using farm vehicles
Using hand tools for building and repair

Working with volunteers and students to teach skills and implement formal lesson plans

the set up and running of a successful market booth

Organizing individuals and groups for efficiency/speed/care/fun.

Cooking nutritious local meals
Food preservation

Creation of marketing materials, newsletters
Managing e-mail lists, and social media

Personal Project:

Interns shall have a personal project that they work on throughout their time at the farm.  They use personal time and/or up to eight hours a week of regularly scheduled work time for full time interns.  Project should be compatible with the farm’s goals, and be cleared with owner before they are chosen as successful applicant. In the first two weeks Intern will create a timeline of tasks, expected expenses, and benchmarks for their project.  Farmer may be willing to contribute up to half the cost of the startup materials.  Profits from the project will be split with the farm in tandem with the amount of capital or resources invested by the farm.   Intern will be allowed access to farm resources and space and to limited amounts of market space for the sale of their project.  Farmer will check in with Intern on a weekly basis as to their progress on their project.  Farmer is willing to help mentor the intern in writing a business plan or marketing for a future project.    Examples of what a personal project might be….  raising a pig, making and selling baked goods, farm activism, growing mushrooms, elementary classroom agriculture related education. Any number of things are possible, however the idea is that when an intern is done working here, they will have a good idea if their project is feasible, if it would make money, and how to market their idea.

Farm Visits:

Intern will be encouraged to visit and volunteer or work on other area farms and businesses related to their interests.  Farmer will help facilitate such visits as time allows.

Rules and Expectations:

– Smoking is allowed only outside of buildings
– Illegal drug use is not tolerated
– Background checks may be performed before working with children
– Share in the domestic cleaning and cooking duties and participate in shared meals
– Guests and Pets should be cleared with the owners before arrival.  Owner has right to refuse either at   any time before or during their stay.
– Firearms must be cleared with the owners before arrival.  Owner has the right to refuse at any time before or during the internship.
– Internship is an at-will opportunity; as such, owner may choose to terminate the arrangement.
– Full time intern will be in charge of farm operations while owner is on regularly scheduled days off.
– Health Care is not provided.  Interns will assume the considerable risks of working on the farm and be responsible for their own safety.
– Intern responsible for providing their own special treats and dietary needs, such as coffee, snacks, alcohol, drinks, gluten free products.
– Intern should give clear indication of their beginning and end dates and honor their agreed on time commitment.

Required Certifications and Immunizations:

Food Handlers License (Owner will pay to obtain after arrival)
Proof of Tetanus Immunization (available at local health department)
Valid Driver’s License

Additional Information About our Farm:

Their Facebook Page is
Here is a video article that was done on the farm

PDF version of this information

Application Process for internship opportunity on Scratch-a-Lot Farm in Oregon: Send Resume, three references, and a letter of Interest via e-mail or post including the following information Date, Name, Address, Phone, e-mail, Available dates, and the answers to the following questions. If your qualifications meet the standards, they will contact you to schedule a phone or on farm (preferred) interview.


  1. Why are you interested in Scratch-a-Lot Farm and this position?
  2. Are you interested in Part or Full time?
  3. What previous experience are you bringing to this position and what practical skills do you hope to acquire?
  4. What are your personal goals related to agriculture?
  5. We raise and butcher animals for meat on the farm. What is your perspective on the role animals play on a small farm?
  6. Do you have any allergies, food restrictions, or physical limitations that might affect your ability to live in a rural setting and do farm work?
  7. Please tell us something interesting about yourself (hobbies, pastimes, travels, etc.)
  8. Tell me about one particular adventure you have had in some detail.
  9. What Personal Project would you be interested in doing?

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