Organic Farm Interns Wanted Near Chicago

Free Range Chickens on the Farm Barrington Natural Farms is a diversified 50 acre farm located just 45 miles northwest of Chicago, Illinois. The primary focus of the farm is on protein production utilizing humane, pasture-based, organic, and biodynamic agricultural practices. The farm currently raises dairy cattle for raw milk and cheese production, chickens both for meat and eggs, beef cattle, hogs, and a small vegetable CSA. All products are sold directly to consumers from the farm. In 2015 they plan on expanding operations to a new barn and pastures and opening a farm store nearby in Algonquin, Illinois. To learn more about their farm, please visit the website at

They are looking for two highly motivated and hardworking 2015 interns who think their farm might be the right place to learn about the many aspects of farming they are engaged in.

Qualifications: They are seeking passionate individuals who are interested in becoming professional farmers. No experience is required but preference will be given to those with some farming experience and those who have a 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 bag, bale of hay, bucket of milk), and be available to work early in the morning (7 am milkings) and into the early evening (evening chores often stretch to 7 pm).

Job Description: Farm Interns will take part in most farm activities with a strong emphasis on learning about and managing the micro-dairy enterprise on the farm, which is a year-round operation requiring approximately 4 hours of work per day with morning and evening milkings. Dairy operation includes feeding the 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 after milking.

The poultry enterprise also operates year round. Specific tasks associated with poultry include taking care of chicks while in the brooder phase of production, taking care of growing broiler chickens on pasture including feeding and watering, moving portable shelters, taking down and setting up portable fencing, loading chickens for butcher, gathering and cleaning and processing eggs from 400 hens, moving eggmobiles several times per week and taking down/setting up their portable fencing. Other farm tasks might include moving portable fencing for beef cattle and hogs to new pasture/woodlot portions, loading and unloading feed and hay trucks, interaction with customers during pickups and farm tours, helping operate farm equipment, planting and maintaining the pastures and market gardens, feeding and moving pigs, and making firewood.

As part of your internship you will be using and working with:

1. Livestock. Their livestock are to be respected and well-cared for at all times. It is essential to always be awake to their needs and health issues. Interns will be taught how to handle and work with the livestock and are expected to follow and remember instructions. Working with animals demands the development of intuitive intensive observation skills. This skill you alone can develop.

2. 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.

General Expectations:

They expect you to want to be here, to be interested, 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, non complaining, willingness to be taught and accept constructive criticism, and be self-confident. You must be motivated, thrilled and inspired about our farm and farming. Farming is very challenging but can be very rewarding in humble ways.


Compensation is $10 per hour, during the winter hours will be limited to 4-6 hours per day with 1-2 days off per week. During the growing season some days may be 10-12 hours. At this time they do not have housing available on the farm, but there is ample affordable housing nearby as they are located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. There is also access to farm produced goods including raw milk, grassfed beef, pasture-raised pork, chicken and eggs at a discount. In 2015 they will also offer a 50% scholarship to the Stateline Farm Beginnings Course offered through the Angelic Organics Learning Center for interns that stay with them through the entire growing season. They have one year round position available immediately, and another seasonal position starting in April 2015.

Barrington Natural Farms has incredible growth potential and they would like more inspired souls and able-bodied people to join them. They will try to teach you everything they have learned about successfully operating a pasture-based, sustainable, consumer-direct farm. For the right person there will be opportunities on the farm beyond the internship.

If you think they are the right for you after reading about their farm, please send a note describing your interest in sustainable farming and why you would be a good fit for them to

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