Organic Goat Farm Interns Needed in New York

New York Organic Goat Farm Seeks Interns for 2013 Acorn Hill Farm is a NOFA-NY Farmers Pledge small family farm located in the mid-Hudson Valley/Catskill region of NY. They milk a herd of 25-30 dairy goats and process the milk in our on farm creamery. We manage the herd using organic methods and use organic herbs and additions whenever possible. They sell our cheeses, fudge, meat, jams and soaps at regional farmers' markets and believe local food nourishes healthy communities and economies. During the summer months in addition to the creamery we also grow berries and fruit for low sugar jams. They maintain a family garden and have participated in NOFA-NY potato trials. In addition, we have a small flock of cayuga ducks for eggs, snail & slug control, and laughs. They are located in a rural area at the base of the Shawangunk Ridge about 7 miles away from two small towns. Larger towns and a college town are about a 30 minute drive and we are about 2 hours northwest of NYC. This is a place for quiet and contemplation and not for someone who needs a bustling social setting. They are looking for one intern to join them asap for the kidding season and winter farmers market/csa season. They will need two interns beginning in late April or Early May and would be thrilled if a winter intern decided to stay on. Our busy season is May – November and we ask that summer interns commit to the full season. For application information click "read more"...

Skills that will be learned and/or mastered:  Milking dairy goats using bucket milker set up, management of dairy goats including hoof trimming, monitoring udder and overall health, fecal egg counting, general farm chores including lifting 50lb feed bags and hay bales. Mucking barn, moving goats from paddock to paddock, kid feeding. Creamery work to include pasteurization of milk for fresh cheesemaking, assisting in making various cheeses and packaging cheeses for sale, maintaining cleanliness of creamery. There are also opportunities for going to farmers markets and learning the marketing side. Emphasis can be placed on individual interests with consideration for the farm’s needs.

Five day work week is our goal in the winter months but kidding can change that plan unexpectedly. During the busiest part of the market season six days is not unusual. Although we would all like a predictable schedule, often the farm and creamery can offer some interesting challenges that require we work longer than we expect. Some days there will be a break in the day and then work resumes later – flexibility is very important! A typical day in July might start with milking the goats and cleaning the equipment followed by farm chores (stacking hay, fixing fences) or time working in the creamery on cheese making or packaging.

Apprentices/interns share an apartment in our home with WiFi, and all utilities included. Apartment has a full eat in kitchen for meal preparation. Our family schedule does not allow for reliable meals so interns will have primary responsibility for their own meals. We provide goat milk, yogurt and cheeses, duck eggs, along with garden produce as available. Some personal food choices will be purchased by intern. I operate a food buying club that interns are welcome to participate in that offers organic food delivered here once each month (from the same supplier that services health food stores) and we also order from Frontier cooperative herbs once each month. Use of above ground pool included also.

We are a non-smoking household and request our interns also be smoke free. This is our family home so we do ask that quiet hours be respected.

This is very much an opportunity to learn hands on and develop proficiency in various areas as individual interest dictates. I also have a farm related library that is available along with some recordings from NOFA conferences that relate to dairy production. I am FAMACHA certified and will teach FAMACHA methods and body condition scoring along with fecal egg counting to manage internal parasites. I grow and use various herbs to treat both the animals and humans and have a functional understanding of homeopathy for the herd. I am willing to share regulatory information for on farm dairies and home processing kitchens and offer working experience with me in pastuerization and cheesemaking and marketing.

To apply, send your application to:

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