Dickinson College Farm Apprentice

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Dickinson College

Boiling Springs, PA

Experience Type:, ,
Position Available: Fall Term, May Term, Summer
Hourly Rate or Pay Range: $9/hour plus housing, wi-fi, access to local produce
Application Deadline: February 19, 2018

The Dickinson College Farm Apprenticeship Program begins in May and runs until mid-November, 2018.  Apprentices can expect to engage in a 40-hour work week plus assist with evening and weekend chores, as needed. In return for their efforts, interns receive $9 per hour plus additional benefits like free on-farm housing and Wi-Fi plus free access to farm-raised products such as vegetables, herbs, fruit, as well as discounted meat and eggs.

The purpose of the apprenticeship is to equip recent graduates with the skills to advance toward future management of a diversified farm.  Educational opportunities will be made available to supplement what you learn through daily farm work.  For further details on our apprenticeship program, please refer to the apprenticeship description.

Responsibilities and Qualifications

Goal: The objective of the College Farm Apprenticeship is to prepare recent graduates for leadership positions. We aim to provide apprentices with the skills, experience and knowledge needed to advance toward management roles whether on a production farm or within sustainable food systems initiatives. The experience is also applicable should apprentices choose to return to academic studies or seek other employment related to food, sustainability, and education.

Work Environment & Program Structure: The majority of farm apprenticeship training is hands-on, supplemented by educational sessions, field trips and optional readings. During the summer months, apprentices will be part of a team (5-6 student employees plus farm staff, 2nd Year Apprentice and three fellow apprentices). Apprentices will be asked to take the lead on work assignments, as well as work as a team member. When classes resume in the fall, apprentices will take much more of a leadership role on the farm, leading students and volunteers on tasks and work projects.

Apprentices are required to attend weekly planning meetings before the work day begins. These meetings provide the foundation for the week plus allow for time to discuss the needs of our apprentices.

Additional study through reading and research on your own time is encouraged but not required. The farm has an extensive library of useful farming books on many topics that will be available upon request.

This goal of this program is to equip apprentices with the knowledge and skills to do their work well. At times this will require the farm managers to provide constructive feedback, both positive and negative. We value open communication and request that applicants be receptive to the idea of receiving feedback in an effort to improve upon their work and overall experience.

Work Responsibilities: Each apprentice will be assigned an area(s) of responsibility at the farm in addition to the day to day work of the farm. These responsibilities are designed to give each apprentice “ownership” of a particular aspect of the farm operation. Some of the responsibilities require daily attention while others entail weekly oversight though continual attention to detail remains essential. Examples of focused areas of responsibility for apprentices include livestock management, irrigation, crew leaders/harvest leader, biofuels production, farmers’ market manager and compost oversight.

Work Requirements: The basic “work and learn” day is from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday thru Friday, with one hour for lunch (times may adjust seasonally or to accommodate weather extremes). Each Monday afternoon in the summer, apprentices join student employees for a farm meeting and educational program. On occasion, apprentices may be asked to lead an educational program.

Apprentices can expect to be exposed to ongoing experimental and investigative projects at the farm, including insect scouting, toad research and disease management; fertility, worm compost and compost projects; agroforestry and other educational outreach functions to arise over the season.

Tractor training is not an apprenticeship requirement. Apprentices who prove their proficiency with the push mower, weedwackers and riding mowers will be considered for tractor training. Of equal importance is the sincere interest for and future aspirations to farm. The College Farm tractors are expensive program implements and are guarded as such. Apprentices who are trained on the tractors can expect to learn and practice these skills in the fall. During the spring and summer months, farm managers will be the main tractor operators, with intern training coming into play as the farm’s production schedule permits.

Expectations: An underlying goal of the Apprenticeship Program is to allow for opportunities that help build skillsets and confidence through hands-on learning. We will do our best to facilitate chances for learning both on and off the College Farm. The Apprenticeship Program is also a chance to live and work on a farm- witnessing the seasonal transitions and other discoveries of place-based living that can only been experienced by on-farm residents. By living on the farm, we also hope that this program cultivates a sense of community among the farm residents.

Compensation Package: In addition to earning an hourly pay wage, apprentices are provided housing in one of the Farm’s yurts which are off the grid and fully furnished. Apprentices will share a kitchen, common room (with Wi-Fi) and bathroom facility. Food raised on the farm is up for grabs to our apprentices, including discounted access to retail items such as meat from our farm.

Available Positions & Time Frame: Apprentice positions begin after graduation and end in late November. Once the season is up and running, each apprentice is allowed one week of unpaid vacation to be scheduled over the summer, as well as the occasional long weekend when personal needs arise and the farm schedule permits.

Organization Details

Dickinson College 553 Park Dr Boiling Springs, PA 17007 United States Website

Number of Position Openings: 4

How to Apply

2018 Dickinson College Farm Apprentice Application

The Dickinson College Farm Apprenticeship Program begins in May and runs until mid-November, 2018.  Apprentices can expect to engage in a 40-hour work week plus assist with evening and weekend chores, as needed. In return for their efforts, interns receive $9 per hour plus additional benefits like free on-farm housing and Wi-Fi plus free access to farm-raised products such as vegetables, herbs, fruit, as well as discounted meat and eggs.

The purpose of the apprenticeship is to equip recent graduates with the skills to advance toward future management of a diversified farm.  Educational opportunities will be made available to supplement what you learn through daily farm work.  For further details on our apprenticeship program, please refer to the apprenticeship description.

Please carefully read over the following questions and reply accordingly. An interview will be scheduled with you once your application is received. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions, [email protected].

Please send your completed application to [email protected] by February 19, 2018

  1. Please explain your reasons for applying for this position.
  1. Please explain your experiences in farming up until now.
  1. What type of work environment do you seek to cultivate for yourself?
  1. How would you describe your work ethic?
  1. How would you describe yourself as an individual? As a team member?
  1. Please share strategies you might use to successfully management college students and volunteers on farm-related projects.
  1. Would you classify yourself as an early bird or night owl?  During what time of the day do you function best?
  1. Please describe experiences with physically engaging work outdoors.  What approaches have you used to remain productive during physically demanding times in extreme weather conditions?
  1. Please list three aspects of yourself in which you would like to improve upon.  How do you foresee this apprenticeship facilitating growth in these areas?
  1. Please explain a recent accomplishment that you are proud of and think best reflects you as a leader.
  1. Do you have a specific interest in an area of responsibility on the farm? If so, why?
  1. Please describe how does the DC Farm Apprentice “fits” within your broader professional or personal ambitions?
  1. On a scale from 1-5, how does this post-graduation position rank with other jobs/opportunities that you are exploring? (1= very interested, 5 = vaguely interested)

Thank you!

Application Deadline: February 19, 2018

Contact: Jenn Halpin halpinj@dickinson.edu