About Our Internship Program
If you are interested in joining our working farm, we can provide training in animal husbandry and what it takes to run a successful farming business. It is our hope that through the years we can partner with other individuals and families committed to the principles of strong work ethics, environmental justice and good business practices. Our model is an inclusive, family-based business where work and learning are a daily practice.
What follows below is our standard intern response letter. Recommendations from previous employers weights heavily in our selection process. Hope to hear from you soon!
Thank you for your interest in Deck Family Farm!
We are happy to hear that you are interested in holding an apprenticeship position with our farm and family. To make sure this would be a good fit for all, here are some things to consider:
We have a very strong work ethic. The work is not glamorous or easy, while most work is animal husbandry; feeding, grazing and milking, there will be a lot of cleaning up, mucking out and hauling off. You must be able to lift 50lbs. We are looking for folks interested in all aspects of what it takes to keep a family farm running and this will sometimes mean pitching in well after the work day is done.
The work day generally consists of dawn milking (6am), chores, lunch a short rest in the afternoon and then back out on the farm for evening milking and chores. We work a 8 hr/day 6 day work week. We appreciate flexibility depending on seasonal work load.
Accommodations are rustic for short term interns (1-3 months) we offer campsites under trees and in barns, a tent is recommended. For 6-12 month interns we offer inside housing in a shared intern room or in a small cabin on a space available basis.
Home & Family Life Although 3 of the 7 family members currently live off farm, we often have a full house of visiting family and friends. Being open to the challenges and joys of a busy home is a must. We share most meals and interns participate with family members in meal prep and clean up. Interns have full access to the bathroom, shower and laundry. We ask that folks bath regularly, change into clean clothes while in the house, and in general to practice good hygiene in respect of all household members.
We love vegetables and try to have them at every meal, however we believe that animals are an intrinsic part of a balanced healthy food system and for this reason we prefer NOT to accommodate strict vegetarian or vegan diets.
The farm currently consists of:
Farm Family #1 Live on Farm
The Deck Family Owners and operators since 2004.
Christine Deck Overall operations, Marketing, Farmers Markets, Dairy Manager, Intern program, Hiring, Scheduling.
John Deck Overall operations, Beef herd, forage management, intensive grazing, milling, composting, and financials. John also works full time at a separate job and travels abroad frequently.
Alex Deck Currently off farm, Concervation Corps crew leader Nevada
Maria Deck Farmers Markets, financials, horses.
Brigid Deck On Farm Student, Dairy, eggs, household.
Shanti Deck On Farm Highschool, Horses, Dairy, Eggs, household.
Farm Family #2 Live on Farm
Raul Lopez and Karina Rodriquez
Raul– Pastured Pork, Milling Grazing, Milking, Animal moving and rotation, construction and maintenance.
Karina– Creamy cow, butter, yogurt, meals, layers, eggs and marketing assist, bookeeping, markets
Raulito & David– students Monroe Middle and Highschool
Farm Family #3 Live on Farm
Ella & RJ Ewing- Orchard, householding, garden, preseving, marketing, dairy
We offer two types of internships
1-3 month commitment: In this position the first month will be mostly helping out where needed. Expect physically demanding work involving clean up, and assisting with chores. The next few months will be training in animal feeding and care and potentially training in the diary. Accommodations are mostly tent and barn camping. There is NO STIPEND associated with this position but it does include room and board.
6 Month Internship with stipend: We begin all internships with a one month unpaid trial. For folks wanting to gain more in depth experience in different areas of the farm we offer a 6 month apprenticeship tour of the farm. Apprentices will work in the following areas: Pastured Pork, Raw Jersey Dairy, Beef Herd management intensive grazing, Lamb, Pastured Poultry, and Marketing. We try to rotate through all areas of the farm but personal interest, aptitude and availability of farm management plays a heavy role in placement.
Stipend for the 6 month internship is $200/month including room and board. $200/month will be paid at the end of months 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6 and an additional payment of $1000 at the end of 6 months for a total of $2,000 for the 6 month period.
Stipend for the 1 year apprenticeship will be $6,000 for the year. $200/month paid at the end of months 2-6, $500/month in month 7,8,9,10,11 & 12 and an additional $1000 in the final month for a total of $6000 for the year. You must be offered formal placement for this position in month 4-5.
How to Apply
If interested, please send an email to the farm and tell us about yourself:
- What is motivating you to apply for this internship? What are your goals?
- Do you have any experience farming/ gardening/working with animals?
- What are you hoping to gain by this experience?
- Do you have any physical limitations/challenges that would need to be accommodated?
- What are your long term goals, dreams or desires?
- Is there anything else that you would like us to know about you?
- Would you be willing to see the first month as a trial period?
- What questions do you have for us?
Also send us three of your most recent references from folks that know your work and would give you a great recommendation. Please include the specific dates that you worked or interned for those references and a brief description of what that work was. Also be sure to let us know which type of internship you are interested in and when you would be able to start.
Please feel free to call the farm for questions or clarifications and thank you for your interest in building a new farm economy!