Advanced apprenticeship, dairy herd management, currently open, please see our website for details: hawthornevalleyfarm.org
The Livestock Apprenticeship provides the foundational knowledge for beginning farmers to pursue a career in animal husbandry. The central focus of this apprenticeship is the management of a biodynamic dairy herd. The applicant must have spent one full season on a production farm and also must have experience working with livestock. Experience with cows (dairy, beef, or draft) is highly encouraged.
For this position a 2-year commitment is preferred. The first year is focused on herd management. The second year emphasizes forage management (including harvest) and equipment use & maintenance.
Activities of the Livestock Apprentice include:
- Milking cows 6-10 times weekly and acting as lead-milker in the afternoon
- The general maintenance of barn
- Setting up fencing for the daily rotation of cows
- Overseeing and delegating tasks to whole farm apprentices and the Visiting Students Program
- Ensuring the daily feeding of young stock and pigs
- Assisting in calving and vet checks
- Participating in testing for cow health and milk quality
- Monitoring cow and calf health including administering homeopathic treatments
- Maintaining pig pastures and indoor housing
- Managing manure
This apprentice must also work well with others, be organized, be able to multitask, and enjoy working in all outdoor conditions.
On-site housing and a monthly stipend are provided for all apprentices (see the handbook for more details). Each apprentice has his/her own bedroom in a shared space on the farm with a communal kitchen, baths, and living space. Often, surplus Hawthorne Valley vegetables, milk, yogurt, soft cheeses, sauerkraut, bread, and meat are available for the apprentices.