Garden Apprentice Openings at MFAI
December 1, 2015
THE GARDENS @ MICHAEL FIELDS
LOCATION: East Troy, WI
CATEGORY: Agriculture / Nonprofit
JOB TYPE: Apprentice
Our board and staff are deeply committed to sustainable agriculture, but it is through our many collaborations that we have the most reach. We also focus on fostering the next generation of sustainable agriculture proponents, and our interns and alumni have gone on to work in sustainable agriculture in diverse ways.
We are based in East Troy, Wisconsin, but our work affects the state, the country, and beyond. Our goal is to reach out to all types of farmers whether they consider themselves conventional, organic, or biodynamic.
Our Crop and Soil Research program uses classic plant breeding and modern screening methods to produce plants that perform highly, can be used in organic systems and have protein and amino acid levels.
Our Education program trains new and existing farmers in all aspects of sustainable agriculture.
Our Public Policy program engages grassroots support for sustainable agriculture while helping farmers and others take full advantage of sustainable agriculture programs. The next 10 or 20 years will bring a huge shift in who owns and who manages farmland.
Our programs are working to facilitate this Land Transition for the betterment of farmers, consumers and the environment. We also keep abreast of current issues in agriculture and highlight them in our Director’s Blog. We welcome your comments.
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI), is offering several internship opportunities to learn and work in our gardens. The 4+ acre market garden specializes in perennial fruits and annual vegetables. MFAI, located in East Troy, Wisconsin, is a public, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission to cultivate the ecological, social, economic and spiritual vitality of food and farming systems through education, research, policy and market development.
The Gardens at Michael Fields is a beautiful, organic market garden located behind the main building at MFAI. The goal of our farm is to provide healthy, fresh food to the local community and to provide an environment to train young farmers on the fundamentals of sustainable agriculture. As a Gardens Apprentice, you will work in the greenhouse, hoop house, perennial border gardens, orchards and brambles learning how to grow and maintain healthy annual and perennial crops as well as create a habitat for the beneficial organisms that help support our gardens.
The majority of our work is done with hand tools, which build strong bodies and an intimate understanding of the importance of healthy soil. We market our vegetable and fruit through an on-site farm stand and local farmers’ market as well as wholesale to schools and other venues.
For the 2016 Season we are looking to acquire four (4) full-time apprentices to experience the basics of organic farming management while learning correct greenhouse management, soil health, planting, harvesting and post-harvest handling skills. The apprentices will be responsible for various areas of the farm and will use management skills developed during the season to run small crews of first year interns to accomplish daily work goals. Apprentices will also be on a rotating schedule to manage our farmers’ markets and wholesale accounts.
Where: Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy, Wisconsin
When: April through October, 2016
Hours: Monday through Friday, 7am to 4pm, with an hour break for lunch. Some occasional Saturdays are possible. Apprentices will be required to work a minimum of 40-50 hrs/wk depending on the needs of the farm.
Duties: Assist the garden manager with daily tasks, including greenhouse sowing and management, hand sowing and transplanting, irrigation, weeding, pest management, harvest and post-harvest handling. Apprentices will attend educational workshops geared towards preparing them for a future in farming including farm planning, crop rotations, marketing, and financials and soil health. Apprentices will be required to develop an independent project, either research or entrepreneurial based, to enhance their personal education and growth. By the end of the season each apprentice will have the outline of a business plan which can be used for future funding should they chose to continue farming.
Requirements: Apprentice applicants must have at least 1 year of prior experience on a vegetable farm and a strong interest in a farming career. Strong body, enthusiastic perspective, willingness to learn, flexibility to go with the flow, and an interest in food and resource sustainability issues and value-added products.
Includes: On-site lodging, shared kitchen, produce from the gardens, CRAFT membership, opportunity to attend MFAI’s Whole Farm Workshops, educational classes on various farming topics, field trips to other farms and some weekend adventures.
**Must provide proof of health insurance.**
This position pays a stipend of $600/month.
January 15, 2016 Click here for an application.
Please submit completed application to “The Gardens Manager” at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you!