Agricola Farm is on the forefront of a new generation of progressive farmers that focus on sustainability and the production of good, clean, and fair food. Agricola is a small diversified livestock farm in Addison County, Vermont, a region known for its long farming history. We have married old world farming strategies from Italy with progressive approaches that prioritize sustainability. Agricola fully embraces the Farm-to-Fork movement: we raise the animals, do our own butchering and meat processing and sell our fresh and value-added products at markets, in our Farm Stand and local stores and also use them for our Farm Dinners. Agricola is nicely connected with other farms, artisans and the localvore movement. Join us and become part of our community!
After a training period, the assistants will be engaged, to varying degrees, in the following activities:
- Livestock rotations (total of ~160 pigs , a flock of 60ish Icelandic sheep, a growing broiler (~400 and hen flock and a duck (~ 200) flock.
- Assisting with the management of the new Farm Fresh Herb and Vegetables Garden
- Staffing and organization of the Farm Stand featuring our own products.
- Meat processing, one of our core competencies. This includes learning how to butcher pork, lamb and poultry and how to assess the quality of the carcass. The training will include teaching on the preparation of exquisite meat products such as spiedini, saltimbocca, bacon, guanciale, crown roasts and more. Taking into consideration seasonal limitations, assistants will also be exposed to the making of old world charcuteries.
- Making hay and caring for the land, including seeding, harvesting crops, and moving rocks
We are Alessandra and Stefano, the owners of the farm. We are passionate Italian farmers who love good food, good company and hard work. Ale started this farm in 2007, with only 20 pigs, 12 sheep and few hundreds poultry. Then Stefano came and, thanks to his passion for agriculture and his Masters degree in Agricultural Science, he blew things out of the water :) we now have 160-180 pigs, 80ish sheep and several hundreds of chickens and ducks. We work at the farm and run the "salumeria" (meat processing for cured meats) together but not alone! We strongly believe that agriculture is a community effort and through the years we have forged strong relationships with our farm assistants. We usually have 2 to 3 farm assistants working with us and we have a full time butcher plus an assistant at the salumeria. It takes a flexible person to live and work with a team of people and also living with us is a bi different because... well because we are Italian so the moment you come to our home you are stepping in a different culture (for better and for worst).
LIFE AT THE HOUSE
We are looking for someone interested in coming to live and work with us. There is a private room and a shared bathroom for you. The house is a large (3000 sq feet) farm house built in 1850s and while we love her because she hosts all of our crazy projects (wool, spinning, sowing, soap making, drying herbs, bees keeping, wood carving, etc.) it is not the most comfortable place to live in during the cold winter months. But, after a few weeks people who come to live here feel at home, the same way generations of farming families have done before us. We tend to cook and eat together at least for dinner, but also lunch, if we are at the farm and meals are 2 to 3 courses. We bake our bread and try to make as much as our own food as feasible. Ale and Steo have an off farm job so often the farm assistants cook for themselves and share meals at lunch time. Privacy is an important thing that is respected and honored so even with a full house you can always find your own solitary place where to do your things. We encourage people to find a way to make this space their home.
LIFE AT THE FARM
If you are looking for a calming, relaxing life in the countryside and are tired of the office routine in the city, keep looking because this is most definitely NOT the right place for you. Work at the farm is hard and demanding. There is nothing relaxing about it unless you count the feeling of exhaustion and satisfaction at the end of the day as your "relaxation." In the spring/summer, the days are long and, even in the high heat, we are outside crawling between thorny bushes to build paddocks, running through the fields with buckets of food followed by a mob of pigs, carrying buckets with food to the new paddock on top of the hill and then rushing to the bottom of the hill where the water pipe came undone. And when your break is about to happen you have the neighbors passing by to let you know the sheep got out. Okay, so this is an example of a very bad day, but days like this do happen and we are looking for people that are not scared of these moments and feel they can strive in a situation where tey need to use common sense and be creative to solve problems. In the winter, the days are shorter and all the animals are concentrated in the barn, but the cold weather is tough. The water freezes, the pigs need extra attentions, the barn needs to be cleaned and cleaned and cleaned and no matter how much you clean it still needs to be cleaned right as much the day after. At the same time, this farm has an endless amount of gifts everywhere. In the spring and fall we harvest wild mushrooms, the summer and fall are a constant explosion of wild herbs, berries and fruits you can find growing wild everywhere. There is always someone around if you want to talk about something, anything, and there are enough people that you will find someone who shares your same hidden passion for lumberjack competitions or weaving. There is always some secret gem hidden here and there if you truly enjoy living in nature. Also, we are a skip away from the lake and nothing feels better than jumping in the lake after a full day spent sweating in the fields.
ABOUT THE POSITIONS
Farm Apprentice position is only open internally to people that completed at least 3 months of Farm Assistantship
FARM ASSISTANT. This position is ideal for a person that enjoys farming, or thinks they may enjoy farming, but is not 100% sure or ready to have their own farm. They do not quite know exactly what they want to do but they know they want to live and work in close contact with the land and livestock. They are interested in learning about managing animals and the land and they want to try to be part of a farming community. If you recognize yourself in this description you are part of our tribe.
You need to show you are serious about wanting to live and work on a farm. Do you have experience? Did you take courses on farming? Did you volunteer or worked at a farm before? What makes you think you will enjoy this life and what do you know about this life?
Expectations: 25 hrs/week for 5 days (2 days off). Opportunities to work extra hrs during events at the farm. You must be able to lift and move objects that are about 50Lbs, in all kind of weather (cold, hot, rainy, icy..). There are repetitive and strenuous movements involved in farming and some require agility (such as jumping in and out of the pig pens). Your brain needs to be on and your eyes open at all times so that you can observe the animals, catch if something is off, notice if an animals need your help and you need to know whether it is something you can handle or you need to reach out for someone to help you out.
Food ( approximately $200)+ housing (approximately $500) plus a monthly salary ($450). We require a minimum commitment of 3 months.
FARM APPRENTICE: this position is for people who already have experience farming and they may have a specific idea of a type of farm they would like to have. We can help you with your business plan and can see if you can try out the plan on our farm. You are still expected to complete duties listed in the farm assistant position, but will also receive our support to carry on your independent farming project. Examples of farming projects include bees, ducks for meat, geese eggs, herbs, soap, sheep wool and leather value-added products. Before starting a project there is a minimum requirement of 3 months of work at the farm to get to know you and the project well and assess if it fits with what we can offer.
Expectations and benefit are the same as for the farm assistant. Minimum commitment is 8 months (with a 3 month probation trial).
Things you will learn.
You will receive specific training in management of multi-species rotational grazing plans (sheep, pigs and chickens), poultry slaughtering and processing, swine management (including common health and farrowing practices and more specialized suino pesante practices - an Italian approach to raising pork specifically for charcuterie), sheep management (including milking, sheering, lambing duties and general health).