We believe the link necessary to completing the natural nutrient cycle is to have animals in the farming system. In 2011 we started our first herd of hogs. We also raised chickens, ducks, and geese. All these animals were rotated, or flashed grazed through the orchards and berry beds. We plan to increase the numbers of animals on the farm over the next few years. The animals will help reduce the amount of organic pesticides and fertilizers that we have to purchase and apply to the farm. The diversity of species above ground will increase the diversity of microorganisms in the soil, making it stronger and more adaptable to changing conditions.
This position will include all the work described in the General Intern Position. Up to 50% of work time will be spent working with animals. Primary responsibilities will be feeding, watering, and moving the different species to flash graze time-appropriate areas of the farm.
The intern will work with the many crops we raise and will learn how the animal rotations are used to reduce pests, clean up fallen fruit, and fertilize the crops. Set up and take down of energized ribbon wire and poultry netting is a big part of rotational grazing. The intern will also be involved in maintenance of the energized high-tensile wire pasture fences. Portable shelters for hogs and poultry are moved around the farm. Maintenance and moving of these shelters will also be a part of this position.
Maintain records of feed inventory and animal inventory will be another one of the intern’s responsibilities. Grazing logs will be kept by the intern; entry of this data in to electronic data base will also be part of the intern’s responsibilities.
Formal training in animal science and experience working with farm animals is preferred but not required. Familiarity with computers and windows based programs is required.
All the tasks in this position can be learned on the job. If you have not had any formal training in this area, a strong interest or experience in a diversified animal/crop system will be necessary.