Number of Workers Sought2
Type of FarmOther
Type of Farm (Other)Hops/Specialty Crop
Marketing Strategy (Other)Direct sales to breweries
Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interestsMy partner and I, Colten Sales, have been best friends since we can remember. We always wanted to farm together, but large field crops seemed too costly for beginning farmers. The start up cost was insane and the return on investment was going to be minimal. We dove into CYH with 2 days planning last year and its been the best decision we ever made. I grew up in the valley on a wheat and barley farm, while Colten grew up Springhill on a ranch. I (Jake) am a Mechanical Engineer and Colten just got out of the military having served in Operation Enduring Freedom in the Middle East. Everything we know, we have learned from others in Hops farming. 100 Years from now, we want people to look back at Crooked Yard as the start of something big in Montana.
Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you liveWe operate 7 acres in 2 locations. One location is right on Gooch Hill Rd outside of bozeman and the other location is just down the road. Both are quite remote and while a 5 acre Hop yard may not sound that big, its more than enough to manage. Our Gooch location has large wooded areas and streams, perfect for hunting deer or ducks of which permission and hunting priority are given to farm help.
Describe your farm operation
We operate 5 acres of hops and use a lot of different machinery. Tractors to till, Bobcats for moving things, etc. For our proccessing we have a hammer mill, pelletizer, vacuum packer, and bag weighing machine as well as the first and only mobile hops harvester in the state. Potential interns would be trained in how all of this machinery operates.
Describe the work to be performed by applicantOur interns will come in at a particularly interesting time of our farms growth. We are currently building an expansion to our hopyard. This means that any interns would get to learn about Trellis design and construction while helping us erect the expansion. Also, they would get to learn about hop planting, cultivation, and eventual harvest and packaging; the entire process! Interns would get to be with us from the time that a rhizome is planted up to when we would be delivering the final product right to the brewery at the end of the season. Like any farming operation, there would really be 2 busy times in the year. During the spring and during harvest. The rest of the year would be spent in contact with customers, weeding, fertilizing, and other minor upkeep. Harvest will be several intense and longs days to bring in the crop.
What do you expect of a worker?An intern would be expected to commit 1 day per week to the farm (6-8 hour day) to assist setting up processing equipment, weed management, and other general farm upkeep. Then during harvest, we estimate 3-4 days of intense labor to bring in the crop and finish out the season.
Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a workerWe have an enormous wealth of information and contacts we would love to share with any interns. Our contacts in the farming and brewing industry are extensive and their wealth of knowledge is something we would love to pass on. Much of the literature we have gathered is region specific to more of the East Coast hopyards, but it can provide insight into the plants behavior. We often travel to local MSU Extension events to learn more about agriculture in general and attend any business/entrepreneur events the Blackstone Launchpad puts on to learn more about business. These events are rarely publicized and attendance gives opportunities for making greater connections in the Valley.
Describe what other occupation(s) you haveColt is a Veteran and currently has several odd jobs to fill his time before going to MSU in the spring. Jake is a mechanical engineer currently working teaching taekwondo in Ennis.
Do you require a trial period or require a prospective worker to visit your farm before hiring?Yes
Explain the room and board arrangements or describe options in your areaWe will help you find living accommodations locally if needed, but neither of us has room to house you currently (working on that). All meals during farm work will be provided as well as snacks, drinks, etc throughout workdays.
Please attach any photos of your farm and operation
Trial Period DescriptionWe would like to meet you face to face just to show you what we are doing and make sure we are a good fit for you!
Farm Address8650 Gant Rd
What are the dates of your position?Part Time, see below