Listing Information

Currently Hiring

No, not at this time. Please check back next season!

Farm Address

37663 Hawkins Road

Number of Workers Sought

1

Type of Farm

Hay & Forage, Large Animal (cattle, sheep, goats), Small Animal (pigs, rabbits, poultry), Vegetable, Other

Type of Farm (Other)

Cut Flowers

Marketing Strategy

Community Supported Agriculture, Farmers' Market, Wholesale, Education

Paid

Yes

Pay Rate

Compensation is multi-faceted and will include:
Fixed rate cash : $100/week; may be adjusted based on experience
2 meals daily (schedule determined with intern)
Weekly rations of eggs, beef, produce and bread as needed/available.
Flower sales commissions: We offer 10% commission on sales generated by an intern-led initiative. Commission is adjusted at set milestones, to be determined when work contract is finalized.

What are the dates of your position?

April 15th-October 15th

Are you open to shorter periods of employment or do you prefer that workers stay the full season?

Shorter periods of employment possible

Housing

Yes

Explain the room and board arrangements or describe options in your area

The flower intern would live in a separate tiny house/trailer provided at the farm, but would share in certain meals with the family. We have a four-year old son and a loud but well-behaved herding dog, along with cats. We can accommodate vegetarians/food sensitivities. We are a no-smoking household and farm. Excessive drug and alcohol use is prohibited. Persons of legal drinking age are welcome to enjoy adult beverages in moderation--use must not inhibit ability to perform tasks in a timely and safe manner.

Please share three things you think people should know about living with you.

We have high expectations of ourselves and those who work with us, in that we work hard and focus on healthy communication while trying to achieve balance in our approach to farming.
We also practice a strong co-existence approach to wild and domestic animals and demonstrate a deep respect for the lives of the animals we live with.
We are committed to a mutual relationship of respect, teaching and learning with whomever we work.

Do you have a website, social media account, or job posting anywhere else?

Yes

Online Listing URL

https://www.meridianfarmandforge.com/ . instagram: @meridianfarmandforge

Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interests

Zach and Danielle are new to farming, although Danielle is a lifetime gardener (Zach calls her the garden commander, now farm commander). Meridian is the result of a lifetime dream that we shared separately and now together, for 11 years. We LOVE living in Montana, and specifically, the Mission Valley on the CSKT reservation, where the mountains are just a few miles to the east, the bison range to the south. We enjoy working with what we have, learning as we go and working hard to transform our dreams into reality!

Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you live

The farm is 40 acres in the heart of the Mission Valley. We are about 5 miles from St. Ignatius. We have friendly neighbors and good friends nearby. The property is split into a few pastures and is mostly pasture for livestock at this point. We have about 1/4 acre of growing space and hope to expand that to about an acre heading into the 2020 growing season. We have an abundance of trees near the house and barn with plans to plant many more throughout the property. A year-round creek runs across the south of the parcel that is also lined with golden willow. View of the mountains are incredible.

Describe your farm operation

Heading into our third year on the farm, and our second year in operation, we are pulling together several things to make the greater whole. While an intern would focus primarily on cut flower operations, we also have a small flock of sheep and alpacas for manure, fiber production and company. We live with a flock of about 60 chickens that provide eggs, manure and entertainment. We have a micro-bakery where we sell bread-shares year-round. We operate a blacksmith shop, creating forged functional art. Lastly, we also grow produce internally for the farm. Pertaining to development and expansion of the cut flower operation, we follow organic growing practices and have used minimal mechanization. In 2020, we may borrow a tractor and at least utilize a hand tractor for soil preparation. Our aim is to improve the property and slowly convert grazing pasture to a mix of natural habitat and flower/produce growing spaces. Our philosophies regarding this farm project are that we are guest settlers on the land. It's our job to improve it and work it in a minimalist way to make positive changes in our community and in the landscape.

Describe the work to be performed by applicant

We are easy going and have a lot of fun, but we also work super hard! We hope that our intern can function in a similar way. Primary responsibilities are related to the cut flower operation and will include, but are not limited to: Soil Preparation, Planting, Harvesting, Infrastructure Maintenance, Bouquet Assembly, and a Specialized Intern Project. Secondary responsibilities may include: Assistance with livestock, forge operations, landscape improvement projects, farm representation/client engagement (markets, wholesale, etc.)

What do you expect of a worker?

Generally we expect hard work inputs, good attitudes, honesty and healthy, mindful communication. Work tasks may involve constant bending, walking, carrying and lifting loads up to 50 lbs - things will be physical a lot of the time. In contrast, the position may require sitting whether while driving or doing some computer research. Western Montana climate can vary with snowfall into the early summer as well as daytime temperatures in the high 90's at times. Temps can fluctuate 50 degrees in a day. Wildfires can give us smoky conditions heading into July/August/September. We can offer a relatively set schedule that might be 10-12 hours a day, 4 - 7 days a week. Yet, there may be slow weeks or days where the intern can relax or take a short trip. In contrast, there may be some weeks where there are deadlines on orders and initiatives and a lot to accomplish. We have meetings one or more times a week to plan ahead and stay on top of needs, schedule can be adjusted then.

Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a worker

The intern will be working alongside both Danielle and/or Zach, or other interns, on a daily basis. There will be times where the intern is working solo, cranking out an assigned task, but this will be in coordination with others. Learning opportunities will be constant and reciprocal. In addition, the intern has the opportunity to engage in an Intern Project (IP). The intern project allows the intern to go beyond the standard expectations of an intern position, gain in-depth experience in their farm-discipline and bring things full circle through development and execution of a comprehensive farm-product plan. The flower intern will have the opportunity to: 1)perform and report on specific flower market research, 2) work with and develop niche products from Meridian’s agricultural and other resources 3) design, develop, acquire and/or use novel flower processing tooling and methodologies, 4)develop, establish flower-processing infrastructure/protocols at Meridian, 5) Add to existing flower-market initiatives. There will also be opportunities to meet neighboring farmers and observe their operations and techniques.

Describe what other occupation(s) you have

We are full time farmers and a few other things. Parenting is another full-time position for us. In addition, Danielle is a writer and Zach currently does some contract environmental consulting work. Also, as mentioned previously, Meridian Farm and Forge is a bit more than cut flowers including metalwork, fiber work and the bakery. The cut flower portion is the primary 'farming' initiative at this time.

Do you require a trial period or require a prospective worker to visit your farm before hiring?

Yes

Please attach any photos of your farm and operation

Trial Period Description

The first two weeks of employment will also serve as a trial period for the intern. This will give each party the opportunity to determine for sure that the position fits the intern and the intern fits the farm.

Location