Number of Workers Sought1
Type of FarmLarge Animal (cattle, sheep, goats)
Marketing StrategyCommunity Supported Agriculture, Farm Stand, Farmers' Market, Restaurant, Wholesale, Education
What are the dates of your position?April 27 through September 30th
Are you open to shorter periods of employment or do you prefer that workers stay the full season?Prefer full season
Do you have a website, social media account, or job posting anywhere else?Yes
Online Listing URLhttps://www.oxbowcattleco.com/goat-husbandry-internship-job-announcement/
Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interestsGo to https://www.oxbowcattleco.com/our-story/ to learn about us.
Oxbow Cattle Company Mission
Regenerate the ecosystem
Respect all animals
Connect with our community
Produce high quality and healthy food that nourishes the body and soul.
This position was developed and funded through a partnership with People and Carnivores and Oxbow Cattle Company. The goal of this position is to start a successful goat business for Oxbow Cattle Company while preventing conflicts between our livestock and large carnivores, particularly mountain lions.
Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you liveApprox. 5,000 acre ranch that is located directly south of Missoula. We border the city and subdivisions on the north end of our place and run south into as wild country as the Bitterroot Valley has. We own 400 acres and lease the rest. The country varies from forested Bitterroot River bottom to dry uplands on the east side of Bitterroot Valley. Our community is Missoula.
Describe your farm operation
We are a conception to consumption all-natural grass-finished beef business. To meet our demand, we also source approximately 80 finishers annually from producers that meet our requirements of no growth hormones, no sub-therapeutic antibiotics, no grains and the genetics that finish efficiently on grass. In 2019, we sold 129 beeves to the community of Missoula through grocery stores, restaurants, farmer’s market, direct sales and our new on ranch store, the “f2m”. To raise this many beeves, we have three different enterprises, a cow/calf, stocker and finisher enterprise. In the spring of 2020 we added 89 goats that are scheduled to kid out beginning in May. These goats are the reason for offering this position and will be an integral part of managing weeds on our Miller Creek portion of the ranch.
Describe the work to be performed by applicant- Constructing and deconstructing temporary paddocks out of electric net fencing to target heavily weeded areas,
- Daily herding of goats while free-grazing in open pastures
- Placing goats in night paddock daily
- Camping out and tending goats at night as necessary during periods of high carnivore activity.
- Monitoring carnivore activity using trail cameras and other tools.
- Checking goats multiple times a day, including dusk and dawn, assisting with kidding (May 15-June 30), doctoring, and processing
- Caring for our Akbash/Komondor livestock guardian dogs Blue and Sky
- Visually monitoring pasture condition to determine frequency of grazing moves and size/shape of paddocks
- Running transects to determine baseline data of pasture health for future monitoring projects
- Working with Missoula County on grazing weeds on County owned lands
- Managing goats on the urban interface as well as managing goats in very wild country, a very unique situation
- Providing an environment that allows our goat operation to succeed with large carnivores that inhabit the land
- Work with Oxbow employees on a daily basis
- Assisting with flood irrigation
- Assisting with the cattle operation when asked
- Work with People and Carnivores to learn and develop best practices to prevent human-carnivore conflicts
- Share camera monitoring data and carnivore activity findings with People and Carnivores on a regular basis.
We move all of our stock on foot or horse back with low-stress stockmanship, and there will be daily opportunities to develop this skill.
The herder can expect to operate equipment including 4-wheelers, side-by-sides, drive trucks and trailers, and work with the Oxbow crew. The herder must be physically fit and able to work outside in all weather conditions, and be willing to become wet and dirty on a daily basis. This position provides a large amount of autonomy and responsibility, requiring a self-starting, figure-it-out attitude. This is our first season with goats and we are excited for a dynamic partnership with the right person.
What do you expect of a worker?Herder Weekly Schedule
*This will vary with time of year and others schedules.