Number of Workers Sought2
Type of FarmHay & Forage, Large Animal (cattle, sheep, goats), Small Animal (pigs, rabbits, poultry), Dairy, Vegetable, Fruit/Orchard
Marketing StrategyCommunity Supported Agriculture, Wholesale, Other
Marketing Strategy (Other)wholesale, seed
Pay RateStipend of $900/month is provided in addition to housing and utilities, and farm food. Bonus included for staying the entire season.
Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interestsWe are a small family, with three generations of our family farming together. We've been farming at this place for 14 years, along with several seasons of farming before starting up here. We like a whole systems approach to farming, and enjoy integrating livestock into our farm.
Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you liveWe live in an incredibly beautiful place with a rich cultural history, and our farmland adjoins tribal land that leads to Mission Mountain Tribal Wilderness, with abundant recreational opportunities (swimming, hiking, cycling, etc.) within walking distance. Our farm is 3 miles east of the town of St Ignatius, which is a small town with 2 grocery stores, a post office, hardware store, etc. We are remote, but not completely isolated.
Describe your farm operation
Foothill Farm is a diversified, certified organic multi-generational family farm in the Mission Valley of Western Montana focusing on fresh vegetables for wholesale, seed garlic and grass-fed beef. There are 70 acres which are made up of hay fields, pasture, 3 hoop houses, a propagation greenhouse and 6 acres of vegetables, as well as chickens, milk cows, work horses and honey bees. We sell a variety of herbs, fruit, vegetables, and beef through wholesale and CSA of the Western Montana Growers Cooperative as well as a large amount of seed garlic.
Describe the work to be performed by applicant We are looking for two apprentices who would like to spend the majority of their time working in the vegetable gardens and be willing to help out occasionally putting up hay and working with beef cows in an intensive grazing system. It is a good way to gain experience with livestock and row crops, learn more about animal care and growing vegetables. We do some garden cultivation and other farm chores with horses, and there is opportunity to learn about working with the draft horses, if interested. There are many tasks throughout the growing season, including field prep, composting, irrigation, planting, weeding, harvesting, packing produce, as well as tree planting, orchard work, moving cows and pastures, helping in hay-making, and all manner of jobs associated with small scale farming. We put an emphasis on education, and try to make our farm apprenticeship a strong learning experience, and really hope to work with learning farmers who have an interest in all aspects of a diversified farm.
What do you expect of a worker?The apprentices are expected to work 5 days a week, Monday – Friday, an average of 8-10 hours a day depending on the time of the season, and be responsible for irrigation one weekend per month. We do not require any previous farming experience, although it is helpful, but apprentices must be able to do hard physical work in all weather conditions, think ahead and pay attention to detail. Must be able to lift 60 lbs repeatedly. Should enjoy being with small children.
Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a workerWe are heading into our 15th farming season on this land, so we are able to show firsthand a successful model of small scale organic agriculture to those who are interested – including livestock care and pasture management, haying, irrigation, growing vegetables, and fruits. We also try to make the management side of the farm available for interns to learn as well, including seed selection, crop planning, sales, marketing and business management. There are many other farms in our area, and established programs for touring farms and learning from other farmers. We hope you ask questions so that we can help further your interest and knowledge of farming.
Are you a full-time farmer?Yes
Explain the room and board arrangements or describe options in your areaWe have pretty simple living accommodations, but comfortable and warm. Each person has separate cabin or camper and communal kitchen and bathroom, separate from the farmhouse.
Please attach any photos of your farm and operation
Farm Address61240 Foothill Road, Saint Ignatius, MT, United States
What are the dates of your position?1 May or 15 June - 15 Sept or 1 Nov
Are you open to shorter periods of employment or do you prefer that workers stay the full season?Shorter periods of employment possible
Please share three things you think people should know about living with you.We are an easy going family who like to work hard and have fun. We explore the mountains in our free time, and spend lots of time with our 2 small children. We love to eat well and laugh a lot, and spend time with family and friends when we can.