become a farm Apprentice
Sugarfield Farm is looking for apprentices throughout the year...
Farming can be extremely rewarding but also very physically demanding, tedious, exhausting and even frustrating. Previous farm experience is not necessary for a successful apprenticeship, but a desire to learn and an enthusiasm for hands-on work is. Sharing work and living spaces can be challenging and it is in everyone’s best interest to get to know each other through the application and interview process before a commitment is made. It is also important that apprentices are flexible as priorities can shift with very little notice in response to weather and the needs of the animals.
Daily Chores: Sheep, rabbits and meat birds are moved onto fresh pasture each day and provided with water, shelter and feed supplements when necessary. Daily chores are not difficult but take time and care and must be carried out to the farmer’s specifications. Pony will demonstrate these tasks and work with you until you are comfortable completing the tasks independently.
Seasonal Chores: Sugarfield follows the weather and natural life cycles of the livestock so most tasks will ebb and flow throughout the year:
Daily egg collection: February - November
Lambing/kidding: March - April
Sheep shearing: May - July
Pasture Maintenance: May - November
Sheep/Goat breeding: October - November
Indoor barn cleaning: November - February
Chicken/rabbit processing: Ongoing, year-round
Housing and Accommodations: The apprentice will stay in a vintage trailer (8x14ft) with electricity and have full access to the farmer’s barn apartment that is outfitted with electricity, internet, hot/cold water, kitchen, bath and living room. A composting toilet is located in the barn and there is laundry on site. Food or food stipend is included as well as a very modest work stipend. You will be responsible for your own food preparation but will be welcome to partake in occasional shared meals prepared by Pony.
What is Expected of Apprentices: In order to ensure a successful and enjoyable apprenticeship at Sugarfield, apprentices are asked to be detail-oriented, observant and communicative. It is important to be aware of the livestock, their condition and behaviors and to notify Pony if something seems different or ‘wrong’. Though some tasks just need to get done (e.g. scraping a chicken coop, shoveling compost, cleaning water buckets), Pony does his best to cater the work schedule and tasks to each apprentice’s level of skill and areas of interest. Additionally, some effort will be required to maintain tidiness of the tight, shared working and living conditions on the farm. Regular check-ins will be established for you to share your experience so that adjustments can be made.
I'm ready! If you would like to apply to be a Sugarfield apprentice, please submit the form below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Apprentice’ in the Subject line.