Summer - 4 months from April through July or August through November.
We raise pastured chickens, turkeys, eggs, pork, and beef--very much inspired and modeled after Joel Salatin's Polyface Farm. 100% grassfed beef. Everything on fresh pasture. No drugs, chemicals, or GMO feeds, etc. We process all our own poultry. We raise around 10,000 chickens, 2,000 laying hens, 120 pigs, 800 turkeys, and graze around 100 beef cattle. Additionally, we have made Whiffletree a hub of excellently-raised, locally-raised, Weston Price-friendly products beyond what we raise by sourcing from our friends (lamb, organic veggies, kombucha, sauerkraut, raw honey, chocolate, tea, etc.)! We sell to local restaurants, from our Farm Store, in collaboration with other farms, and in our northern Virginia to Charlottesville buying clubs.
Straight Family Description:
We are kind, hard working, have very high standards for excellent work and excellent behavior, and are Catholic. We have 7 children aged 11 and under.
We are in beautiful Fauquier County, Virginia. The farm is about 50 miles southwest of Washington, DC. We are also about an hour from the Shenandoah mountains, and an hour and a half from Charlottesville, home of Monticello and the University of Virginia, and are close by to many excellent wineries.
The summer internship is a 4 month program (April through July or August through December), though we are happy to consider other month periods) designed to give you the skills necessary to start your own poultry, pork, and/or beef business. While preference is given to those who can stay the full 4 months, we are willing to consider candidates who can only stay for a shorter period of time - just reach out to us!
We work hard. 50 hours/week is normal. 6:00am-5:30pm Monday through Saturday with 45 minute breaks for breakfast and lunch, and one and a half weekdays off. Just minimal chores on Sunday (usually 2-3 hours). So an intern is working 5 days/week. On rare occasions, we have to work late as need arises.
Interns get 3 vacation days during the 4 months. We ask that you give us 2 weeks or more notice about vacation days, for our planning purposes.
The work mostly entails moving, feeding, and watering the animals, cleaning eggs, processing chickens (every Wednesday from May to November) building and maintaining infrastructure, making deliveries, helping customers in the Farm Store, record keeping, and getting resources (feed, bedding, etc.)--though you would have to be willing to do anything. You will become well versed in the pertinent farm practices of raising all our animals.
It is our goal that you would become well versed in all the pertinent practices of our sustainable farm operation. Interns have exposure to all the animal work on a daily basis. An intern would know this well by the end of his or her session. Towards learning the business side of the enterprise, I am happy to share all the ins and outs of how we operate (marketing, customer service, record keeping, sourcing, etc.). Additionally, because we source and offer products we do not raise from a diverse group of farming friends, interns have exposure to many knowledgeable farmers and farms who are doing the things we are not. The goal would be for you to leave knowing the farm and business model to set you up well to start your own business.
Interns cook for themselves, though we will have occasional dinners all together.
As a boss I have high standards, though I am kind and reasonable. You would be expected to work hard and fast and do the job right; keep a hop in your step and pay close attention. You have to be willing to receive criticism and really desire to be an excellent worker. Most interns will be extremely tired the first couple weeks as they get used to the shock of how hard we work. You must be very professional and courteous. Our interns live in very close contact with our family and must represent our business well to all the people with which we work. These are high standards, but I believe it is the happiest and most satisfying way to live your life, and will bring you the truest success in your life no matter what career you choose.
1. Please follow up with us by email or phone. Please email Jonathan Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 703 989-3137.
2. We will send you the questionnaire and look over your answers.
3. We will schedule the on-farm work trial, which is a full day's work with us and allows both you and us to get a sense of what working together would be like.