Deck Family Farm is situated on 320 acres within the Willamette Valley. The farm is made up of a combination of open pasture, woods, rolling hills and open fields. We are located in Junction City, 25 miles from Eugene. There can be anywhere from 4-13 people on farm depending on how many staff and interns are on site on any given day. We are family oriented farm where interns are integrated with family life. We also currently have two young children living at home but older children (and friends) visiting frequently, being comfortable with the joys and challenges of a busy household is a must!
Our farm operation is varied and includes management intensive grazing, milking, livestock handling and birthing, haying, meat processing, building projects and maintenance. Our products include pasture-raised pork, pastured chickens, egg layers, grass-fed beef, Spring lamb, and to a lesser degree walnuts, apples and honey. We also offer a cooperative for our dairy products through our buying club called The Creamy Cow cooperative. Conservation projects have included wetland, riparian and forest restoration projects.
Students will gain hands-on experience in a wide-variety of farming practices related to animal husbandry, grazing, pasture management, integrated cropping, composting, and marketing. Through participation in daily chores students will learn care of livestock such as beef cattle, dairy cows, broilers and egg laying hens, as well as horse feeding, raising turkeys, sheep herding, and working with pastured pigs and pregnant sows.
Students will have to opportunity to interface with customers through involvement with marketing and seasonal farmers markets. Focus areas are developed for each student and the experience will vary depending on personal skills and abilities, weather, and season. You can expect to come away with a realistic view of livestock farming on a medium size, integrated, organic farm.
Aside from daily activities, we focus on birthing in the Spring, harvest during Fall season, and farmers’ markets during the summer. In the winter months we continue with animal feed and care as well as repair and improve infrastructure. Students will also have the opportunity to learn how to raise and feed animals from “farm to fork.” This includes, learning how to butcher and process meat birds during processing days and cooking the food we raise on the farm to be eaten during our shared meals.
TRAINING SCHEDULE & QUALIFICATIONS
The typical training week for a student is five days long, 8-10 hours a day, with two days off. Physical stamina is required, along with a strong constitution. While no prior experience working on a farm is necessary, we do ask for excellent past work references, a strong desire to train, and a good sense of humor.
Students will have daily contact with farmers at morning farm meetings. Daily chores are performed alongside employees and interns in the morning and afternoons are reserved for special projects either on farm or in marketing. Skills that will hopefully be gained are developing a keen sense of awareness of your surroundings including animal behavior and health as well as forage states and general states and needs of the farm and it's people. Also team building, the ability to think on your feet, knowing when to ask for a hand, and learning how to make quick and effective decisions while maintaining a safe environment around the animals.
We do ask that students come to the farm for one month as a trial period to determine whether both the student and farm would like to move ahead with the longer term 9 month commitment.
Students accommodations are mostly dormitory style with a few private spaces reserved for longer term interns. Meals are shared with rotating cooking and cleaning shifts. The farm office has internet access as well as phones available for student use in the evening. Students have full access to bathroom and shower facilities in the main house and good hygiene is a must. We please ask that no smoking, drinking, or drugs take place on farm property during your stay.
Details of the room, board, and stipend package will be discussed during the interview process.
We are pleased that you are considering us for your farm internship and look forward to meeting you!