Terra Farma sits on 10 acres of rolling hillside at the western end of the spectacular Columbia River Gorge, just minutes outside the Portland metropolitan area and equally close to the tremendous recreation possibilities the Gorge has to offer. The human side of Terra Farma consists of Mike and Linda, who have been farming here since 2004. We feel like we are a good example of a successful farm that was created with very little outside help, financial or otherwise. We had no farming experience when we purchased our property in 2001, and we’ve been able to bootstrap and finance everything on the farm as we grew. We hope that lessons we’ve learned can help other new farmers become established.
On the land and animal side, most of the property is pasture, but there is a wooded riparian area along Smith Creek, as well as a small orchard. Our primary focus is livestock, and we currently have 3 dairy cows and up to 6 goats that are used for raw milk production (plus some additional members of the herd that are not milked). There are about 150 hens for eggs, 800 broilers per year that we process on-farm in five batches of 150 each, 60 turkeys processed at Thanksgiving, plus 2 breeding sows, 15 butcher hogs, and a small flock of rabbits.
RESPONSIBILITIES & TRAINING SCHEDULE
We anticipate that a Rogue Farm Corps intern would participate in all aspects of our farm’s production:
- Learning to milk the cows and goats
- Brooding chicks
- On-farm processing of poultry and rabbits
- Basic healthcare for all types of animals we raise
- Construction projects
- Basic tractor skills
We expect 40-hours of training per week, though hours per day may vary seasonally with fewer hours in early spring and some longer days in mid to late summer. We would expect to train alongside the intern much of the time, with the goal of the intern being able to perform most tasks independently by the middle to end of the season.
We would like to find someone who has at least some experience with large animals, it doesn’t have to be extensive, but at least enough to know that you are comfortable working around them. As mentioned, we do process poultry here on the farm, and the intern would be expected to participate in that. Processing experience is not required, but a willing and open mind is required. We’d like to get an intern in by late March or early April to coincide with the beginning of the pasture growing season, and then hope they would stay at least through the end of October.
We have a small vintage travel trailer for the intern to live in; it’s been completely refurbished, is very cute, and comes equipped with a stove, mini-fridge, heater, fresh water, and toilet. The facilities at our farmhouse would be accessible as well; shower, full kitchen, laundry, wi-fi, etc. Meal sharing would be worked out on an individual basis, but we envision a mixture of some shared meals with shared preparation and clean-up responsibilities and some meals prepared separately. Details of the room, board, and stipend package will be discussed during the interview process.