The primary learning objective of our apprenticeship is to offer hands-on experiences in modern sustainable agriculture, direct marketing, and following food from field to plate in our farm kitchen. Apprentices participate on a team that includes farm managers and a variety of seasonal staff. Our goal is to provide hands-on harvest, farm guest interactions, and farm kitchen experience useful to an aspiring market farmer, community dietitian, chef embracing farm cuisine, and/or farm and food educator.
Apprentice position will incorporate both our Harvest-Your-Own operations and production kitchen:
Harvest Your Own, strawberry, blueberry, pumpkin and Christmas tree seasons: major responsibilities include harvest-your-own guest supervision, direct marketing operations (farm educator, sales), and farm maintenance tasks necessary for inviting guests onto our farm (such as cleaning, painting etc). Apprentices will gain an understanding of our diversified farming operations through hands-on field experiences (planting, weeding, harvesting, etc).
In the Kitchen: gain an understanding of production kitchen management and record keeping while also learning about commercial food sanitation practices as a key member of our farm kitchen team. Projects include cooking with and preserving seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as baking cookies and sweet treats for our Winery and Harvest-Your-Own guests. Apprentices also have the opportunity to share their experiences and learn alongside our guests while assisting with our Summer cooking classes.
Desired Traits and Skills:
- We are looking for individuals with a sincere and strong interest in food and where it comes from. A college degree is preferred.
- Preference will be given to applicants with experience working in the field of agriculture, outdoor education, food preparation, nutrition or dietetics; however, applicants who have some background in food systems or experiential education are also encouraged to apply.
- Applicants should be self-motivated, reliable, responsible, flexible, and communicative – both verbal and written.
- Apprentices must be in good physical health, able to lift 50 pounds, be willing to do a variety of different tasks, and able to work in all weather conditions including cold, rain and extreme heat.
- Being a team player and having a positive attitude and sense of humor is critical. We are looking for someone who works well independently as well as with teams, and able to learn quickly while supporting Jones farming methods. We are committed to teaching and learning through doing and we want our apprentices to be equally on board.
Farm Environmental Facts:
- Physical work is strenuous and of long duration.
- May spend long periods of time standing, walking, bending or crouching. Many tasks on a farm require repetitive motions (i.e. weeding).
- Prolonged outdoor exposure – possibly in hot, freezing or inclement weather.
- Awareness that visiting guests and their farm expectations shape our work environment and require a constant attention to politeness and cleanliness.
- Work hours vary based on the conditions of Mother Nature and the harvest realities.
- On-farm education will happen through structured lessons as well as through project-oriented instruction.
- Our on-farm education will be complemented by the apprentice’s participation in the Western Connecticut Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) program, which requires traveling to other farms in the region.
- Field trips to other farms and educational events will be encouraged, based on apprentices’ interest area.
- Apprentices will have access to the farm library with opportunities for discussion with farm managers, and will be encouraged to research and learn on their own.
Could start as early as April, although a flexible start date can be accommodated for the right candidate (no later than May 20). Full-time commitment to the farm will be expected through December 23, with 2 extended weekends off between our busy HYO seasons (typically in early September & early November). This apprenticeship opportunity has the potential to continue to a second, more focused year of farm experiences or possibly year-round farm employment.
The work schedule varies depending on the season, with apprentices working 40 to 50 hours per week, including many weekend and holiday hours. Compensation includes a room in an on-farm house with modern amenities, a biweekly stipend, and produce when available. Jones Family Farms provides health insurance through Worker’s Compensation for on farm incidents, but personal health insurance must be provided by the applicant. Apprentices must provide their own transportation.
Please submit a letter of intent addressing why you want to work on a farm, what you hope to learn through a harvest to table apprenticeship, and how your past experiences have prepared you for working with our farm and kitchen. Please also include a resume that summarizes your relevant experiences, 3 professional references, and an unofficial college transcript. An on-farm visit is required as part of the interview process. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.
Apprenticeship [at] jonesfamilyfarms.com
Jones Family Farms
Attn: Emily Freund
606 Walnut Tree Hill Rd
Shelton, CT 06484