Assistant Farm Manager – Grange Road Growers

Contact information
Farm Address:
Roger's Mesa
Hotchkiss, Colorado, 81419

Primary Contact: Laura Pfenning
Primary Phone:
    Number: 9708722231


Internship information
General Farm Description: Grange Road Growers is an increasingly diversified one acre market garden and family homestead. We enjoy beautiful views of mountains, pastures, and orchards in all directions. Although there is much more field work in the summer, we are beginning to grow almost year-round with the addition of four high tunnels. We primarily sell vegetables to a local wholesaler and a farmer's market with online ordering and in-person pick-up. We also grow regionally adapted seeds for a seed company in the area. Meet the Farm Managers This is our third year farming together at this location. We are a couple, Chris and Laura, who each had experience farming before we met. Laura became interested in gardening in high school by volunteering at a membership-based farm in Fort Collins, CO. She studied Organic Agriculture at CSU and then worked on several farms after college in Maine, upstate New York, and Colorado to learn different styles of farming. In between farming, she taught elementary school for three years, but she now prefers to teach motivated learners how to farm, and applies her organizational skills to the planning of plantings. Chris found farming through natural building work in SE Ohio, where he worked for someone who used draft horses both for logging and in the builder's large home garden. Chris became inspired by this family's self-sufficient lifestyle, as he had always cared about quality work and found it lacking in the modern world. Chris transitioned from logging and building to farming by interning on two small farms in Paonia before taking on the responsibility of running his own farm. Chris brings to the farm a high standard of quality, attention to detail, a sense of humor, strength, and a passion for finding the right tool for every task. Growing Methods We use a human-scale style of farming and no-till practices as much as possible to build structure and life in the soil, to keep the ground covered, and to keep weed seeds from surfacing. To prepare the soil, our current protocol is to clear any remaining rocks or disrupting plant debris from the surface, broadfork, spread organic amendments and peat moss, and harrow the top inch to create a light and even bed for seeding. We are working towards even less tillage and more mulching with wood chips or cover crops. For most crops, we start seeds in the greenhouse and transplant to the field to give the plants a head start competing with weeds. Between planting and harvest, there is a lot of cultivating and irrigation to be done. When a crop has been harvested, we usually mow what's left, water, cover it with a silage tarp, and let earth worms, etc do the rest of the work breaking down the organic matter. We are transitioning towards cover cropping and rotating animals to build soil fertility, rather than purchasing inputs. We use several pest management strategies to avoid spraying chemicals, as well as shade cloth, row covers, hoop houses, and variety trialing to produce the best tasting vegetables possible in all kinds of harsh weather conditions. Western Colorado has a fairly long growing season with somewhat mild and sunny winters. The summers are usually dry and require regular irrigation, but we have fewer pest and disease problems than more humid climates.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: April 1, 2024
Internship Ends: November 25, 2024
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: March 15, 2024
Minimum Length of Stay: 6 months

Internship Details:

You may be the right candidate for this position if you are self-motivated and one of your primary focuses in life right now is to learn how to farm.  You love good food, hard work, being self-reliant, producing something tangible for your community, a lifestyle dependent on daylight and influenced by the seasons, being outside, going to bed early, feeling alive and connected, and the friendships that develop around these values.

Either you envision yourself starting your own farm, becoming a farm manager, or you are open to taking on more and more of a leadership role with us as we grow our farm.  Maybe you have a special interest, such as animal husbandry, cover cropping, irrigation, seed saving, leading a harvest crew, or even organizing a kids camp, and after a year of doing a little bit of everything you want to discuss a more specialized job for yourself here.Ideally you have 1-2 years of experience working on another vegetable farm, but we will consider highly motivated applicants whose only experience is backyard gardening.  A 1 bedroom/ 1 bathroom apartment is available for on-farm housing.  If a couple applies, one person may apply for this role and the other interview for part-time work during the summer consisting of weeding, harvesting, and washing vegetables.

Seasonal Work Schedule and Compensation
Work can be nearly year-round if needed, but is usually April through November, Monday- Thursday.  Work days are longer in the summer.  During the Spring and late Fall you would be working with either Laura or Chris, or independently.  During the summer you may be working alongside a couple of other part-time workers and would be expected to be a good example for the rest of the crew by working quickly, being attentive, and having a positive attitude.  Everyone shares in most of the tasks to keep the work balanced.  Our weekly schedule generally includes two harvest days and two field days.  Field work is either preparing beds, transplanting, or weeding.  Harvest days require a speedy morning harvest while it’s cool, followed by washing produce and packing orders in the wash station.  Pay starts at $15/ hr, plus fresh vegetables from the farm, and will be renegotiated at the end of the season.  On-farm housing (including utilities, washer/ dryer access, internet and trash pick-up) is offered for $550/ month.  We prefer that you live on-site.  We will also give an end-of-the-year bonus of $350 if you stay through November (taking 1-2 weeks off during the season is fine as long as enough notice is given).Desired Qualifications 


  • 1-2 years full time farming experience on a mostly human-powered organic vegetable farm (best if previous experience includes multiple types of weeding with hand tools, harvesting and making consistent bunch sizes, and post-harvest handling; preferable to have experience irrigating, seeding and transplanting as well).
  • Comfortable using battery powered hand tools for assisting with simple construction projects.

Physical Fitness

  • Healthy, physically fit, strong hands for weeding, able to lift 50 lbs, and have the back and leg strength to weed or harvest without sitting down as you move down a garden bed.
  • Can do detailed and tedious work like thinning carrots.


  • Positive attitude: ability to press through discouragement and creatively find solutions.
  • Motivated to learn our farming methods (there are many ways to farm but we have found methods that work for our scale and growing conditions).
  • A good learner: remembers things and is curious, pays attention to instructions,
  • Present and Perceptive: notices signs that a plant or tool or the soil is giving that should change the way a task is done.
  • Integrity and self-motivation: produces the same quality of work while working alone as with a manager or crew.
  • Emotionally mature and works well with others.  Able to communicate clearly and adequately, work through conflict respectfully, and carry on a conversation while working as a group without slowing down or losing focus on the task.
  • Organizational skills: brings the tools, supplies, and personal belongings needed for several hours in the field without wasting time making multiple trips back to the house/ shed.
  • Patient: has mental endurance to do a repetitive task for multiple hours, or to pick the same bed of tomatoes every 3 days.
  • Honest and responsible: reports mistakes and makes an effort to fix them.
  • Completes jobs, takes initiative to notice what needs done next or to ask for direction.
  • Trustworthy: the type of person we can trust to take good care of all aspects of the farm while we take off for a week to visit family in another state.
  • Leadership skills (are a bonus): can communicate clear instructions to workers or volunteers and give helpful feedback or correction, able to motivate workers and keep the morale high.


  • Flexible to work extra one day to finish a task and stop early another day (although we will generally keep a routine weekly schedule that only changes seasonally).
  • Willing to work outside in somewhat harsh weather conditions (windy spring days, 95 degree hot and dry days, in rain or snow if a harvest requires it). Comes prepared for the weather to change in an instant.



  • Work quickly and carefully and set the pace for other workers: soil preparation, moving tarps, seeding, planting, weeding, watering, harvesting, washing/ packing vegetables, seed cleaning.
  • Possibly assist with local deliveries.
  • Share greenhouse watering and animal chores.
  • Fix problems when you see them.
  • Come to work well rested.
  • Respect farm managers and the farm by not taking excessive personal phone calls or texts during work hours, or taking frequent breaks.
  • Farm sit 1-2 weeks per year during slower part of the season if you live here year-round
  • Visit the farm for an in-person interview and tour after an initial phone interview.
  • Complete a two week paid working interview (trial period for both you and us).

COMPENSATION: $15/hr, plus produce from the farm and discounted housing



Send us a resume and cover letter that helps us get to know you, your experience, your interests, and what you can bring to the farm .  List 2-3 references, preferably people you’ve worked for.  Include in your cover letter answers to the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in Grange Road Growers and this position?  How did you become interested in farming?
  • What experience do you have that has prepared you for this type of work?
  • What are your goals related to agriculture?
  • How do you take care of yourself to have endurance for a long season of hard work, both physically and in other ways? What refreshes you and re-energizes you?
  • What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are you looking for in a farm, a farm manager, and a team?  Is there anything specific that you are hoping to experience or learn from us?
  • What are your hobbies or interests outside of farming, or is there anything else you’d like to share about yourself?


March 15, 2024

Educational Opportunities: See Internship Description and Farming Methods.

Skills Desired: See Requirements.

Meals: Prepared meals are not provided, but workers can take a share of the farm's produce each week.

Stipend: Yes.

Housing: Yes.

Preferred method of Contact: Email