Deck Family Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
25362 High Pass Rd.
Junction City, Oregon, 97448

Primary Contact: Christine Deck
Secondary Contact: Nancy Barrett

Primary Phone:
    Number: 541.953.3393

Secondary Phone
    Number: 815-491-0466


Internship information
General Farm Description: Deck Family Farm is located in Western Willamette Valley. The farm is a highly diversified operation that focuses on regenerating the soil using pasture based animal systems. Owned and leased acres span approximately 300-500 acres and animal groups include Heritage Red Wattle pork, OTCO Galloway Beef, Pastured Poultry, Lamb, and a Raw Jersey milk dairy. Organic eggs, fruit, nuts, and vegetables. Deck Family farm stands on the principles of Regenerative Agriculture and sustainability in all forms; energetic, environmental, and financial. Practices currently employed include riparian exclusion and restoration, management intensive grazing, humane animal handling, reforestation and Oak Woodland plantings, nutrient management, ethical business practice and transparency. Deck Family Farm DFF practices regenerative agriculture improving soil through nutrient management systems of assessing soil needs, applying composted manures, ash, and lime. DFF employs a 7 year rotation to graze, renovate and restore pastures. Over the last 20 years the farm has put 1mile plus of riparian corridors into the Creek Restoration & Enhancement Program (CREP), performed 5 Environment Quality Incentive Programs (EQUIP) projects to sequester and compost manure on farm, and planted over 100,000 trees through the Forest Trust Program. All forage produced on farm is certified Organic with Oregon Tilth, maintains a humane handling certification with GAP, Good Animal Practices and, is American Grass-fed Certified by AGA. Deck strives to build reasonable efficiencies and economies of scale for financial resiliency while acknowledging that the lives of the animals we raise and the people we feed are all sacred. Deck Family Farm currently have three major marketing outlets. 1. Farmers Markets in Eugene and Portland 2. The Farms CSA, Full Farm CSA 3.. Wholesale accounts We build community through our farmers network that collaborate to provide products for the FFCSA. DFF runs a year-round education program for 8-10 intern/trainees and apprentices that includes a cost of living allowance, introduces trainees to neighboring farms, supports externships and on and off farm research projects. Approximately 50% of DFF graduates continue into some sector of the agriculture industry. Deck Family Farm is a multi-generational and community-oriented farm. The ideal applicant thrives in a full and rich environment of activity and diversity. The farm has open gate; policy, that welcomes visitors any day but Sunday. Deck is dedicated to being transparent in our practice and is commitment to keeping our agricultural heritage alive and relevant for our farm community and beyond.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: Immediately
Internship Ends: Applicants considered year round
Number of Internship Available: 3 openings Spring/Summer 2023. 8-10 intern/apprentice positions total
Application Deadline: Open
Minimum Length of Stay: 1 year w/ stipend, short term visits considered

Internship Details:

The goal of the Deck Family Farm intern and apprentice program is to train the next generation of farmers. The farm hosts 5-10 interns and apprentices year round. The program is immersive, highly diverse, and grounded in community. Interns participate in all aspects of animal husbandry, sales and marketing, market garden, and community building. Farm management, employees, and intern/apprentices work alongside each other. Lead enterprise managers support the learning experience of the students. Interns are part of the “Farmily”, a typical week might consist of working a farmers market, milking cows/goats, making butter, yogurt, or cheese, cracking nuts, slopping out pig stalls, helping to bring in newborn lambs, piglets, and calves into the world, running spreadsheets, attending the farmers market, feeding chickens, collecting eggs, chopping wood, harvesting fruits and vegetables, and/or preparing a meal for the community. Opportunities at Deck are only limited by the imagination.
The farm enterprises are as follows:

Raw milk dairy: Milking an average of 16-18 cows year round. The herd is held as a cooperative and owned by shareholders who pay for feed, care and milking of the herd. Butter, cheese, and yogurt along with fresh milk are produced for shareholders.

Heritage pasture-raised hazelnut-finished pork. Sows farrow in the barn in the winter. Piglets are fed raw milk from the dairy during weaning and finished on hazelnuts. We produce our pigs birth to finish.

100% Grass fed and finished Certified Organic Heritage Galloway beef. Management intensive grazing has brought greater fertility to farm pastures, and rotating crops of grains, legumes and grasses has extended our grazing season to 8-9 months of the year.

Chickens: Organic heritage layers for eggs, and roasters for meat. All chickens are out on pasture during the day and housed in chicken trailers or tractors at night to prevent predation. Chickens are grazed behind and beside, cattle. In addition to their great tasting eggs, the poultry is an integral part of breaking parasite life cycles and bringing fertility to the pastures.

Sheep: Our mixed breed flock of Cheviot, Dorset and Suffolk ewes ranges between 120-150. Lambs come in early Spring. Much of our grazing for the sheep flock is on leased Organic ground and off-site.

Vegetables: Graziers Garden provides veggies for the Full Farm CSA (FFCSA) which is housed at the farm and supplies farm members with meat, milk, eggs, veg, fruit, nuts, grains, ferments, and more. If you were interested in homesteading this would be a good enterprise in which to participate.

Marketing: The farm markets direct to customer through farmer’s markets, buying clubs, grocery stores and the farm’s Full Farm CSA (FFCSA). Farm interns participate in the marketing level of the business in addition to the farming because it is through marketing that the farm receives the resources to operate. Marketing runs the engine of revenue and drives profitability.

Deck is a for-profit business that strives to maintain a reasonable economy of scale. If you are interested in homesteading practices, we can provide some training in food preservation and community living, but our program is substantially rooted in what it takes to run a successful farm business rather than a subsistence homestead.

COMPANION PROGRAM: Homesteading and Hearth holding
Deck Family Farm is strongly rooted in community living and in the spirit of building a sustainable and healthy farming lifestyle. The hearth holding companion program to our farm intern program has its focus on homemaking and homesteading skills. This will include but not be limited to: meal preparation and clean up, household management, gardening, harvesting, canning and preserving, dairy and cheese making. Basically, all the skills needed in keeping the home hearth healthy and happy! So, if you are someone who is interested in building community, are hardworking and flexible, enjoy hearth holding and want to develop and hone this skill, give us a call.

The workday begins at 7 AM with an all farm meeting, milking, and farm chores. We break for an hour at noon and finish the day between 4 to 6PM. The work week is 5 days on 2 days off, 8-10 hours/day. We appreciate flexibility depending on the season and work load.
Accommodations are modest, either shared housing in an intern room or cabin or COB house.

We are currently offering two types of internships for the 2023-2024 season

1 year internship with room, board and stipend. Interns will rotate in at least two enterprises during the first year, usually in one of the following: Pastured Pork, Raw Jersey Dairy, Vegetables market garden, Beef Herd grazing and Management Intensive grazing, Lamb, Pastured Poultry, Marketing. Interns will rotate through as many areas of the farm as possible but personal interest, aptitude and availability plays a key role in placement. Stipend is paid in advance of the month and is meant to cover incidental expenses while in an educational program. Stipend is a total of $10,000 for the year.

Home and Hearth holding Family Life: Deck Family Farm most often has a full house of visiting family, friends, and employees. Being open to the challenges and joys of a busy household is a must. We share most meals and interns participate with family members in meal prep and clean up. Interns have full use of bathroom, shower, and laundry. We ask that folks bathe regularly, change into clean clothes while in the house, and in general practice good hygiene in respect for all household members. Family members of all ages work alongside interns and employees, while this can be an asset in terms of gaining a broader vision of farming life it can also bring challenges in terms of space, patience, and learning to work with a diversity of ages and cultures.

We love vegetables and try to have them at every meal; however, we believe that animals are an intrinsic part of a balanced healthy food system and for this reason we prefer NOT to accommodate strict vegetarian or vegan diets.

Educational Opportunities: Humane handling, rotational grazing, forage management, irrigation, fencing, milking, spreadsheets, marketing, birthing, community living, market gardening, breeding programs and basic medical treatments, farm equipment, plumbing, electric wire, visits to neighboring farms, yogurt, butter and cheese making.

Skills Desired: No experience required, however must have: a strong work ethic, ability to work long hours, ability to follow directions, willingness to work on communication skills, Interest in working with a range of cultures and ages, live in community and share community meals.

Meals: All food is provided, evening meal is family style, with all community members sharing rotating cooking and cleaning chores.

Stipend: $10,000 for 1 year internship, Room and Board included.....Second year advanced internship and apprenticeship opportunities available

Housing: Shared intern room or large canvas tents. Kitchen, bathroom and laundry access in main house.

Preferred method of Contact: Email or phone