Gray Acres Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
12273 Crawford Road
Paonia, Colorado, 81428

Primary Contact: Jacob Gray
Primary Phone:
    Number: 9707789512


Internship information
General Farm Description: We are Gray Acres, producer and processor of the largest flock of pastured broilers on the Western Slope of Colorado. After advocating the state for regulations regarding poultry processing, we built the first state-licensed facility in CO and raise 4000-5000 birds per season. Our little farm sits on 2.5 acres, but we lease 15+ acres from our neighbors and mentors at The Living Farm where we started as interns 10 years ago. We sell our birds locally at our self-serve farm store, through our friends and distributors Farm Runners, and at a few local Farmers Markets. We also milk goats, make cheese and jams, and grow a garden with various vegetables and herbs. We have several local part-time employees to help with processing and field chores. We are surrounded by several 100+ acre properties, we sit 2 miles from BLM and National Forest, and are just 3 miles away from our quaint little town of Paonia. There is lots of music and art that rolls through town, and a thriving community of folks looking to connect with the land and each other. We are home to some of the best food producers and preparers in the country, and it is the central value most of us share in the valley.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: April 15, 2023
Internship Ends: November 15, 2024
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: March 14, 2024
Minimum Length of Stay: 4 months

Internship Details:

Are you looking for a program that will teach you the ins and outs of pastured poultry production? We want to share our model of success with those who are interested in pasture-based models of animal husbandry. We run a seasonal poultry operation from April through November. Apprentice will work 5 days a week, averaging 30 hours per week. However, there are some odd hours due to the nature of our operation: late nights catching chickens, early mornings to milk and butcher, long days at farmers markets. In shoulder seasons, weeks will be lighter on work with more time to explore the area. 

Tasks to include but not limited to: daily moving of our 24 mobiles, brooder care, butchering, mobile repair, irrigation moving, goat milking, cheese-making, electric fence moving, farmers market booth operation, and construction projects. Our field chores are physically challenging, and our butcher days are a test of will, but if you think you are up to the task, please apply!

Educational Opportunities: We have an open door policy and want to share the broad concepts as well as the specifics of our program. There's no better way to learn a system than immerse yourself in it for a season or two. There are several farm non-profits in the area that hold a plethora of educational opportunities, and we are well connected in our community to help coordinate labor sharing so you can experience other operations. We are ideally looking for someone who will return over multiple years, as we both work off-farm jobs and are looking to develop a manager of our operation.

Skills Desired: Prior farm experience preferred but not required. Previous processing experience will translate to compensation. We do set a high standard and expect reliability, timeliness, and efficiency. Most farm work is repetitive and meditative. We expect those who want to join our team to be self-motivated and constantly striving for efficacy. There will be learning curves, but we value one of our most precious resources: time. Most days, the faster we work, the earlier we get off. We've developed a program that incentivizes quality over quantity.

Meals: We produce a lot of meat, and trade locally for vegetables. We will provide you the staples. There will be some shared meals(a couple of lunches and a dinner per week), but most will be separate.

Stipend: After a two week trial period, apprentice will be compensated on a sliding scale starting at $150/week. Those with proven experience will be compensated upon evaluation.

Housing: We have a modest, 1970 pull behind trailer with a bed, equipped with electricity for a mini fridge, and propane for heat and a stove top. There is a small separate room from our house with a sink, fridge, and stove top. This is where we pour up milk and make cheese, but other than once or twice per day, it can serve as a common room and cooking area if you get cramped in the small trailer. You'll have access to our guest bathroom with a shower, a small walk away. Position is through November, but there is opportunity for year-round housing depending on situation. You'll have access to our guest bathroom with a shower a short walk around the house as needed. Internship is through November, but there is opportunity for year-round housing depending on situation.

Preferred method of Contact: E-mail