Leadership Apprenticeship – Dickinson College Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
553 Park Drive
Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, 17007

Primary Contact: Dickinson College Farm
Secondary Contact: Will Nelson

Primary Phone:
    Number: 7172451969
    Email: halpinj@dickinson.edu

    Email: nelsonw@dickinson.edu

Website: http://www.dickinson.edu/farm

Internship information
General Farm Description: Dickinson’s College Farm is an eighty-acre, USDA-certified organic farm and a living laboratory where students can gain distinctive, hands-on learning experiences. It is located in Boiling Springs, PA.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: Mid-Late May 2023
Internship Ends: Late November 2023
Number of Internship Available: 6
Application Deadline: Applications are reviewed as they are received. Final deadline for the Dickinson College Farm 2023 Apprenticeship Program is February 24th, 2023.
Minimum Length of Stay: Duration of internship

Internship Details:

The Dickinson College Farm Leadership Training Apprenticeship offers a unique opportunity for full-time employment rooted in hands-on learning. This six-month farm-based position is geared toward building professional skill sets in project management, group leadership, technical know-how, and networking within the context of an educational production farm. The position runs from May until late November 2023 and includes a competitive hourly pay plus on-farm, off-grid housing, and amenities. Activities at the 90-acre farm include certified organic vegetable production (ten acres), grass-fed beef, lamb, and laying hens, renewable energy systems, composting, and regenerative agriculture and agroecology research.

As an apprentice, you will gain the skills, experience, and knowledge needed to advance toward leadership roles within this professional arena. In addition to farm-specific training, this experience is applicable to furthering academic studies and employment opportunities related to food systems, sustainability, and education.

More details on the 2023 Farm-Based Leadership Apprenticeship and an application can be found at

Educational Opportunities: Yes. many. Please go to https://blogs.dickinson.edu/farm/apprentices/ for more details.

Skills Desired: Work Responsibilities – Vegetable Production focused track: The farm plants about ten acres of certified organic vegetables for sale through our CSA (co-op), the College dining hall, farm store, value added product line and donation to the food bank. Major activities under the veg track include seedling production in the greenhouses, planting, crop care (weeding, trellising, covering, irrigation, pest management), harvesting, produce wash and pack, food preservation, and pizza production at farmers market. Daily work for all veg apprentices will vary within the above activities depending on the season and the needs of the farm. The veg production team is larger than the livestock group – about ten people in summer and four to six in fall. Each apprentice will be assigned an area(s) of responsibility at the farm in addition to the day to day workload. These responsibilities are designed to give each apprentice “ownership” of a particular aspect of the farm operation. Some of the responsibilities require daily attention while others need only weekly oversight though continual attention to detail remains essential. Examples of focused areas of responsibility for veg track apprentices include irrigation, crew leaders/harvest leader, farmers’ market manager, machine operations, education assistant, foodservice events, and packing house assistant. Work Responsibilities – Livestock and Bioenergy focused track: The farm raises grass fed beef cattle (10-20 animals), grass fed sheep for lambs and wool (20-40 animals) and pastured laying hens for eggs (~40 hens). The sheep and cattle are certified grass-fed and Animal Welfare Approved reflecting our efforts at humane and sustainable management practices. The livestock area also overlaps with food waste management for the farm’s compost and bioenergy initiatives. Food waste from Dickinson campus and several local commercial entities is brought to the farm on a regular basis for conversion to soil improving compost and/or renewable energy through the farm’s biogas system. In 2023 the farm will construct a commercial food waste and manure digester to generate renewable electricity from these waste streams. Daily activities of the livestock and bioenergy apprentice will include feeding, watering, and moving animals, and assisting with food waste management. Regularly occurring activities will include animal handling, preventative veterinary care, care for acute health issues, fence construction and maintenance, washing eggs, packing meat orders, recording animal and pasture data, handling food waste, turning compost piles, and applying compost to fields. The livestock and bioenergy apprentice will also help with care, feeding and maintenance of the new waste to energy biodigester. The apprentice will be trained to operate tractors and loaders needed to accomplish their responsibilities. The livestock team is small, consisting of the livestock manager (Matt), livestock apprentice (you), and 1-2 student helpers. Applicants should be prepared to work alone or in small groups. Attention to detail, flexibility, communication skills and self-motivation are key to success in this role. Livestock also presents the opportunity (and need) for flexible scheduling – for example doing some evening work during lambing season or when animal health emergencies arise and sharing weekend animal care responsibilities. Hours worked outside of the normal weekday schedule described below will be compensated with time off (normally) or overtime (limited).

Meals: No, however, food raised on the farm is up for grabs to our apprentices, including free produce and discounted access to retail items such as meat and eggs from the farm.

Stipend: Yes. More details on the 2023 Farm-Based Leadership Apprenticeship and an application can be found at https://blogs.dickinson.edu/farm/apprentices/

Housing: In addition to earning an hourly pay wage, apprentices are provided housing in one of the farm’s yurts which are rustic but fully furnished. Apprentices will share a kitchen, common room, and bathroom facility. The farm provides free wifi, utilities, and household necessities such as toilet paper and cleaning products. Once the season is up and running, each apprentice is allowed one week of unpaid vacation to be scheduled over the summer, as well as the occasional long weekend when personal needs arise and the farm schedule permits.

Preferred method of Contact: email