Milking & Cheesemaking Support

Contact information
Farm Address:
115 Harmon Dairy Lane
Columbus, North Carolina, 28722

Primary Contact: Jennifer Perkins
Secondary Contact: Doyle A Perkins

Primary Phone:
    Number: 8284580088

Secondary Phone
    Number: 828-458-4715



Internship information
General Farm Description: Looking Glass Creamery is a small, family run farmstead cow dairy and cheesemaking operation located on 226 acres in Western North Carolina. We started as an artisan cheesemaker in 2009 then transitioned to farmstead with the purchase of a dairy farm in 2018. We transitioned to seasonal in 2020 and milk about 25-30 cows from February to November and process all the milk on the farm into cheese. We have 2100 square foot production space and 1,000 square feet of subterranean cellars where we age the cheese. The farm is predominantly pasture and hayfields and some wooded area's. We grow all our own hay and plant a six acre sunflower field for agri-tourism. We operate a farmstore that is open year round where we do light food service and retail our cheese and line of pickles and jam. We operate a small kitchen garden by the Farm Store. All our cows are bred and born on the farm and we raise up our replacement heifers along with some beef cross steers.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: May 15, 2024
Internship Ends: August 30, 2024
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: April 25, 2024
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months

Internship Details:

We are looking for someone who is willing to help in all areas of the business but whose primary focus would be supporting operations in the creamery (approximately 24 hours a week) and milking cows 2-3 times a week (approximately 6 hours a week) in the afternoon with a seasoned milker. In the Creamery, you would be assisting with all steps in the cheesemaking process from renneting and culturing to cutting curd, packing molds, loading the press, salting or brining cheeses and helping wash lots of equipment. Work within the cellar as needed brushing, washing, and turning wheels. Assist with order processing such as cutting wheels, packaging for wholesale customers and cutting wedges, vacuum sealing and labeling for markets and our store. This person will support our pickling and jam making as needed with fruit and vegetable prep and processing as well as packing jars, labeling, filling cases.  The intern will assist with milking from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm several afternoons. This work includes rounding up the cows (approximately 25 milkers) on a 4 wheeler, setting up a pipeline system for milking or washing, cleaning and prepping udders, attaching inflations, milking, system breakdown and cleaning. You would be working with experienced people in both the creamery and in the dairy parlor.

Educational Opportunities: Learn all about dairy cows, operating a pipeline milking parlor, value added processing, cheesemaking and aging, packaging, distribution and small scale agritourism and onsite direct to consumer sales. Equipment we use: Pipeline parlor with Surge system, two Van-Riet cheesemaking vats, chamber vacuum sealers, COP tank, boiler, chiller, John Deer 5220, 4-wheelers, ToolKat, haybine, tedder, Claas baler.

Skills Desired: No specific skills are required, we will teach you what you need to know about dairy farming and cheesemaking. A good attitude and strong work ethic goes a long way. Some experience in food service and basic understanding of sanitation and a willingness to adhere to strict standards and guidelines for food handling is helpful. Previous farm/livestock/tractor operation skills a plus but not required. Willingness to work hard with a small team of people and be able to change gears and switch between tasks as needed. We have a lot going on here and everyone has their focus but is willing to jump in and help out in other area's when it is needed. The focus of the internship would be creamery support with the majority of time spent in this area, but our intern needs to be willing to help out in whatever area is in need of support and that may be in the farm store, garden, dairy or general farm work etc.

Meals: No but intern has a weekly share of farm produce, eggs and cheese. Beef and other products at the store can be purchased for the employee 20% discount.

Stipend: Stipend is $1,200 a month. Intern will have 2 consecutive days off and be expected to work approximately 30 hours over the other 5 days. Schedule will be fixed once it is worked out with intern. No early mornings, afternoons can go to 6:30pm on nights working in the dairy parlor. Cheesemaking days will be finished by 4pm or so.

Housing: Yes. We have 29 foot Fleetwood RV with full kitchen, queen bed, typical RV bathroom with flush toilet hooked up to a septic system along with Air Conditioning. All utilities are provided with the exception of propane which is used for cooking. The intern will need to refill the 20lb propane tank as needed for the stove.

Preferred method of Contact: Email