Pastured Pig Farm Manager – Black Dog Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
Stillwater River Road
Absarokee, Montana, 59001

Primary Contact: Kira Jarosz
Primary Phone:
    Number: 4062202338


Internship information
General Farm Description: Black Dog Farm is a pasture based pork and poultry farm located in Livingston, MT. We are currently looking to move our pig operation to a leased location approximately 1.5 hours from the main farm in Absarokee, MT in order to expand and raise more pigs. We are a farrow-to-finish pork operation raising Idaho Pasture Pigs. Our pigs are slow grown to 10-11 months and are fed a locally grown and milled, soy and corn free feed. We currently butcher 80-100 pigs per year and would like to expand to 150-200 finished pigs per year and 10 sows. The vast majority of our sales are hyper-local and direct-to-consumer, with a small amount of restaurant sales in the Bozeman area. Animal welfare, taking care of the land we use, and a strong connection with our community are important principles to us.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: Flexible -- fall 2023 or spring 2024
Internship Ends: At least 2 year commitment
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: None
Minimum Length of Stay: 2 years

Internship Details:

We are looking for an experienced person to manage our pig herd in Absarokee, MT. This is not an internship position, but a salaried farm manager position. You would be responsible for daily care, feeding, and watering of the pigs; rotating pastures using electric poly wire fencing; problem solving fencing issues or pigs getting out; overseeing farrowing; monitoring the health of the pigs and treating as necessary, and all other tasks associated with running a farm. Absarokee is a very rural location with a population of approximately 400 people. The town (4 miles from the farm) has everything you may need — a grocery store, laundromat, salons, etc. and is 14 miles from the larger city of Columbus, MT. It is about 1 hour from Billings, MT which has all the large box stores and anything else you may need. Experience with rural living is strongly preferred.

Living quarters would likely be a 4 season RV until an on-farm rental house became available (currently rented to other tenants). We would make sure the RV was fully livable, newer, and comfortable. This could be a position for someone with a small family invested in this lifestyle or a single person. You must be comfortable with harsh winter living conditions — drifting snow, cold temperatures, wind, etc.

This is a unique opportunity for the right individual. We are looking for someone who knows what a hard, frustrating day of farm work entails and who can see it through until the job is done. We are looking for someone self-directed and confident in their abilities. We require good communication, patience, and an ability to problem solve. The salary is based on $20/hr and a 40 hour work week, but the job does not require 40 hours of work per week. As long as the pigs are taken care of, you have the ability to create your own schedule and fill your time how you want. There are ample opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, and any other outdoor activity you can imagine outside your door. However, you also need to be able to accomplish tasks as needed — deciding when pigs need to be moved, keeping the farm picked up and tidy, scrubbing waters, monitoring for farrowing, etc. This means you need to be flexible — you may have an activity planned that you need to reschedule because a sow begins to labor or pigs are getting out of fencing. This is a job that comes with a lifestyle and would suit someone who knows they want to raise livestock but may not have access to land or otherwise cannot have their own farm. We are looking for someone invested in our operation, committed to animal welfare and the job, and able to self-motivate and direct. Dedicated time off for travel or other overnight activities is limited and to be negotiated. We are willing to cover your job for a pre-negotiated amount of time off per year — likely 1 week plus 2 weekends or something similar. Time off needs to be viewed in the scope of the day-to-day — you have the ability to take an afternoon or entire day in between chores to recreate or do whatever else you need as long as the pigs are cared for.

We would provide the support of another employee at least 1 day per week who would travel up from the main farm for the day to help with larger projects like moving pigs, fixing shelters or fence, etc. We would also provide feed delivery and hauling of the pigs to the butcher. Ability to drive a truck and trailer and operate a skid steer are a plus, but not required. The owners would travel to the farm 1-2x per month to oversee things. However, this would be your daily operation.

In your application, please tell us why you think you would be a good fit for this position. Also tell us about yourself — your experience, your family life, your hobbies, etc.

Educational Opportunities: This is an opportunity to experience running your own operation. We are available to provide guidance and mentorship 24/7 via phone and want to continue to be involved in this wing of our farm. We want to be consulted when decisions need to be made, but also want you to be able to figure out what works best for you. We are available to come in an emergency.

Skills Desired: Experience with pigs is strongly preferred but we are willing to consider someone with experience with other livestock. 2+ years of livestock experience required. Experience with electric fencing strongly preferred.

Meals: No

Stipend: Salary of $41,600 + share of pasture raised chickens and pork

Housing: Yes -- 4 season RV until rental house becomes available

Preferred method of Contact: Email