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Animal/Veggie Farm Internship at Golden Eagle Organics via Rogue Farm Corps

Contact information
Farm Address:
62900 Eagle Rd
Bend, Oregon , 97701

Primary Contact: Gia Matzinger
Primary Phone:
    Number: 650-207-0879


Internship information
General Farm Description: Golden Eagle Organics is one of several host farms in the Rogue Farm Corps Internship Program. See below for more details. Golden Eagle Organics is a small suburban farm on the NE edge of Bend (Pop. 90,000+) in the high desert of Central Oregon. The farm is operated by the Lepore family: Brian, Emily, Gus and Claudia, with Brian acting as the farm manager. Emily works at St. Charles Hospital in Bend as a speech and language pathologist. Gus, age 11 and Claudia, age 9, go to school in Bend and help out occasionally. They also have one full-time employee, Gaelen, who helps in all aspects of the farm activities. The farm raises sheep and goats for meat, chickens for eggs and raises a variety of vegetables and small fruits for local consumers. They are guided by the 3-legs concept that a farm must be financially, ecologically and socially sustainable in order to continue. They began their farming adventure in 2014 as a certified-organic hay and livestock operation primarily based on a farm in Culver, OR, 25 miles from our home in Bend. In 2018, Brian and Emily made a major change in direction, sold the Culver farm and consolidated their efforts to our almost 6-acre Bend farm plus several leased pastures totaling about 20 acres, all within a few miles. Their livestock operation is Animal Welfare Approved and certified grass-fed. Because the newly leased pastures were not certified organic, it was necessary to forfeit the organic certification. In 2019, Brian and Emily added a 1/3-acre market vegetable garden including two high tunnels. They are in the process of getting the vegetable production component of the farm certified organic and are evaluating the possibility of recertifying the livestock operation, which is more challenging with leased ground. Regardless of certifications, Golden Eagle focuses on raising meat and produce in a regenerative way that builds and sustains healthy soils. They use organic fertilizers, composts, and pest management. The livestock are moved almost every day between small paddocks made using moveable electrified fencing systems. The vegetables are primarily planted, cultivated and harvested using hands and hand tools. They sell directly, at two local farmers markets, through a local produce consignment market, and to restaurants.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: 4/1-4/15/2020
Internship Ends: 10/31/2020
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: March 1
Minimum Length of Stay: 6-8 months

Internship Details:

Golden Eagle Organics is one of several host farms in the Rogue Farm Corps Internship Program. The RFC Internship Program is a full season entry-level residential program combining hands-on training and skills-based education in sustainable agriculture. As an intern, you will live and train full-time on a host farm, receiving up to 1,500 hours of on-farm training and learning in-depth skills from your mentor. Your residential farm training experience is combined with farm tours, classes, and discussion circles throughout the region, as well as opportunities for independent study. Interns are exposed to a vast array of knowledge and expertise by engaging in the daily life of vibrant, agricultural communities. Rogue Farm Corps seeks to train an inclusive next generation of farmers and encourages applicants of all backgrounds and identities to apply. See Internship Details below or visit our website at for more info on the program.

At Golden Eagle Organics, farmers Brian and Emily run a mixed animal farm. Here is how they describe the internship experience: We breed for two lambing/kidding periods, one in late winter and a second in early spring. The late winter birthing, usually in March, happens in our barn while the spring birthing happens in pasture. In the spring, we begin seeding transplants for spring crops and begin planting some crops in tunnels and under row covers. Planting continues through spring and into summer with successional planting of several crops. Spring is dominated by planting, weeding and watering the crops for the summer markets followed by summer harvesting, replanting and more weeding. Livestock care is year-round and part of daily training.

Our Rogue Farm Corps Intern will participate in all aspects of farm production with a time split of roughly 40% crop production (e.g, propagation, planting, cultivation/weeding, harvesting, processing), 20% livestock husbandry and care, 20% marketing (e.g. prepping and working farmers markets) and 20% assisting with multiple farm infrastructure projects such as building shelters, erecting and repairing fences and more. Educational aspects of the internship will be planned by Brian and facilitated by Brian and Gaelen through explanations and hands-on demonstrations.

No previous farm experience is required, but a strong work ethic and positive work references will be important. The intern will be in training 5 days a week, with some days up to 10 hours, much of which will be physically taxing. Days off will be arranged between Brian and intern. One vacation week will be allowed during the farming season and will be arranged with Brian.

One important component of the social sustainability leg of the stool is being welcoming to people of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities and gender orientation. This is internal and external to the farm. We welcome anyone interested in learning from us and we and whomever joins the farm must extend that same welcoming attitude to coworkers and customers.

Educational Opportunities: The Rogue Farm Corps Internship Program is a full season (6-8 month) entry-level residential internship program. Along with the hands-on field training you will receive from your Host Farm the Internship Program also includes classroom learning, tours of local farms, and a farm-based independent study project.

Skills Desired: It’s important for the intern to respect quiet hours. Light alcohol consumption is allowed but drunken behavior will not be tolerated. Marijuana and tobacco smoking are not allowed. Overnight guests may be allowed on a limited basis but must be cleared by us in advance. We love animals, but because we have three working dogs on the farm along with the livestock and chickens, pets are not allowed. A site visit to the farm before agreeing to internship is strongly suggested.

Meals: You will be able to harvest from the farm for your personal use and some meat, subject to availability, will be available. Also, bulk goods such as grains, beans, cooking oil, etc will be provided to the intern.

Stipend: A monthly stipend will be provided. Details will be discussed during interview.

Housing: The intern will be housed in a small RV trailer with electricity, shower, kitchenette and toilet. Parking is available although a car is not a necessity (though may be necessary to easily attend RFC events). Costco, Safeway and Whole Foods are within easy biking distance of 2.5 miles. Downtown Bend is 5 miles away.

Preferred method of Contact: email