Apprentice – Nella Mae’s Farm
Last Updated On: January 31st, 2023 at 07:39AM MST
Contact informationFarm Address:
69361 Antles Lane
Cove, Oregon, 97824
Primary Contact: Sachin
Internship informationGeneral Farm Description: Nella Mae’s Farm is a produce farm managed with low-till, regenerative and holistic practices. Depending on the year, we also raise a few beef for market or graze our neighbors steers. We sell at our on-farm farmstand, the La Grande Farmers Market, several retail outlets, one CSA, and six restaurants in two counties. Nella Mae’s Farm is at the base of the Wallowa Mountains in northeast Oregon. We have woods and wildlife habitat on our place and farm and graze five acres. Our farm is just outside the “city” of Cove, population 500. Cove is on the east side of the Grande Ronde Valley, population 26,000, one of the largest round valleys in the world. While this is technically high desert, the snow melt, rivers and a high water table make this place rich for agriculture. We also face a short spring, extreme temperature swings in the summer, and increasingly variable weather. We are learning to adapt every year. Nella Mae’s philosophy is influenced primarily by Holistic Management, lean farming, no/low-till practices, and by agricultural and soil science. The farm’s purpose is to feed our community, build soil, and enhance the wellbeing of the land and those who tend it.
CRAFT Member Farm? No
Internship Starts: 4/1/2023
Internship Ends: 10/31/2023
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: Rolling (but early applications recommended)
Minimum Length of Stay: 3 months
Skills taught at the farm include seed starting, transplanting, direct seeding, harvesting, produce processing, marketing, use of equipment, farm business management skills, sales, and customer service. I am an open book on finances and believe every farmer should understand how to use Quickbooks and budgeting tools.
An apprentice at the farm will have the opportunity to go as deep as they are interested in learning marketing, business, and staff management as well as the best practices on propagation, harvest, food safety, soil care, irrigation, plumbing, light construction, and the importance of developing a farm network.
Note: All Rogue Farm Corps apprentices are paid minimum wage by their host farm, and are enrolled in the Beginning Farmer Educational Event Series.
Educational Opportunities: Training is integrated into work. We learn by doing and discuss things in more depth during lunch. Teaching and farming are linked in every activity on the farm. In the past, depending on employee or intern interest, we take hour lunches to discuss finances, bookkeeping, no-till practices, etc. Every day at lunch is our check-in time. The rest of the training happens each morning as we plan out the day together, walk the fields, and review best practices. Discussion happens in real time while we work together. I work side by side with others on the farm for 80-90 percent of the day and talk in depth about ag practices, books, why we do things the way we do them, and how we got here.
Skills Desired: We are looking for a hard-working, self-motivated person who is able to communicate in a timely, direct manner and ask questions. An apprentice must be able to work quickly and deftly with their hands. This person must be able to follow directions of the farm manager and provide constructive feedback about operations. Attention to detail and adherence to our food safety procedures is critical. Applicants should be ready for physical work and to lift 30lbs regularly. They should also be able to work outside in all weather conditions from rain to heat. We invite a person of any skill level to apply for as long as they are excited to learn about farming and work outside.
Meals: Hot lunch on harvest days (Tuesday & Friday.) All the produce you can eat and preserve. Use of farm kitchen for food/preservation projects.
Stipend: Compensation is $15/hour plus reimbursement of RFC tuition if/when season is completed. Very flexible schedule for time off.
Housing: An 8x20 tiny house with electricity, wood heat, propane cook stove, and outhouse is available for apprentice housing. Shower is available in the main farm building. Rent is $250 per month. Pets are available on a case-by-case basis. The tiny house is private from the main farm house, separated by a creek line. Wifi is available at the farm, but not at the tiny house. Apprentice will have access to the farm office for wifi, on-line meetings, watching movies, etc. There is cell service throughout the farm. Apprentice would be responsible for their own meals except crew lunches. Wood is provided for the wood stove in the tiny house.
Preferred method of Contact: Email