Grassroots Farm & Dairy

Contact information
Farm Address:
538 Graham Rd
Marshall, North Carolina, 28753

Primary Contact: Andrea Van Gunst
Secondary Contact: Tim Gallaugher

Primary Phone:
    Number: 828.545.9202

Secondary Phone
    Number: 828.545.4619



Internship information
General Farm Description: We run a small-scale sheep dairy just outside Marshall and we currently sell raw sheep milk, Grade A sheep milk yogurt, fresh sheep milk cheese, lamb, sheepskins and wool bedding at four weekly tailgate markets in Asheville and Black Mountain. We also sell raw milk through a herdshare program for on-farm and in town pick ups. We milk 50 ewes from March 15th to October 1st and in the spring we have close to 100 lambs. We keep about 15 ewe lambs as replacement milkers and we raise out 30 boys as market lambs for meat and skins. We graze our flocks intensively and we use whole grain non-GMO feed to supplement their diet in the milking season. Work on a dairy is quite different from work on a vegetable operation. We don’t have “crew days” where everyone works together. Quite often you will be working by yourself or with one other person, carrying out tasks that can be seen as quite repetitive. We are a small team and we (the farm owners) also juggle 2 small children and 1 off-farm job. You need to be sure that you both enjoy working alone and that you can stay focused and productive while working alone. We are very transparent about all parts of the farm and we want you to feel comfortable asking us questions about how things run! We are also a relatively new farm (this will be our 6th full season in production) so there are still a lot of figuring things out on the fly. Your patience with this process and your ability to communicate openly about what works and what doesn’t is essential.

CRAFT Member Farm? Yes

Internship Starts: March 15
Internship Ends: Dec 1
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: none
Minimum Length of Stay: 9 months

Internship Details:

This position is from March 15th – December 1st. You can expect to work no more than 40 hours / week in the height of the season and fewer hours in late fall. During lambing and at the start of milking (mid March thru mid April) you may be working up to 50 hours / week, as learning to milk requires a lot of training shifts.

The work will be made up of several milking shifts – we milk twice a day (6 a.m. and 5 p.m.) every day from mid-March through Sept 15th and we milk once a day from Sept 15th to October 10th. Milking requires a lot of attention to detail, patience, responsibility to a schedule and willingness to find value in repetitive work – please apply only if you’re up for this! We have large guardian dogs that live in with our different flocks and we have a border collie that moves the milking flock. We will train you on the basics of working with our border collie and he will be your daily helper bringing the flock in and out of the fields for milking. You will also be running 1 – 2 tailgate markets/week (Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon or Saturday morning). Market requires you to be super personable, on-time and fluent in all aspects of the farm. You need to be good at record keeping and math as well.

Our goal is to give you a full experience of what it means to run a dairy farm with a farmstead creamery. As such your work will be a mix of kitchen work, field work, milking and markets. Kitchen work involves packaging soft cheese, bottling milk, jarring yogurt and labeling. Field work involves morning and evening chores, helping us move fencing, flock health checks and weed eating. We are still building permanent fences so we continue to use a lot of temporary net fencing for our 2 different flocks. Fencing work on our terrain is hard! You need to be up for hiking steep hills dealing with fencing that loves to tangle and exasperate. A sense of humor and a desire to be in very good shape is a must.

You get 2 days off / week but in the busy part of the year those days off may not be back to back. You get 1 week of paid vacation time (5 work days). We ask that no one take vacation days before July 1st as the spring is quite busy. We require clear communication well in advance of requested days off. Please be ready and willing to work weekends.

Please email me for an application –

Educational Opportunities: We are an active member of the CRAFT program and we support our workers in being able to participate in all aspects of this program. We are well connected in the local farming community and are happy to connect workers with any other farms in the area should they wish to learn more about other farm enterprises.

Skills Desired: Our ideal candidate would have dairy experience (doesn't have to be with sheep) and manual labor experience. This position is also very strenuous on certain days and we work in all types of weather so it is important that you love to be outside and that you have a great attitude about hard work.

Meals: We do not provide meals.

Stipend: First year: We pay first year workers $1,200 / month. This position also comes with housing, utilities (we pay up to $50 / month) and farm food (you’re given 1 dozen eggs, 1 gallon raw milk, 2 quarts yogurt and 1 type of cheese each week. When we have lamb it can be purchased at a 15% discount). We pay second year workers $1,400 / month. Housing, utilities (up to $50 /month) and food still included.

Housing: We have a large RV and a 40' skoolie. Both of these living spaces are on flat land by the creek with a separate driveway from our house. The RV has a wood-burning stove to keep it cozy in the colder months. There are established communal garden beds if you’re interested to grow your own veggies. There is wifi in both of these dwellings and there is a shared washer/dryer up at the barn. The farm is on a small dead-end road and we’re all very friendly social folk. We have gatherings through the summer and we all rely on one another for help. The town of Marshall is about 15 minutes away and Hot Springs and Asheville are both 30 minutes away. You will best enjoy your time here if you have your own car.

Preferred method of Contact: email or phone