McPherson Farms Apprentice

Contact information
Farm Address:
13555 Tingley Lane
Klamath Falls, Oregon, 97603

Primary Contact: Nitza Bernard
Primary Phone:
    Number: 818-269-9036



Internship information
General Farm Description: McPherson Farms sits on 750 acres just outside of Midland, a small community 10 miles south of Klamath Falls, Oregon. Our farm is run by Josh and his mom, Jani, with help from his wife, Marlena, and one part-time employee during the summer months. We raise hay, cattle, hogs, and grain on our farm. We butcher a small number of our cattle and all our hogs to sell meat direct-to-consumer through our farm store, the local farmers market, and online marketplace under our brand “McPherson’s High Desert Highlands.” Our hay is sold locally with a limited number of deliveries and most of our calves are sold at the local auction yard. Our farm is somewhere between conventional and regenerative. Most of our labor involves tractors and other machines. We practice no-till cultivation where possible, manage our cattle with rotational grazing, and utilize cover crops to improve soil health. We strive through our work to maintain both a healthy ecosystem and a productive farm to the best of our ability. Our area is defined by open farmland with the Cascade Mountains to the west and desert hills to the east. Our farm is in the Pacific Flyway, near several National Wildlife Refuges, providing an important rest area for migratory birds. It is a home for many different species including sandhill cranes, eagles, hawks, coyotes, and the occasional badger or weasel. There are many opportunities for outdoor recreation such as hiking, biking, and fishing within a short drive. Our community is one of family farmers who are generous and look out for each other. McPherson Farms has operated since 1980, when the McPhersons bought their property. Josh was raised on the farm and has been helping run it his whole life. He has managed irrigation, operated equipment, and helped manage cattle for 25 years. Over that time he has taken over management of the farm. He has long term experience in farm planning, accounting, crop establishment, irrigation, grazing management, crop harvest, livestock care, equipment repairs, and direct-to-consumer sales. He graduated with a degree in geography with minors in philosophy and land use planning. Josh believes that farming can be a way to make the world better by rediscovering traditional practices and embracing new farming methods. This helps integrate our farm with the landscape while still providing for our family and the community. As such, our farm is and may always be a work in progress. We would like to host an apprentice to pass our skills and knowledge to the next generation of farmers. We have opportunities on our farm to learn through work and experience, the same way Josh did growing up. It would be nice to spend time training someone who wants to participate in all aspects of farming and is eager to learn.

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: 4/15/23
Internship Ends: 9/15/23
Number of Internship Available: 1
Application Deadline: Rolling applications until early to mid-March
Minimum Length of Stay: 500 training hours (~3-4 months minimum)

Internship Details:

An Apprenticeship at McPherson Farms is part of the Rogue Farm Corps beginning farmer training program. Hands-on field training at the Host Farm is complemented by a series of classes, farm tours, discussions, and networking events organized by Rogue Farm Corps.

Apprentices join other beginning farmers for an Educational Event Series facilitated by Rogue Farm Corps.

The full event series includes:
24 classes focused on foundational sustainable agriculture concepts, skills, and the food system.
7-10 farm tours which showcase practical skills and individual farmers’ stories and provide insight into diverse production and marketing systems.
3-5 discussion circles with topics including Food Justice / Food Sovereignty, and Next Steps for Beginning Farmers.

RFC strives to make all educational events inclusive and welcoming to people from all backgrounds and identities. Classes, tours, and discussions are led by Rogue Farm Corps staff, agricultural professionals, and expert farmworkers/farmers.

For more information on these events, please visit our event series page and sample schedule.

Apprenticeship applications are accepted on the Rogue Farm Corps website on a rolling basis until positions are filled (usually by early-mid March), but early applications are considered first. Approved applications are passed onto the host farmer. McPherson will decide which applicants to interview and offer placements to.

Rogue Farm Corps seeks to train an inclusive next generation of farmers and encourages applicants of all backgrounds and identities to apply.

Educational Opportunities: The apprentice will learn irrigation management and maintenance for hand line, wheel lines, pivots, and flood irrigation. They will learn to construct and maintain both electric and wire fences for livestock. They will help provide daily care for cattle and pigs, as well as how to manage grazing cattle in a rotational system. They will help fulfill online sales and help operate a booth at the farmers market for direct to consumer sales every one to two weeks. They will help plant and establish forage and cover crops. They will help with basic maintenance and operation of farm equipment based on their own comfort and skill level. They will help with the planning and budgeting for one crop from planting to harvest. We are part of an active community of family farmers and ranchers and will help the apprentice meet local farmers and coordinate visits to other farms approximately once a month. We will include opportunities to participate in farm community events put on by farm groups like the Klamath-Lake Farm Bureau and introduce them to the people involved in our local food systems non-profit, Klamath Grown.

Skills Desired: We would like an applicant who enjoys working outside without close supervision. Some experience around livestock is preferred, and the applicant should have some physical work experience. Applicants should be interested in farming as a future occupation and be willing to work with and cooperate with people of a different mindset. Our family includes children who are intertwined with our farm life. As such, we would prefer family-friendly applicants, and no smoking, alcohol, or drug use. A vehicle is necessary given the location of our farm. Being able to drive a manual transmission is preferred, but we are willing to train someone who is eager to learn.

Meals: No meals are provided but the apprentice will receive an employee discount of 20% on any food purchased from the farm store.

Stipend: The position will start at $15/hr. We will provide a stipend for fuel to help with travel to and from the farm and to help the apprentice participate in the Rogue Farm Corp program. Following a successful season, the apprentice can expect an end-of-season bonus. The apprentice will receive an employee discount of 20% on any food purchased from the farm store.

Housing: There are rentals available in Klamath Falls and surrounding areas. We will happily advise an apprentice on good locations to rent in. That being said, we are actively networking to find off-farm housing that we can assist with for the season.

Preferred method of Contact: email