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Prodigal Farm

Contact information
Farm Address:
4720 Bahama Road
Rougemont, North Carolina , 27572

Primary Contact: Kathryn Spann
Primary Phone:
    Number: 9196360807


Internship information
General Farm Description: We're a pasture-based, Animal Welfare Approved farmstead goat dairy, making a variety of aged goat and cow milk cheeses, located in Durham County about 25 minutes north of downtown Durham. We just won 2 more national awards for our cheeses last month! We are milking about 85 does this year. We raise goats for milk and meat, and do a lot of agrotourism on our farm, as well. We sell our cheeses at a couple of area farmers' markets; through a local wholesale delivery route; through fedex/air cargo wholesale; and through a regional distributor. Our farm has three groups with largely separate duties: creamery, "farm side" and, on a temporary basis in the spring, kid care. We look for people joining us to share a passion for the animals and the land, even when they will not be working directly with that part of the farm. We encourage you to check out our Facebook and Instagram to learn more about us (Prodigal Farm).

CRAFT Member Farm? No

Internship Starts: see internship descriptions
Internship Ends: see internship descriptions
Number of Internship Available: 3-5
Application Deadline: asap
Minimum Length of Stay: see internship descriptions

Internship Details:

THREE INTERNSHIPS! (Yes, we would welcome a couple.) All positions are full time, with a set start time and a work day which ends when the tasks are done, but typically run about 10 hours/day in our 3 peak months, and an average of 8 hours/day in other months. All get 2 consecutive days off each week. All pay overtime. All receive a lot of structured training. All positions also have a record-keeping component. For example, what kids were born to what does/bucks on what dates and are disbudded/castrated/vaccinated and when. How many does were on the milk line that day and approximately how much milk was produced? What is the parasite assessment score of each doe at the time of our regular monthly parasite assessment? What lot number culture was used in that batch of cheese, and what time was it added? All of this helps us work together better and continue to improve as a farm!
We are looking for a KID CARE Apprentice, a FARM HAND Apprentice, and a CREAMERY Apprentice. If candidates for any of these positions are interested and have aptitude for meeting our sales targets, we can also send you to farmers’ markets, again with training.
KID CARE (2): We’ll need help birthing, feeding and caring for this spring’s crop of goat kids. Hours are long during mid-March, but it’s very satisfying work, with meaningful responsibility. You will need to be good with people, because you’ll be working with dozens of regular, committed community volunteers who help with feeding and kid care. Job starts approximately February 15 and continues until most babies are weaned, approximately July 1; good potential for longer-term work with us in another position. You’ll learn to assess and assist with labor; perform banding-style castration, disbudding, vaccination, and more. You’ll learn about health assessment, nutrition, disease prevention, and more with kids. Compensation: room + board + $500/mo stipend + $12/hour overtime or if no room/board needed, $10/hour pay + conventional overtime.
FARMHAND (2): This position will handle 5 milking shifts per week (we have an inline milking system), portable fencing, mucking, herd care (vaccinations, hoof care, etc.). You will also assist with milk testing, fecal testing, parasite assessment, herd health (with guidance from us and consultation with our veterinarians), coordinating with researchers at area universities on joint research projects, ensure sanitation in the milking parlor and herd housing; ensure that the feed/forage/supplement needs of the herd are met; work on major infrastructure projects (installing permanent fencing, building structures, etc.); and more. Job starts approximately February 15 and continues 8-9 months, with the option of long term. Compensation: room + board + $700/mo stipend + $12/hour overtime or if no room/board needed, $12/hour pay + conventional overtime.
For both FARM HAND and KID CARE positions, we have both morning shifts (starting a bit before 7 a.m.) and evening shifts (ending around 9). We try to balance those shifts so everyone can have a life. Everyone gets 2 consecutive days off.
This position will assist with making cheeses (we make quite a variety of aged cheeses, which have received a lot of recognition and national awards), caring for them during aging, packing, and lots of cleaning (we all do lots of cleaning as part of our commitment to food safety). It’s just as physical as the outside work – cheese and milk are heavy! Again, we provide lots of training. You will learn a lot about a wide array of cheese styles, and the many different points of the process that go into the quality and character of the finished cheese . . . right down to the packaging. Job starts approximately March 1 and continues approximately 8-9 months with option of long term. Most days you’ll start around 8 a.m., except we rotate responsibility for pasteurizing, and on those days, you’ll start at 5-5:30 a.m. and end earlier. Compensation: room + board + $700/mo stipend + $12/hour overtime or if no room/board needed, $12/hour pay + conventional overtime.

Educational Opportunities: We have a formal teaching program, both through attending our all-day workshop (on the clock), and hands-on task-by-task, and through written Standard Operating Procedures, and much more.

Skills Desired: see above To apply, please 1. email detailing your interest, 2. provide a resume or the equivalent, 3. provide three work references, and 4. let us know when you are available to start.

Meals: For live-in apprentices, we provide board – we buy food for the house, and take turns preparing meals. We generally do one shared farm lunch a week. We share cooking and cleaning duties with the folks who are staying with us.

Stipend: yes, see above

Housing: Yes, if you prefer housing/meals/stipend. Or we can just do straight pay. We live in a doublewide on the farm. The apprentices' bed/bath area is at one end of the house, and our bed/bath is at the other end. The common living/kitchen/laundry is shared. We heat mostly with our wood stove. Since we all live and work together, it's important to have good housemate skills and a cooperative and congenial attitude. We generally invite our farmhands to join us with friends and fun activities, but it's an offer rather than an obligation.

Preferred method of Contact: email