Internship Starts: 3/01/2022 or a mutually agreed upon date
Internship Ends: 12/31/2022 or a mutually agreed upon date
Number of Internship Available: 4
Application Deadline: 2/28/2022 or ASAP
Minimum Length of Stay: About 4 months
The position of Professional Farmer Intern is for those interested in being a future farmer. The idea is what you learn with us, you take with you. The demographic of candidates is broad. We have had people work here working on their first career, second career or third. We have had attorneys, accountants, stay at home moms, students, researchers, and lobbyists.
General Farm Description: Mary’s Land Farm is a 160 acre farm in Ellicott City, Maryland, about 20 miles North of Washington DC. We raise beef, pigs, chickens, and sheep. In our market garden and greenhouses, we raise seasonal vegetables, greens and herbs. The farm has three miles of swales and berms installed for water and manure conservation. On the berms, we raise thousands of perennials. Each year we entertain the neighbors with a sunflower festival, and three other festivals. We educate children with field trips and a summer camp program. We have regular ongoing adult education programs as well. There is a farm store and country inn also on the farm.
Our goal is to have apprentices experience every aspect of the farm operation so that they’ll take best practices with them to start their own successful farming project. For that reason, apprentices will be involved in every aspect of the operation. The apprentice will gain a deep understanding of what’s required to run a successful farm business. Apprentices work six days a week with us in the high season. Our goal is to give you a completely unique and very well diversified experience.
Our apprenticeship program is highly varied and not for everyone. You might be asked to work in the orchard one day and to tour guests of the Inn another day. Our goal is to make you the jack or jill of many trades in the first year vs a great master of any single one. We think it’s the reality for most successful farms in the future.
In a typical week, you might be asked to help move cattle, trim sheep hooves, move chickens, plant seeds, harvest fruits, help in the kitchen, and teach children or adults an element of what the farm is doing. If you are handly, we might ask you to assist with light carpentry or construction projects on the farm. You’ll also need to help keep track of productivity with Google Sheets and our farm tracking system.
At our festivals and other entertainment events, you’ll be asked to help with setup and breakdown of equipment. We might need your assistance with crowd control, parking and ticket sales.
Occasionally, we have weddings or other private events where you might be asked to play a role.
At the Inn, many customers are coming to experience some aspect of the farm. We may need you to be their farm mentor for a period of time.
We understand that everyone has natural strengths and weaknesses and we want to find the tasks that best suit your abilities.
We have learned over the years to make compensation on a sliding scale so that you are paid more as you learn more and become more an asset to the farm. We pay $200 Weeks 1-4. $250 Weeks 5-8. $350 Weeks 9-12. $450 Weeks 13-16. The additional weeks we set an hourly rate based on mutual agreement.
Educational Opportunities: We started our farm in 2014 after reading and researching over 50 books, hiring consultants, attending conferences, and learning online. We’ve attempted to take all of that book knowledge and make our own best practices based on our model and geography. We look forward to guiding you through a similar process. Additionally, our area is a hotbed for learning. There are numerous resources in the Maryland, DC and Virginia area.
Skills Desired: In order to work on our farm, you need to be in relatively good physical shape and be able to lift at least 50lbs. You’ll also need to be able to work independently and in groups. There are tasks that are challenging and there are others that are menial and repetitive, but all farmers have to do them.
Meals: We provide one substantial meal per workday and give you the facilities to prepare another meal and snacks.
Housing: We do not have private bedroom space. You will be in a shared bedroom space corresponding to your sex. There’s one nice bathroom with a shower.