General Description: Deck Family Farm is a 320-acre Certified Organic farm located in Western Willamette Valley near Eugene. Deck is a diversified operation with the current focus on Oregon Tilth Certified Organic Meats, raw dairy and fruit. We stand on the principles of humane handling, conservation practices including riparian restoration and exclusion, and increased soil fertility through management intensive grazing.
As a certified organic pasture based farm. We do not use synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, hormones or antibiotics. We are a family oriented farm with an “open gate” policy, meaning the farm is open to visitors any day but Sunday. We strive to be transparent in our practices and to be a conduit for folks to stay connected to our agricultural heritage.
Our farm consists of: A small raw milk dairy – We milk and care for an average of 10-15 cows throughout the seasons. The herd is a legal cooperative and owned by shareholders who pay for feed, care and milking of the herd. We also make a small amount of butter, cheese, and yogurt for our shareholders.
Pastured Pigs – We raise heritage pigs on pasture. In the wettest part of the winter pigs are brought up in barns to farrow and stay warm and dry. Piglets are fed raw milk from the dairy during weaning and finished on hazelnuts. Our breeding program has allowed us to become Animal Welfare Approved and to produce pigs birth to finish.
Beef – Deck Family Farm also produces 100% grass fed and finished Certified Organic Heritage Galloway beef. Our management intensive grazing system has brought greater fertility to our pastures and rotating crops of grains, legumes and grasses has extended our grazing season to 8-9 months of the year.
Chickens – Organic layers for eggs and roasters for meat. All chickens are out on pasture during the day and housed in “chicken tractors” at night to prevent predation. Salim, our Anatolian Shepard does her best to keep them safe. Chickens are grazed behind and sometimes beside cattle. In addition to their great tasting eggs the poultry is an integral part of breaking parasite life cycles and bringing more fertility to the pastures.
Sheep – Flock size of 150 ewes. We normally lamb in the early spring with babies coming in the months of January-March. Our current breeds are Romney, Dorset, Suffolk and Textile. Much of our grazng is on leased ground off site.
Garden – We are experimenting with a large home garden, aimed to balance our diets with fresh veggies year round. It is our hope to create a “Full Farm CSA” by 2016 to bring more good clean food to families on the farm in our area. The garden is often intern initiated and run.
Marketing – We direct market to our customers through farmer’s markets, buying clubs, grocery stores and a CSA program. All farm interns are required to participate in this level of the business because it is the engine that drives profitability and allows us to stay in business farming.
We are not a homestead operation but a for-profit business that requires economy of scale to successfully compete in the current economic model. If you are interested in homesteading practices we can provide some animal husbandry training but our program is more focused on what it takes to run an successful business than a subsistence homestead.
It is our hope that through the years we can partner with other individuals and families committed to the principles of strong work ethics, environmental justice and good business practices. If you think this description fits you, please give us a call.
Internship Starts: Rotating year round
Internship Ends: Rotating year round
Number of Interns: 5
App Deadline: Open
Minimum Length of Stay: 3-6 months
Meals: All meals are provided, evening meal is family style, with all community members sharing in rotating cooking and cleaning chores.
Skills Desired: No experience required, however must have: Strong work ethic, Ability to work long hours, Ability to follow directions Willingness to work on communication skills. Ability to lift 50lb+, Ability/interest in working with a range of cultures and ages.
Educational Opportunities: Humane handling, rotational grazing, forage management, irrigation, fencing, milking, spreadsheets, marketing, birthing, community living dynamic, basic gardening, breeding programs and basic treatments, farm equipment, plumbing, electric wire. Visits to neighboring farms, yogurt, butter and cheese making.
Stipend: $600/month, Room and Board.
Housing: Shared intern room or cabin. Kitchen, bathroom and laundry access in main house.
Internship Details: Deck Family Farm is currently looking to fill 2 open intern positions beginning immediately. Our work day begins at 6 AM with milking, farm meeting and chores. We break at noon for lunch and a short rest and resume a few hours before dark for evening chores and milking. The work week is 6 days on 1 day off 8-10 hours/day. We appreciate flexibility depending on the season and work load.
Accommodations are modest, either shared housing in an intern room or cabin or COB house on a space available basis.
We are currently offering two types of internships for the 2014/2015 season
6 Month Apprenticeship with stipend: Apprentices will work in the following areas: Pastured Pork, Raw Jersey Dairy, Beef Herd and Management Intensive grazing, Lamb, Pastured Poultry, and Marketing. We try to rotate through all areas of the farm but personal interest, aptitude and availability of farm management plays a key role in placement. There is a $400/month stipend including room and board for this position. $200/month will be paid at the end of months 2, 3, 4,5, & 6 and final payment of $1,000 at the end for a total of $2,000 cash for the entire 6 months. For interns choosing to remain on the farm longer than 6 months, we offer $500/month for the following 6 months. If the fit is good we are very interested in retaining interns for future employment.
1-3 month commitment: In this position the first month will be mostly helping out where needed. Expect physically demanding work involving clean up, and assisting with chores. The next few months will be training in chores and potentially training in the diary. Accommodations are mostly tent and barn camping. There is NO STIPEND associated with the 1-3 month position but it does include room and board . Home & Family Life Although 2 of the 7 family members currently live off farm, we often have a full house of visiting family and friends. Being open to the challenges and joys of a busy house is a must. We share most meals and interns participate with family members in meal prep and clean up. Interns have full use of bathroom, shower and laundry. We ask that folks bath regularly, change into clean clothes while in the house, and in general to practice good hygiene in respect of all household members. In addition this is a true family farm and interns will be living and working alongside family members. While this can be an asset in terms of gaining a broader vision of farming life it can also bring challenges in terms of space, patience, and learning to work with a diversity of ages.
Meals We love vegetables and try to have them at every meal, however we believe that animals are an intrinsic part of a balanced healthy food system and for this reason we prefer NOT to accommodate strict vegetarian or vegan diets.