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Agriculture Apprentice – Vegetables

ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch

Basalt, Colorado

Deadline Jan 21, 2022
Job Type Full Time

Agriculture Apprentice – Vegetables

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is a non-profit environmental science education organization with three locations in the Roaring Fork Valley: Hallam Lake, Rock Bottom Ranch, and the Catto Center at Toklat. Since 1968, ACES has been meeting its mission of educating for environmental responsibility.

Making more than 125,000 educational contacts annually, ACES reaches Colorado residents and visitors through guided hikes, environmental science lessons in schools and in the field, kids camps and adult classes, public lectures, and community events. Our programs focus on ecological literacy, regenerative agriculture, forest and ecosystem health, land restoration, and environmental civic leadership.

Position Summary

ACES is offering apprenticeship opportunities to become involved in our regenerative agriculture program at our Rock Bottom Ranch (RBR) site in Basalt, Colorado.  Rock Bottom Ranch’s livestock and vegetable products are featured at our summer dining events, weekly farmers’ markets, local restaurants, vegetable CSA, and on-farm sales. 

Rock Bottom Ranch’s vegetable and livestock production is inspired by natural systems and is continually working toward more regenerative and sustainable practices. The 113-acre site dedicates approximately 70 acres to natural wildlands and 35 acres to pasture-based, rotationally grazed livestock systems and intensive low-till vegetable production.  To maximize production and extend the growing season at our mountainous 6,400 feet elevation, our ⅔ acre of outdoor vegetable production is supported by four season extension structures. 

Our production farm and educational site is open to the public five days a week during the summer and offers daily farm tours, youth and adult programs, and food events. Agricultural staff are given the opportunity to become involved in a diverse array of agricultural operations in addition to numerous customer service, event, and educational experiences.

ACES Agriculture Apprenticeship is a hands-on learning and academic program that is geared towards those with an interest in pursuing agriculture as a career. This program exposes you to every aspect of the season from planning to productionwith the intent of making you a competitive candidate for future agriculture operations. Upon completion of this program, apprentices will feel confident and knowledgeable in a diversity of regenerative agriculture systems. Our 2021 Apprentices went on over 15 farm tours, attended 9 presentations, 10 workshops, and 6 trainings.

Educational Opportunities and Professional Development:

  • During the spring and fall, apprentices will spend on average 5-10 hours per week participating in tours, presentations, workshops, and trainings.  The majority of this education takes place during the workday with a few evening exceptions.  
  • Presentations on various agricultural topics, practices, and methods including agriculture policy, production planning, and carbon sequestration;
  • Hands-on workshops offering exposure to subjects that could include floral arrangement, welding, small engine repair, butchery, and many others;
  • In-depth training on skills including tractor operation, haying, trailer driving, manual transmission driving, small power tools and others;
  • Tours of local farm and food operations;
  • Public speaking; 
  • Events set up and execution.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

1) Low-till Vegetable Production:

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Assist with vegetable production including: soil preparation, seed propagation, irrigating, transplanting, and cultivation.
  • Assist with harvesting, washing, packaging, and sales of final vegetable products.
  • Assist with sales of produce and meat at farmers’ markets and at the ranch.
  • Assist with maintenance of vegetable production area by mowing and weed whacking 

Secondary Duties and Responsibilities:

1) Livestock production: 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Assist with the daily care of cattle, sheep, goats, laying hens, meat chickens, turkeys, rabbits, ducks, and bees.  Daily care may include: providing feed and fresh water, moving animals, mucking out stalls and houses, collecting and washing eggs.
  • Participate in humane, on-property animal harvesting of chickens and turkeys.

2) Customer Service, Events, and Other Duties:

  • Provide a welcoming and educational environment to all guests.
  • Lead public farm tours.
  • Assist with sales of produce and meat at local farmers’ markets and at the ranch.
  • Participation in on-farm events including, but not limited to, dining events, educational programs, and farm tours.
  • After hours, on-call responsibilities which may include animal emergencies, animal birthing, or site maintenance issues.  
  • Other duties as assigned to further the mission of ACES.

Qualifications:

Candidates must have the following:

  • Exposure to agriculture production (season of production, summer internship, regular volunteering, or equivalent experience)
  • An interest in pursuing farming as a career.
  • Strong work ethic and understanding that farm work is rewarding, yet physically demanding.  
  • Enjoy working outdoors in varying weather conditions.  
  • Able to lift heavy items.
  • Friendly, inviting personality and positive attitude.
  • Respect for farm products, fellow crew members, and all ACES staff.
  • Strong willingness and desire to learn.

Preferred but not required, candidates will have the following: 

  • Bilingual, particularly conversational Spanish.

Reporting Relationship: This position reports to the Agriculture Manager.  The Agriculture Crew Leads also provide management and support.  

Location: This position is located at ACES’ Rock Bottom Ranch site in Basalt, Colorado.  

Work schedule: 5 days per week, Tuesday through Saturday.  Additional rotating weekend chore responsibilities required. 

Compensation and benefits: $450/week plus housing.  Total compensation for this position is valued at $611 per week, which includes salary and housing (including utilities and wifi).  This is a full-time, seasonal position and is currently ineligible for ACES benefits package.

Housing: Housing provided. 

Position Dates:  March 16, 2022 – October 31, 2022.  Start date is non-negotiable.

HOW TO APPLY

To Apply: Apply at aspennature.bamboohr.com/jobs  Please direct any questions to rbrjobs@aspennature.org.  Please do not make any phone calls to the ranch regarding this position.   

ACES employees work with school children, therefore ACES conducts background checks for criminal history and motor vehicle records.  

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and complies with all federal laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or protected veteran or disabled status and will not be discriminated against

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Farm and Ranch Jobs.