2020 Sustainable Agriculture Apprenticeship Program

Pastured Livestock Production Apprenticeship

  • Apprentice Location: CEFS’ Farming Systems Research, Dairy and Swine Units at Cherry Research Farm, Goldsboro, NC
  • Mentor: Windy Wainright
  • Start Date:  Ideal start date is in March 2020, for a duration of 6 or 9 months.
  • Apply now!

Overview of Research Experience:

Apprentices will spend time at the Farming Systems Research Unit (FSRU), the Pasture Based Dairy Unit, the Pasture-Based Dairy Unit, and the Alternative Swine Unit assisting with research and daily management. This is a unique project that offers a number of hands-on opportunities in various aspects of agricultural production and research. Examples of experiences include various crop planting, harvesting, experience with pasture based cattle systems, research evaluation and data collection, as well as operating farm equipment.

During the course of the program, the apprentice will have the opportunity to:

  • Be immersed in pastured livestock production and research, spending up to 40 hours per week as an integral part of the pastured dairy and swine unit teams.
  • Work with a highly diverse team of educators from North Carolina State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
  • Interact with other apprentices at various research and educational units and sites.
  • Participate in field trips to local farms and extension workshops.

What specific skills are required for this position?
While previous farming experience is not required, we seek individuals who are dedicated to sustainable agriculture, pastured livestock production. Applicants should be hard-working, motivated, have the ability to work consistently on repetitive tasks, enjoy physical labor, and have a positive attitude. Successful applicants will have the ability to take direction, show initiative, and work well in a team as well as independently. We desire someone with great communication and organizational skills, strong attention to detail, and the ability to lift up to 45 pounds. This position works primarily outdoors, and activities will need to be completed under adverse weather conditions (cold, heat, humidity, rain, pollen) at times. Biting insects, snakes, and poison ivy are sometimes present on our farm.

Skills acquired with this apprenticeship will build a solid foundation for the following career paths: Research assistant, research technician, farm manager assistant, a variety of higher education or graduate programs in related fields. We have had many apprentices at the animal units go on to veterinary school.

Other Requirements? Apprentices will be expected to live in the Goldsboro area and have their own transportation. Housing may be available near the farm in Goldsboro, NC for a small monthly fee.

Compensation: $10/hr for approximately 40 hours per week. 

Work Schedule: Monday-Friday with the possibility of some weekend and evening events.

Minimum Experience/Education: High school degree. 

Learn more about the Farming Systems Research Unit here.