apprenticeship positions – Shelton, CT

posted March 15, 2010

Jones Family Farms is a seven generation, 400-acre sustainable agriculture farm located in Shelton, Connecticut.

Presently the farm maintains 15 acres in strawberries, 15 acres in blueberries, 25 acres in pumpkins, squash, and gourds, and 200 acres in Christmas trees, all harvested by pick-your-own guests. The farm also grows grapes and operates one of the leading wineries in the state. The newest addition to the farm is a nutrition education center, which hosts hands-on cooking classes featuring seasonal, farm fresh produce. In addition, the 2010 growing season will include a large vegetable garden for an on-farm market.

Two full-season apprenticeship positions will be offered from the first week in June through December 23. The apprenticeship is a learning and working experience, focused on following food from the field to the plate. Apprentices will gain a strong understanding of sustainable farming practices through hands-on field experience. They will also work closely with the harvest-your-own retail operations to learn successful direct marketing techniques. The main focus of the apprenticeship will be in the kitchen, where apprentices learn how to preserve food, how to cook, and how food choices affect their personal health and the health of the environment.

Qualifications: Applicants should have a college degree or equivalent education, with an interest in pursuing a career in agriculture or food. A strong interest in farming and cooking, as well as a love of fresh produce, is desired. Applicants should enjoy working outdoors and interacting with others, have a sense of humor, be willing to do a variety of tasks, and appreciate physical activity.

Education: Apprentices will participate in the Western Connecticut Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) program, as a part of the off-farm educational training. Field trips to other farms and educational events will also be encouraged. On-farm education will happen through structured lessons (ie. Strawberry school, learning how to drive a tractor), and through project-oriented instruction (ie. learning to harvest and handle specific produce). Apprentices will also have access to reading materials and will be encouraged to research and learn on their own.

Compensation: The work schedule varies depending on the season, with apprentices working 45 to 50 hours per week, with one week paid vacation.

Compensation includes a private room in an on-farm house with modern amenities, a monthly stipend, and a small amount of produce. Apprentices can also utilize a garden in their yard to grow much of their own food. Jones Family Farms provides health insurance through Worker’s Compensation for on farm incidents, but personal health insurance must be provided by the applicant.

For more information or to apply, please send a resume and a letter of intent to:
Allyson Angelini, Jones Family Farms, 606 Walnut Tree Hill Rd, Shelton, CT 06484 or email allyson@jonesfamilyfarms.com.