Sylvanaqua Farms Intern Questionnaire
The following is an honest description of us and our internship program. We invite you to read it carefully to get a good idea of both. Like what you read? Then we invite you to answer some questions for us. They will be a little more 'personal' than they would be with a typical job, because you'll be living with us and we want to make sure that everyone will be comfortable and have a positive experience.

A few details about the application process:

1. We work hard to respond in a timely manner, but with a farm in full swing plus two kids, it might not be right away.

2. Interested candidates are required to complete an on-farm interview. We want to get to know you and have you get to know us, too. Be prepared to shadow Chris or Annie in the field (i.e., wear durable clothing and shoes) so you can see our operations first-hand. We will also require a background check for any candidate offered the position.

3. Incomplete surveys or applicants who cannot commit to at least a full month will not be considered.

Thanks very much for your consideration, and good luck!
About the Internship
Our internship program exists to create new farmers; to strike out on your own or to explore long-term opportunities with us. Whatever you desire, you'll finish your internship with all the skills you need to confidently manage a variety of livestock enterprises and, depending on the circumstances, produce enterprises as well. You'll also receive a detailed education about farm finances, marketing, and business management.

Our internship start dates a flexible, but we require a full month's commitment (longer is also considered, too!). Unfortunately we can only consider applicants who can commit to the full internship period. Animal husbandry has a learning curve--we need to know the time we invest in our interns is time well spent.

You will be working on all aspects of the farm, in all kinds of weather. This means field chores get done rain or shine, heat and cold. Things will get messy and smelly and hard. You also will be expected to interact with customers in a friendly and professional manner at farmer's markets or when making restaurant deliveries - we realize this can be a challenge for those that are extremely shy, but it is a vital part of having a successful farm. Finally, we do weekly on-farm poultry processing. This means killing and processing animals. We understand a certain amount of trepidation if you haven't done this before (we certainly had some!), but if you are downright squeamish about processing, this internship is probably not for you.

Working hours are sunrise to 5pm, though emergencies do pop up from time to time that require work past these hours. Especially during the height of summer, work is clustered in the beginning and end of the day to avoid the midday heat.
Sundays are typically chores-only, and interns get every other Sunday completely off.

Compensation is $500/month, in addition to room and board. Eggs and meat out of the home freezer are also provided. Interns get every other Sunday completely off.

We especially encourage applications from people of color, LGBTQ, veterans, and other communities under-represented in the farming trade.
About Us
We are an interracial, mixed-religion couple, with two girls who will be three and one at the time of the internship. We also have two pit-mixes, Mini and Bebop, who take a little warming up but will be your best friend after a day or so. We both love good food-Annie loves to cook, especially things we've grown or raised ourselves, good cocktails, and laughing a lot, usually at off-color jokes. Chris writes a lot, and several of his posts on our farm Facebook page have gone viral. We have a diverse group of friends and a lot of family, who will be visiting from time to time. With all of that, it can be a busy household. You'll have your own space, but we hope to find someone who feels comfortable with children and rotating guests and enjoys spending time with all of us.
About the Accommodations
You will have your own space on the bottom level of the house - it has its own outdoor access, a bedroom, half-bath, and living area. There is wi-fi and cable, and you'll have access to a washer/dryer. You'll have free access to the upstairs of the house, which has a full kitchen, and guest bathroom, which has a shower. You are welcome to eat as many meals as you wish with us as a family (Annie will let you know when she is cooking).

Our house is in a wooded, private subdivision with lots of amenities: clubhouse with pool; private river beach access, private lake with swimming piers and canoe launches (and excellent bass fishing) - you will have access to all.

The surrounding county (Westmoreland) and the rest of the Northern Neck is a quiet, rural community often referred to as "The Garden of Virginia." It's a very scenic location nestled between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers; the region is dotted with historic houses and plantations, scenic byways, wineries, and centuries-old churches. The seafood is excellent, abundant, and cheap. Bald eagles and excellent hiking are everywhere. When you crave an urban setting, Fredericksburg is an hour to the west, Richmond and hour and a half to the south, and Washington D.C. a little under 2 hours to the north.
A Typical Day in Midsummer
You'll wake up a little before sunrise and grab a coffee and an early morning snack to tide you over during morning chores. As the sky lights up in the pre-dawn you'll drive over to the farm to begin chores. You'll pull all the broiler pens to new grass, feed and water the hens and check the pigs, and collect eggs. You'll report the field's condition in our field journal on Slack.

After breakfast, you might help Annie in some plantings, as we are establishing our property as an example of permaculture, or to the kitchen to wash eggs or package chickens, or head back to the farm to make minor repairs to broiler pens, re-straw the hens' nestboxes, clean out waterers, etc. There's always something either at the house or at the farm that needs cleaning, organizing, fixing, etc. - especially cars, coolers, and work areas - that's what you'll spend most of your time in the middle of the day doing - except on poultry processing days, market days, and delivery days, where you'll be helping kill and clean chickens, load the trucks for market and sell our wares, or load the trucks for our restaurant deliveries in the surrounding cities.

On hot days in midsummer, you'll typically check on the animals in the early afternoon to make sure waterers are functioning before the hottest part of the day arrives. Then you'll feed and water everyone again around 5pm. The late afternoon chore set may also involve moving the henmobile(s) and moving pigs to new paddocks. You're generally free after 5pm chores unless an emergency arises - dinner's typically served around 6:30. That leaves plenty of time for a walk on the beach, a meditative canoe trip, or to cast a line for tomorrow's dinner.
Name *
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Email and Phone *
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Range of Availability - give your earliest start date and latest end date and preferred length of time. *
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What is your goal in pursuing a farm internship? *
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What interests you about working with our farm in particular? *
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Tell us a little about your knowledge of sustainable agriculture, permaculture, etc.? What inspires you about the movement? *
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What are your feelings on killing animals for human consumption? *
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What are your feelings on the role of animal agriculture in the natural environment? *
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Are you prepared for the intensely physical nature of work on a mostly-unmechanized farm? *
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Will you be comfortable living with a family whose politics are somewhere between center-left and far-left? *
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Please provide the names and contact info for two character references. *
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