8 Sheep and Goat Internship Programs
There are many internship options that may be of interest to aspiring sheep farmers, animal scientists, veterinarians, livestock auctioneers, livestock educators, and others interested in the sheep and goat industries. Among the opportunities below, you're sure to find something that appeals to you.
Appleton Creamery (in Maine) offers an internship program in its goat dairy operation.
Interns gain experience in many areas including cheese making, goat husbandry, milking, kidding, and farmers’ market product sales. The dairy also purchases sheep and cow milk (when available) for making products such as yogurt and butter. Housing and DSL internet are provided as well as basic groceries and a grocery allowance stipend.
Bonnieview Sheep Dairy (in Vermont) offers a seasonal sheep dairy internship program from April to October. Interns are allowed to work between two to six months during that period. Duties include general care, lambing of 200 ewes, milking, cheese making, and moving fences for rotational grazing. Interns are compensated with a small stipend and free housing.
Fuzzy Udder Creamery (in Maine) offers an apprenticeship program for its sheep and goat dairy operation. Apprentice duties offer a variety of tasks including milking sheep and goats, making cheese, marketing, kidding and lambing, animal care, and rotational grazing.
Year-round and short-term (May-October) apprentice positions are available. Apprentices are compensated at a rate of approximately $8 per hour and housing is available at additional cost.
Laughing Goat Fiber (in New York) offers internships related to goat care and fiber work. Interns become involved in general goat care and husbandry, fiber work (including washing, spinning, and weaving), various farm chores, and assisting with shows and festivals.
Internships are unpaid but room and board are free. Course credit is guaranteed for University of Vermont students through a pre-existing arrangement and may be available for students from other institutions.
Mint Creek Farm (in central Illinois) offers an internship program at its certified organic grass-fed sheep farm. The farm has a flock of over 700 sheep and sells meat at farmer’s markets and restaurants in the Chicago area. Interns are chiefly involved with livestock care, moving portable fencing, taking meat inventory, and farmer’s market preparation. Interns must commit to a minimum three-month stay and work at least 30 hours per week. Room and board are provided in the owner’s home and compensation is possible for interns staying longer than four months.
Mountain Lodge Farm (in Washington) offers internship opportunities at its goat and sheep dairy. The farm also has a flock of meat sheep, guard llamas, and livestock guardian dogs. Internships last from three to six months (at 30 hours per week) and can be tailored to the student’s specific areas of interest. Intern duties include milking, general care and husbandry, kid/lamb care, marketing, rotational grazing, births, and general farm duties.
Housing and a weekly food stipend are provided.
Surfing Goat Dairy (in Maui, Hawaii) offers internship/apprenticeship opportunities at its goat dairy facility. Interns duties include cheese making, milking, husbandry, catering, tours, sales, deliveries, and marketing. Housing (including basic furnishings and wireless DSL internet), most meals, and a shared car are provided. Interns receive a stipend of approximately $200 per week and a 20 percent employee discount on any products they purchase.
Valley Shepherd Creamery (in New Jersey) offers an internship program in sheep dairy production. Interns are exposed to a variety of activities including cheese production, affinage work, retail sales duty, giving facility tours, and promoting products at marketing events.
Internships run from five to seven months and begin in late spring or early summer. Net compensation is $300 per week and free shared housing is provided.