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Rock Bottom Ranch Agriculture Apprentice – Vegetables

Rock Bottom Ranch Agriculture Apprentice – Vegetables

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 in 2019, 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 for the 2021 season 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, 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.  To maximize production and extend the growing season at our mountainous 6,400 feet elevation, our one acre of outdoor vegetable and cut flower production is supported by four season extension structures.

Our production farm and educational site is open to the public six 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 production. This apprenticeship program is designed to make 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.

Educational Opportunities and Professional Development:

  • Presentations on various agricultural topics, practices, and methods;
  • Hands-on workshops offering exposure to subjects that could include floral arrangement, welding, small engine repair, butchery, sheep hide tanning and others;
  • In-depth training on skills including tractor operation, haying, trailer driving, manual transmission driving, small power tools and others;
  • Farm tours of operations practicing different types of agricultural;
  • Public speaking;
  • Events set up and execution.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

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

1) Vegetable Production:

  • 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: 

  • 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 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: Weekly rate based on a 5-day per week work schedule, paid twice monthly. This is a full-time, seasonal, exempt position and is currently ineligible for ACES benefits package.

Housing: Housing provided.

Position Dates:  March 16, 2021 – October 31, 2021.  Start date is non-negotiable.

To Apply: Email cover letter and resume to rbrjobs@aspennature.org. Application deadline is January 21, 2021.

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

***Indicate in the email subject line which position(s) you are applying.*** 

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is an Equal Opportunity Employer. ACES does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, genetic information, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and organizational need.