Merck Forest & Farmland Center/Rupert, VTOverview:
Merck Forest & Farmland Center fall interns will learn about the concepts and practices of various aspects of organic farming, livestock handling, sustainable forest management, recreation management, as well as equipment operation and safety, basic carpentry, and many aspects of non-profit operations.
Learning is achieved through hands-on farm work, lectures and discussions, and field trips to educational workshops, local farms and producers, and other non-profit organizations. Interns will also be able to contribute to quality educational programming, including school field trips and adult-learning workshops related to natural science, alternative energy and land management.
â€¢ Farm Work Experience: Interns will work alongside Merck Forest staff on our 60-acre organic farm that produces a diversity of small fruits and vegetables. Interns will assist in general farm duties including seeding, transplanting, mulching, weeding, and harvesting a variety of crops. Interns also will be responsible for completing farm chores twice a day, which includes the feeding and care of laying hens, sheep, pigs, and two draft horses.
â€¢ Forestry Work Experience: Responsibilities may include invasive species control, timber cruising, and sugaring production.
â€¢ Buildings and Ground Experience: Work will include, but not be limited to trail maintenance and clearing, building repair and construction.
The Merck Forest Internship is unique in that it exposes participants to the rural lifestyle and community found in southern Vermont. Interns will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the history, context and future of agriculture and forestry in the Northeast through engagement with the local community in Vermont and Washington County, NY. The intern schedule includes weekly activities with farmers, foresters, sugar makers, food processors, other non-profit organizations working toward innovative and sustainable management of farm and forestland.
Internship Structure and Schedule:
The Fall Internship Program will run from September 3 to December 16, 2011 at Merck Forest & Farmland Center in Rupert, Vt. Flexibility may be provided for candidates whose educational obligations do not fit this term.
Interns are expected to be present and engaged in internship activities five days a week. The schedule is designed to offer students a wide variety of learning opportunities from multiple perspectives.
We are seeking highly-motivated undergraduate students (or recent graduates) currently enrolled in a natural science or environmental education degree program, though we will accept one interested applicant per term from a field outside of these fields of study. Previous experience, particularly with organic agricultural practices, farm equipment, tools, and/or livestock is preferred.
Applicants with a friendly, outgoing manner and commitment to public service are encouraged to apply. Experience working in a backcountry work environment also is a plus. Applicants must enjoy being outdoors in all kinds of weather, and need to appreciate challenges and problem solving opportunities. The program involves a diverse set of tasks and favors a positive approach.
Housing and Financial Support:
Interns receive free housing on site and food from the farm when in season. Each intern additionally receives a supplementary food allowance of $100 to $150 (dependent on season) each month. Housing is provided in a rustic 1800s two-story lodge building, with individual bedrooms and a shared bathroom, kitchen, and living space. Our entire facility is off the grid, so lodgers derive their energy from generator and propane sources. Woodstoves and propane heaters provide heat.
Background on Merck Forest & Farmland Center:
Merck Forest and Farmland Center is a 3,1500 acre outdoor education and recreation facility located in scenic southern Vermont. We are dedicated to teaching and demonstrating the benefits of sustainable, innovative management of forest and farm land.
We accept four interns for each of the following four-month sessions: Winter/Spring (January-April), Summer (May-August), and Fall (September-December).
Submit a resume, cover letter, plus three professional (one can be academic) references.
For more information please see www.merckforest.org
Program Application deadline: 8/1/11
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