Farm Assistant - Dashing Star Farm

Location: Millerton, NY (Dutchess County)

Term: Full-time

Salary/Pay: $15 - $20/hour commensurate with experience

Deadline to Apply: 07/01/2021

How to Apply: [email protected]

Dashing Star Farm, LLC

Dashing Star Farm, LLC is a family owned and operated enterprise located in the Coleman Station Historic District, Town of North East, Dutchess County, NY.  Beginning in 1994, we developed our own unique cross breed of sheep, selecting for a distinct palette of natural colors and wool characteristics, while still producing a true multi-purpose animal.  We also maintain a flock of heritage breed laying hens and Toulouse geese.  Products marketed include lamb meat, chicken and goose eggs, sheepkins/pelt products, yarn, roving, batting, wool bed and throw pillows, comforters and mattress pads, pet futons, woven blankets, handknits, and a wide variety of felted wool products and sewn items.  Our livestock is raised on pastures with supplementary local grains to the EU bio standard.  Our products are sold at various farmers markets, retail outlets and fine restaurants in the Hudson Valley and NYC metro area and at several fiber events, including the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, NY.    The vision of Dashing Star Farm is sustainable/regenerative family farming; our mission being to produce and market natural, pasture-raised lamb and eggs and high quality value-added wool products and other useful, environmentally sound products.  

Job Description

This position is a full time w-2 position with hours expected to be 40-50 hours per week on site with a five day work week, Tuesday through Saturday.  Some work weeks in September through May might shift to Wednesday through Sunday in order to have coverage to observe sheep during lambing season.  The workday includes a paid 30 minute lunch break and reasonable restroom breaks. Start time will typically be 8:30 am and end time 4:30 pm, unless there are weather issues or particular job tasks which create a need for adjustment.  Should a longer mid-day break be needed, it can be accommodated by extended the day either earlier or later by mutual agreement.  Personal tasks and non-farm work related cell phone calls/texts/emails are restricted to lunch break or unpaid time. 

Tasks involve physical labor and the ability to lift items weighing 40 to 50 lbs.  The employee is also required to work with livestock – sheep and poultry.  The employee is responsible for providing their own suitable work clothing, outerwear, and footware.  Work gloves, hand sanitizer and facemasks are supplied by the employer. The employee is responsible for maintaining proper social distancing and hand sanitation.

Work conditions include rain, snow, heat and cold.  The work environment varies from indoors to outdoors and includes working in barns around dust and animal bedding.  Tools worked with include wheelbarrows pitchforks, rakes, shovels, lopping shears, grass shears, brooms, dustpans, vacuums and scrapers.

Daily tasks include providing livestock with feed and water, including moving buckets of grain and water and bales of hay.  At times the employee will be required to assist in moving and securing sheep and lambs including the use of halters and other restraints.  The employee is also required to assist with regular FAMACHA scoring checks of sheep and lambs.  Basic observations of livestock conditions are expected, as is communicating any concerns to the employer. 

Wool picking is another regular task expected to be performed.  This involves standing at or sitting next to a wool rack, removing vegetative matter from wool fleece and sorting it by texture and color.  It also requires lifting and moving full bags of wool.  Assistance with sorting and bagging wool when shearing is taking place is also required. 

Other work tasks include, but are not limited to:

Barn cleaning and interim cleaning of pens/sheds and rebedding same with clean hay 

Weeding fencelines, pruning shrubs and brush and weeding herb gardens

Moving irrigation hoses, setting up outdoor waterers and water/feed troughs

Shifting  animals between grazing areas to ensure that they have sufficient access to feed and water

Cleaning and installing paper liners in the chicken brooder unit

Cleaning and rebedding chicken roosts

Shoveling snow or bedding away from doorways and pen entries

Scrubbing livestock waterers and buckets regularly

Moving bins and counting, measuring, photographing and weighing products for purposes of inventory

Accepting packages that are delivered to the farm and providing packages to couriers

Unloading bags of feed and salt and putting them into receptacles

Assisting with seasonal installation/storage of air conditioning units and fans

Collecting eggs daily from roosts and around barns

Seeding/overseeding pastures

Maintaining farm security by checking gates and doors are properly closed or open

Monitoring pastures and buildings for predator incursions and applying appropriate deterrents

Assisting with social media and website content

The position is based on the farm in Millerton, NY and is available immediately.  It is an excellent opportunity for someone interested in learning all aspects of a small pasture-based farming operation. There is no housing available on the farm for any employees.  An additional requirement is that in the event the employee finds it necessary to end the employment at the farm, two full weeks notice are expected as a matter of courtesy.  Contact us at [email protected] for more information or to arrange an appointment for an interview.  Please submit a cover letter, resume and three professional references.