Aldermere Farm

FULL FOR THE 2021 SEASON

Aldermere Farm is a 136-acre preserved saltwater farm in Rockport owned and managed by Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization.

Aldermere is one of the world’s premier breeders of Belted Galloway cattle with the oldest continuously operated herd in the US.

The apprenticeship can last from 6 months up to 2 years depending on individual needs.

Aldermere Farm is a 136-acre preserved farm owned and managed by Maine Coast Heritage Trust with the oldest continuously operated herd of Belted Galloway cattle in the US. It has 60 acres of pasture, 60 acres of forest, including 1200’ along Penobscot Bay, which makes it a saltwater farm. The farm is situated along Russell Ave. in Rockport, which runs between the villages of Camden and Rockport which are becoming a hub area for local food production with many active restaurants, markets and farmers markets making locally produced foods available.

There are 43 structures on the property, which includes a few houses for staff and volunteers, with most of the other structures consisting of semi-covered pens for the cattle. The farm is near town with many recreational opportunities (hiking and the ocean). It is also near another farm preserve that is owned and managed by MCHT which produces vegetables for food pantries, school lunches, a retirement community and several restaurants.

Aldermere Farm Belted Galloway cattle, with about 80 head of cattle, which are used for breeding, agriculture education, sales and beef. Some cow/calf pairs and bulls are sold to other farms, others are kept here for breeding, steers are raised for beef, and heifers, bulls and steers are raised and trained by youth programs (4-H club and afterschool/summer agricultural education programs).

Cows are bred through artificial insemination, embryo transfer, and natural service and there are semen sales to other farms. Meat is processed off site at a state certified facility. Haying operations take place on over 20 fields in the area and the production fills all the needs for the farm’s cattle as well as some sold to horse, sheep, goat, alpaca and other cattle farms.

Agricultural educational opportunities for the community include maple sugaring, pasture management and cattle rearing/handling workshops along with many programs connecting people to local farms including a poster contest open to all local students. Cattle sales and marketing is through the Herd Manager while beef sales are managed by the program and office staff direct to the community and few local establishments.

Staff also manage Erickson Fields, another farm preserve nearby that focuses on vegetable production by employing teens to grow vegetables for food pantries, local school lunches, a retirement community and some local restaurants. This apprentice position will have some exposure to this operation if they wish experience beyond livestock.

Aldermere Farm is not certified organic, but livestock are raised all-natural with all the herd on pasture during the growing season. The herd is fed grain made up primarily of oats and barley grown here in Maine. Animals are not fed hormones or antibiotics. Many educational workshops held at the farm include organic practices as well as conventional for participants to learn both methods.

Winter

  1. Care of cattle, vaccinations, planning spring/summer breeding, updating butcher projections and feed plans, marketing for cattle sales
  2. Farm Hands youth program (afterschool program for middle school aged kids)
  3. Review hay analysis and plan for feeding program
  4. Snow removal

Spring

  1. Care of cattle: spring calving, weaning calves, vaccinations/deworming/pregnancy checks, choosing and working show string and sale heifers, hoof trimming, deworming, sending cattle out to pasture, A.I. schedule
  2. National Belted Galloway Sale & Show (Fryeburg)
  3. Farm Hands youth program (afterschool program for middle school aged kids)
  4. Sell remaining hay and clean out barns for new cut

Summer

  1. Care of cattle: registering spring calves, feed program, vaccinations/Hypo and DNA testing
  2. Union and Windsor Fairs (local)
  3. 4-H Summer Program and Farm Hands youth program
  4. Haying
  5. Fencing, Intensive Rotational Grazing operations

Fall

  1. Care of cattle: fall calving, vaccinations, weighing heifers and steers, planning winter breeding, cattle sales list for Fryeburg Fair, next year’s sales list
  2. Fryeburg Fair (State fair) and North American International Livestock Expo (Kentucky)
  3. 4-H project records, 4-H Achievement Celebration Night and Farm Hands youth program
  4. End of year budget review

Must be able to do heavy physical labor, drive a tractor and possess a current driver’s license with a good driving record.

Work hours are Monday – Friday 7am-4pm with a rotating schedule with other staff to cover care of animals on the weekends/holidays. Some evening and weekend work is required for events and haying/calving season. Time off as approved by the General Manager.

The General Manager, who has over 17 years of experience working with cattle, will supervise and work along with the apprentice, and develop a full training plan based upon the apprentice’s skills and interests. Other farm staff have extensive equipment, forage and haying experience and will work directly with the apprentice to share and train. While training will occur mostly by working with the supervisor and other staff, the apprentice will be able to attend other training programs. It is also possible for the apprentice to ride with our large animal vet for an invaluable livestock health care experience.

MCHT staff at Aldermere Farm are full-time and part-time. with farm staff and program and administrative who manage our financials, communications and fund raising.

The apprentice position is full-time (40 hours per week). Weekend work required.

Apprentice will be paid a stipend of $1000 each month and benefits. Housing will be provided but the apprentice will supply their own food and do their own cooking/cleaning/grounds maintenance. Regular mowing, weed-wacking, cleaning and generally keeping the house and grounds tidy is expected. Housing may be shared with another apprentice or intern.

Yes, Off-farm

Shared housing will be provided on the preserve at Morrill Cottage located at 139 Russell Avenue, 0.6 miles from Aldermere Farm. The apprentice will have to supply his/her own food and do his/her own cooking and cleaning. A small garage is available for very limited shared storage of bicycles, canoes or other personal belongings

No smoking in the home or on the job. No drinking on the job. No drugs at any time.

A prospective apprentice should visit the farm if possible. Discussions regarding the final arrangements will take place during the interview and the apprentice will be offered stages to help both the apprentice and farm staff understand what will satisfy each in terms of expectations.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has a written Employees manual as well as a written job description for the apprentice position at Aldermere Farm. At the start of the term, the apprentice and the Herd Manager will create a customized work plan to meet goals set by the apprentice. Throughout the term, the apprentice and Herd Manager will check in on a daily/weekly basis. In the mid-term and at the end of the term, the Herd Manager will meet with the apprentice to conduct a work plan review and progress evaluation.

Maine Coast Heritage Trust is a state-wide land conservation organization dedicated to protecting the character of Maine. Aldermere Farm is a flagship property of theirs that they have owned and managed now for 20 years. The staff at Aldermere are a mix of farmers and agricultural program folks who work to meet the needs of the farm and the community. There are three farm staff, two program staff, and a general manager. Farm staff and the GM all live on-site with their families (some with small children).

Staff follow a traditional farming philosophy, but with some advanced breeding work and a spotlight on agricultural education for local youth. Some of the farm staff have been in farming all their lives. Goals for the farm include keeping the Belted Galloway herd viable and with the proper breed characteristics while maintaining its world class standing, and meeting budgeted goals for cattle sales, beef sales, hay sales, expenses, and offer agriculture education opportunities to the community.

An ideal candidate would value our organization’s mission of conserving and stewarding Maine’s coastal lands and islands for their renowned scenic beauty, ecological value, outdoor recreational opportunities and contribution to community well-being. MCHT provides statewide conservation leadership through its work with land trusts, coastal communities and other partners.

Education and Relationship Building

The host farmer commits to principles of mentorship including agreeing to share their experience and knowledge in all aspects of their farm on a regular basis. The host farmer commits to taking the time and thoughtfulness through regular check-ins to support the growth of the beginning farmer and build a relationship of mutual respect that may extend beyond the length of the apprenticeship. The host farm agrees to support their apprentice in accessing MOFGA educational programming.

At the start of the term, the apprentice and their supervisor will create a customized work plan to meet goals set by the apprentice. Throughout the term, the apprentice and their supervisor will check in on a daily/weekly basis. In the mid-term and at the end of the term, the supervisor will meet with the apprentice to conduct a work plan review and progress evaluation.

As part of the work plan, supervisors work with the apprentices to schedule time for the apprentices to take workshops and trainings through MOFGA, the Maine Agricultural Trade Show, Maine Land Conservation Conference, and trainings and workshops led by MCHT staff. Supervisors also assist apprentices in finding other educational opportunities that align with the goals of the apprenticeship. Apprentices will have some exposure to operations at MCHT’s Erickson Fields vegetable farm in Rockport if they wish experience beyond their training at Aldermere Farm.

Equity and Inclusivity

Prior to mentoring apprentices, host farmers are encouraged to acknowledge their own perspective including assumptions, privileges, and biases that may affect an apprentice’s experience on their farm. MOFGA expects host farmers to support a more equitable and just food system for all and work towards creating a more inclusive farm learning and working environment for beginning farmers that are historically and currently under-supported in agriculture. This includes but is not limited to women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, veterans, low-income individuals, people of diverse religious and non-religious affiliations, immigrants, and asylum seekers.

MCHT is an equal employment opportunity employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation or any other characteristic protected by law.

One of the goals stated in MCHT’s mission is to contribute to community well-being. The programming at Aldermere Farm and Erickson Fields focuses on serving youth, promoting animal welfare through the responsible and humane care of livestock, stewarding the land and protecting the environment. Many of the organizations we partner with serve at-risk youth and those who face food insecurity. In order to support our community partners, the goals of our outreach and our overarching mission of contributing to community well-being, we must practice inclusivity and support a more equitable and just food system for all.

Environmental Sustainability

In line with MOFGA’s mission, host farmers are expected to be farming in an environmentally sustainable and regenerative manner and provide training in these techniques with the apprenticing beginning farmers. Host farms are not required to be certified organic, but their production methods should be in alignment with organic principles.

Aldermere Farm is not certified organic, but livestock are raised all-natural with all the herd on pasture during the growing season. The herd is fed grain made up primarily of oats and barley grown here in Maine. Animals are not fed hormones or antibiotics. Many educational workshops held at the farm include organic practices as well as conventional for participants to learn both methods.

Safe and Fair

It is the host farmer’s obligation to compensate the apprentice fairly and justly and to comply with all applicable laws including insurance and workers compensation. The application of other federal and state laws governing housing, safety and farm operations may also apply. The host farmer will have respect and dignity for the labor and service being provided by the apprentice and prioritize clear, respectful, and nonviolent communication on their farm. Host farmers agree to establish, and respect physical and emotional boundaries communicated between the apprentice and the host farmer.

Apprentices will be paid a stipend of $1000 each month and will be offered shared housing on the preserve. Benefits will be commensurate with their length of employment. MCHT’s COO and HR Generalist support farm staff to ensure our operations are in compliance with all applicable federal and state laws.

We foster cooperation and positive relationships between apprentices and staff by:

  1. encouraging housemates to connect via email or phone before moving to the preserve;
  2. meeting with the housemates together at the start of their terms to review “house rules” and the MCHT Staff Handbook, as well as how to communicate clearly, respectfully and nonviolently with each other and their supervisors;
  3. providing an emergency contact list so apprentices know who to reach out to for their immediate needs;
  4. scheduling daily/weekly/mid-term check-ins between apprentices and their supervisors.

Mimi Rebein | Former apprentice reference
[email protected]

Melinda Buell | Former apprentice reference
[email protected]

Pam MacBrayne, neighbor of Aldermere Farm | Personal reference reference
[email protected] | (207) 236-7723

Aldermere Farm

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