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Hoch Orchard and Gardens

LaCrescent, Minnesota
MESA Notes – Public
Website :
Blog, Online Newsletter, etc. :
Public Contact Information:
[email protected]

About the Placement:

Detailed Placement Description

This placement is owned and operated by a family.
Production Acreage : #45
Number of Full-time Employees: 4
Number and Type of livestock: mixed poultry up to 400 birds, hogs ranging for 15 -50, 15 sheep
My farm/organization is: Certified Organic, Biodynamic
I have participated in training exchange or apprenticeship program : more than 10 years with Mesa, more than 15 years with University of Minnesota MAST Program
I am an active member of Wisconsin Apple Growers Association, Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable growers Association, Organic Tree Fruit Association, International Tree Fruit Assn.
Educational Activities :
Field days and summer tours. IPM training on our farm. Monitoring and ID of pests and beneficial insects. Training with Organic pesticides and repellants.
Social Environment:
Harry and Jackie Hoch are the co-owners/managers of the farm. We have two daughters. Angie is 29 years old, she lives, works and goes to school in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. Missy is 27 and works in Lacrosse Wisconsin.
There are many fall festivals in the LaCrosse area including Oktoberfest and LaCrescent Apple Festival. LaCrosse also has movie theaters, a community theater for plays, a few museums, and some minor league professional sports teams. The trainees will also have the opportunity to visit the Minneapolis/St.Paul area (Twin Cities). We deliver fruit to the Twin Cities on a weekly basis starting in June and going through December. The Twin Cities have large venues for music; major league sports teams, museums of every kind, and just about any form of entertainment possible in the upper Midwestern U.S.

Primary Production :

Vegetables, Berries, Tree fruits, Sheep, Pork, Poultry

About the Internship

Training Hours:

44hours / week

Training Expectations :

We offer Seasonal training, ideally between April and November.
Our farm/organization strongly prefers the steward who has basic understanding of English, should be able to follow simple instructions. Our family is not religious, we are in a rural setting so we do not have the ability to transport stewards to religious functions. We will allow time off for stewards to attend religious functions and can provide a vehicle for stewards after the attain a Minnesota Drivers license.

On-Site Training, Steward’s primary activities :

Tree fruit maintenance, vegetable and berry maintenance, berry production, Fruit harvest, fruit packing, fruit processing, some work with animals

Climate and Location Description

Average temperature/Typical weather: Temperate zone, humid moist climate, temperatures can vary from March to November from 0 degrees F to 100 degrees F.
Proximity to nearest town/city: 12 miles from LaCrosse Wisconsin, 140 miles from StPaul Minnesota.
Geographic Location:
Hoch Orchard is located on ridge land along the Mississippi River Valley. The farmland is scattered along deep valleys and woodland. LaCrosse Wisconsin is about ten miles from the farm and has a population of 50,000 people. There are about 100,000 people in a 50-mile radius of LaCrosse. LaCrescent Minnesota is about 8 miles from our farm; it has a population of about 5,000 and is two miles from LaCrosse. St.Paul Minnesota is about 150 miles from our farm and is the largest population center in Minnesota. The St.Paul/Minneapolis metropolitan area has a population of about 2.5 million people. This is where we sell most of our apples.

Compensation :

$1000/month, intern house next to owners house, Free, daily food

Accommodations and amenities provided :

Accommodations: House is shared with Other interns/stewards. Bedroom is shared. Bathroom is shared.
Lodging is Simple, with basic amenities (heat, indoor bathroom.
Housing is onsite.
Amenities: Electric or gas heat, Air Conditioning, TV, VCR/DVD, Computer & Internet for steward use, Free, daily internet on-site, Telephone (Free local calls only; must buy own calling card for non-local calls), Food provided by host to cook your own meals(shared with host and other interns), Free, seasonal farm products. (Example:Fruit, veggies, meats)

Preferred start date :


Preferred length of internship :

4-5 months