The placements below represent MESA’s current and/or recent US Host partners. Their availability and/or interest in your Steward application is not guaranteed.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT CONTACT ANY HOST LISTED BELOW WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM MESA. ABUSE OF THIS POLICY MAY RESULT IN CANCELLATION OF YOUR STEWARD APPLICATION.
IMPORTANTE: NO CONTACTE A NINGÚN ANFITRIÓN ENUMERADO ABAJO SIN EL PERMISO DE MESA. EL ABUSO DE ESTA PÓLIZA PUEDE RESULTAR EN LA CANCELACIÓN DE SU SOLICITUD.
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Deck Family Farm
MESA Notes – Public
Blog, Online Newsletter, etc. :
Public Contact Information:
About the Placement:
Detailed Placement Description
Deck Family Farm is located in Western Willamette Valley. The farm is a highly diversified operation that focuses on Regenerative Agriculture practice using pasture based animal systems. Owned and leased acres span approximately 300-500 acres and animal groups include Heritage Red Wattle pork, OTCO Galloway Beef, Pastured Poultry, Lamb, and a Raw Jersey milk dairy. Organic eggs, fruit, nuts, and vegetables. Deck Family farm stands on the principles of Regenerative Agriculture and sustainability in all forms; energetic, environmental, and financial. Practices currently employed include riparian exclusion and restoration, management intensive grazing, humane animal handling, reforestation and Oak Woodland plantings, nutrient management, ethical business practice and transparency.
Deck Family Farm DFF practices regenerative agriculture improving soil through nutrient management systems of assessing soil needs, applying composted manures, ash, and lime. DFF employs a 7 year rotation to graze, renovate and restore pastures. Over the last 20 years the farm has put 1mile plus of riparian corridors into the Creek Restoration & Enhancement Program (CREP), performed 5 Environment Quality Incentive Programs (EQUIP) projects to sequester and compost manure on farm, and planted over 100,000 trees through the Forest Trust Program. All forage produced on farm is certified Organic with Oregon Tilth, maintains a humane handling certification with GAP, Good Animal Practices and, is American Grass-fed Certified by AGA. Deck strives to build reasonable efficiencies and economies of scale for financial resiliency while acknowledging that the lives of the animals we raise and the people we feed are all sacred.
Deck Family Farm currently have three major marketing outlets.
1. Farmers Markets in Eugene and Portland
2. Full Farm CSA aggregates and sells products from farms within 100mil radius.
3. Wholesale accounts
We build community through our farmers network that collaborate to provide products for the FFCSA. DFF runs a year-round education program for 8-10 intern/trainees and apprentices that includes a cost of living allowance, introduces trainees to neighboring farms, supports externships and on and off farm research projects. Approximately 50% of DFF graduates continue into some sector of the agriculture industry.
Deck Family Farm is a multi-generational and community-oriented farm. The ideal applicant thrives in a full and rich environment of activity and diversity. The farm has open gate policy, that welcomes visitors any day but Sunday. Deck is dedicated to being transparent in our practice and is commitment to keeping our agricultural heritage alive and relevant for our farm community and beyond.
We love vegetables and try to have them at every meal; however, we believe that animals are an intrinsic part of a balanced healthy food system and for this reason we prefer NOT to accommodate strict vegetarian or vegan diets.
Primary Production :
Bees/Honey, Berries, Cattle, Dairy, Equine/Horse Therapy, Farm Education & Community, Goats, Herbs, Pork/Swine, Poultry, Sheep, Tree fruits, Vegetables
About the Internship:
Training Expectations :
The goal of the Deck Family Farm intern and apprentice program is to train the next generation of farmers. The farm hosts 7-10 interns and apprentices year round. The program is immersive, highly diverse, and grounded in community. Interns participate in all aspects of animal husbandry, nutrition, care, sales and marketing, market garden, and community building. Farm management, employees, and intern/apprentices work alongside each other. Lead enterprise managers support the learning experience of the students. Interns are part of the “Farmily”, a typical week might consist of working a farmers market, milking cows/goats, making butter, yogurt, or cheese, cracking nuts, slopping out pig stalls, helping to bring in newborn lambs, piglets, and calves into the world, running spreadsheets, feeding chickens, collecting eggs, chopping wood, harvesting fruits and vegetables, and preparing a meal for the community. Opportunities at Deck are only limited by the imagination.
The farm enterprises are as follows:
Raw milk dairy: Milking an average of 16-18 cows year round. The herd is held as a cooperative and owned by shareholders who pay for feed, care and milking of the herd. Butter, cheese, and yogurt along with fresh milk are produced for shareholders.
Heritage pasture-raised hazelnut-finished pork. Sows farrow in the barn in the winter. Piglets are fed raw milk from the dairy during weaning and finished on hazelnuts. We produce our pigs birth to finish.
100% Grass fed and finished Certified Organic Heritage Galloway beef. Management intensive grazing has brought greater fertility to farm pastures, and rotating crops of grains, legumes and grasses has extended our grazing season to 8-9 months of the year.
Chickens: Organic heritage layers for eggs, and roasters for meat. All chickens are out on pasture during the day and housed in chicken trailers or tractors at night to prevent predation. Chickens are grazed behind and beside, cattle. In addition to their great tasting eggs, the poultry is an integral part of breaking parasite life cycles and bringing fertility to the pastures.
Sheep: Our mixed breed flock of Cheviot, Dorset and Suffolk ewes ranges between 120-150. Lambs come in early Spring. Much of our grazing for the sheep flock is on leased Organic ground and off-site.
Vegetables: Graziers Garden provides veggies for the Full Farm CSA (FFCSA) which is housed at the farm and supplies farm members with meat, milk, eggs, veg, fruit, nuts, grains, ferments, and more. If you were interested in homesteading this would be a good enterprise in which to participate.
Marketing: The farm markets direct to customer through farmer’s markets, buying clubs, grocery stores and the farm’s Full Farm CSA (FFCSA). Farm interns participate in the marketing level of the business in addition to the farming because it is through marketing that the farm receives the resources to operate. Marketing runs the engine of revenue and drives profitability.
Deck is a for-profit business that strives to maintain a reasonable economy of scale. If you are interested in homesteading practices, we can provide some training in food preservation and community living, but our program is substantially rooted in what it takes to run a successful farm business rather than a subsistence homestead.
We are currently offering the following placement for the 2023-2024 season
1 year internship with room, board and stipend. Interns will rotate in at least two enterprises during the first year, usually in one of the following: Pastured Pork, Raw Jersey Dairy, Vegetables market garden, Beef Herd grazing and Management Intensive grazing, Lamb, Pastured Poultry, Marketing. Interns will rotate through as many areas of the farm as possible but personal interest, aptitude and availability plays a key role in placement. Stipend is paid in advance of the month and is meant to cover incidental expenses while in an educational program. Stipend is a total of $10,000 for the year.
On-Site Training, Steward’s primary activities :
The workday begins at 7 AM with an all farm meeting, milking, and farm chores. We break for an hour at noon and finish the day between 4 to 6PM. The work week is 5 days on 2 days off, 8-10 hours/day. 1 day/week is dedicated to further training, research, or touring other farms.
Students will rotate through 2-4 enterprises during the first year, usually in one of the following: Pastured Pork, Raw Jersey Dairy, Cheesemaking, Vegetables Market garden, Beef Herd grazing and Management Intensive grazing, Lamb, Pastured Poultry, Marketing & Butchery. Interns will rotate through as many areas of the farm as possible but personal interest, aptitude and availability plays a key role in placement.
Climate and Location Description
Rural location, the Willamette Valley is known for its wet winters and heavy rainfall, 45inches/year. Snow on occastion. July-August-September can have hot days ranging in 80-100F
Intern shared room, Free, daily food, We visit 5-10 neighboring farms annually and students will participate in Farmers Markets meeting more farmers and food producers on a weekly basis. The farm participates in monthly study groups and provides on farm events & workshops for the public.
Accommodations and amenities provided :
Students share a dorm with amenities, kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facility in a main house. High speed internet, community kitchen, and bathhouse w/sauna are included. We are located about 30 minutes from the closest large town Eugene, and 15 minute drive from the closest grocery store. The farm regularly travels to town for deliveries and errands. It is easy to catch a ride.
Preferred start date :
Preferred length of internship :
12 months +