Volunteer On the Farm
Flint Hill Farm is grateful to have dedicated groups of volunteers who are committed to the Center's mission of "Feeding the Spirit, Educating the Mind, Preserving the Community." Volunteers provide visitors with unique and personal agricultural experiences.
We invite you to join this dedicated team. Consider volunteering individually or as a team! All that's required is a love of our natural world, an interest in spending time with visitors of all ages, and completion of the required training. There are several ways in which you can volunteer your time:
Regular Farm Activities (Training will be provided):
Gathering and Cleaning Eggs: AM or PM, one or more days per week.
Stall Help: AM or PM, work will be shared with another adult or teen. Volunteers need to be willing to become comfortable around various animals. Times needed - 7:00 AM for cleaning stalls; flexible PM hours for cleaning run-in areas. Duties include washing and filling water buckets, putting hay into stalls, removing manure, and putting in fresh bedding.
Animal Feeding: AM or PM, work will be shared with another adult or teen. Volunteers need to be willing to become comfortable around various animals.nDuties include bringing food to various animals and carrying small feed buckets. Ability to drive the John Deere Gator, a plus.
Cow or Goat Milking: AM or PM, time required approximately 1 and 1/2 hrs.
Assist in Market Preparation. Flexible times to work in cheese house and package cheese, one or more days per week for 2 hrs.
School Tour Guides: Flexible times between the hours of 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM depending on school scheduling in the spring, summer, and fall for 3 hr. time slots. Volunteers need to enjoy being around lots of young people.
Work in the Office: Flexible times to work in office to file, answer phones, take messages, and handle sales of farm produce and do some errands. Volunteers need strong interpersonal skills.
Maintenance Person: Flexible times to do small repairs - wood working, machine skills, and small engine repairs a plus!
Farmers Market Vendors: Flexible days in the spring and summer. Will pay $40.00 per market day. Volunteers must be willing to become knowledgeable concerning milk and cheese made on the farm. May use farm car for transportation to markets.
Special or Seasonal Projects:
Painter: Able to paint the out buildings and barns
Landscapers or Yard Maintainers: Weed whacking around the fence lines
Nature Trail Helpers: Upgrading the nature trails throughout the Woods Walk area
Backhoe Operator: Needed to help dig new, additional waterlines out to the fields
Carpenters: Able to fix run-in sheds, build lean-to for farm equipment, repair stall doors, build a 10 X 10 anteroom onto our present farm store to allow access and work area for volunteers in wheelchairs, and other small tasks
Master Gardener: Oversee master plan of garden and assist gardeners when necessary. Would be able to assist in 3 events for the community in area of personal expertise. Would be knowledgeable (or be able to access a gardener) to prepare trellis grapes and vines.
Garden Planner: To plan together garden for next year. Volunteers need to coordinate a plan to start plants in the greenhouses in the spring and maintain the flower, herb, and outside vegetable gardens for both family and school visitors throughout the growing season. At the end of the season, winterize the garden after harvest. You may use produce for your families.
LIVE, LEARN, LEAD
As part of the Flint Hill Farm Education Center the Volunteer Program provides:
Opportunities for the Education and Personal Development of its Volunteers;
Opportunities for the Community to Participate and Contribute in tangible ways;
All of the Animals with the Love and Care they need.
The Importance of Volunteer Staff to the Farm:
The ‘Extra Hands’ that a volunteer staff provides not only makes the animals happier, but also makes possible a superior level of program quality enabling education center ‘students’ greater personalized attention, and freeing Board Members to invest their time and energies into the Management and Further Development of the Education Center. As our Vocational Program Director puts it, “Volunteers are not paid, because they are Priceless!”
The farm environment of nature and community, physical outdoor work, and the presence of animals can make one feel alive and add to the quality of volunteer’s lives through friendships, fresh air, whole foods, and exercise.
As part of the Education Center, volunteers have the opportunity to learn much more than what the constant care of animals and farm includes: washing buckets, passing out hay, picking up manure, etc. High school and college aged volunteers have the opportunity to learn about team work, communication skills, and leadership - skills necessary for life and coveted by future employers.
When assisting with Education Center programs, volunteers will gain experience working with children, disabled, elderly, and public audiences. As well as a continued opportunity to learn hands-on about the care, health, and behavior of animals, workplace workshops offer volunteers and others at the farm communication and relationship skills, emergency response skills, workplace ergonomics, and the other such skills.
Seasoned volunteers will have the opportunity to train and mentor new volunteers. A simple model for training will be offered:
I do, You Watch
We Do together
You do, I watch
You do, they watch...
There is work enough to share with everyone! Everyone can be an integral part of the farm. For example, even young children can help collect eggs, wash them, and put them in containers. They can walk young goats (that often squeeze through the fence) back to their mothers, and even collect and remove stones from the pasture and garden and fill mud holes. The list is endless….But there is a place for everyone.
The Flint Hill Farm Volunteer Program is part of the Education Center. As such, it seeks to provide opportunities for personal development, as well as the natural life enhancing effects of working together outdoors among animals and friends down on the farm.