APPRENTICESHIP: Holdanca Farms, Wallace Bay, Nova Scotia

Posted by Moss Dance on March 21, 2016


Holdanca Farms ( is a family farm under the direction and management of John Duynisveld. We raise grass-finished beef, lamb & pastured pork and poultry with a focus on long-term pasture productivity and animal health & welfare.  The farm includes ~300 acres of pasture, plus woodlands. 

In 2016, we’ll raise ~5000 pastured chickens, ~800 pastured turkeys, the piglets from four sows (~70 pigs), multiple herds of cattle (cows, calves, and finishing beeves), 50 ewes and their lambs.  We’re on the cutting edge of pasture management, employing Holistic Management, high density mob grazing, and careful observation to build soil and pasture productivity. This position provides the opportunity to learn, hands on, from a successful and profitable, direct-marketing, pasture-based farm.

All meats are processed in NS-inspected facilities, and all poultry are processed on-farm.

We’re advertising two positions, both paid apprenticeships.  We’re looking for one person to focus on production, and another focused on processing and distribution.

Qualifications & Assets:

  • Honest, hard-working & highly motivated, with an interest in farming and a keen desire to learn & develop skills relevant to a career in agriculture. Positive outlook and inquisitive.
  • Has the respectful attitude and calm temperament needed for successful low-stress stockmanship.
  • Relevant experiences on farm, with a focus on farm animal care.
  • Self-starter that can work independently.
  • Has good communication skills and proven ability to work with a team.

Work includes the following activities (responsibility shared with other team members):

  • ensure all animals in barn (young chicks, turkey poults, piglets, etc.) have fresh water, bedding, food.
  • move mobile pasture pens with growing chickens
  • deliver feed to pastured poultry and pigs
  • ensure that all animals have access to water & food
  • Fix and maintain fencing, irrigation lines, etc.
  • Provide support with moving livestock & handling animals.
  • Weekly poultry processing & value-added processing (chicken cut-up, sausages, etc.)
  • Preparing and delivering orders to customers locally and in the Halifax area
  • Everything else that needs doing; flexibility with evolving work demands is key – this is farming!


Duration of Contract:

From May to December 2016, approximately 40 hours a week (though varying through the season).


Financial compensation is based on level of experience (in line with NS labour laws).

Other benefits include access to on-farm accommodations (details to be negotiated), wifi, reading library & fine pastured meats.

Most importantly, this is an excellent learning opportunity to work with a capable, passionate and focused farm team. The skills gained in this paid apprenticeship will provide a solid foundation for your farming career.

To Apply

Please submit a brief resume highlighting relevant experiences & include references to:

John Duynisveld
and Adam MacLean*

Selected candidates will be invited to interview for the position.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *