YA Apprenticeship 2021: Halkirk, AB – Lazy T Farm & Lady’s Hat Farm

Posted by Kolby Peterson on January 04, 2020 1 Comment

Are you an aspiring farmer looking for hands-on farming experience on an ecological farm? Flowers, chickens, lambs, cows, bees and more! Spend your summer helping out at two small farms under the endless skies of Central Alberta. Lazy T Farm and Lady’s Hat Farm near Halkirk, Alberta are looking to share an apprentice this upcoming spring and summer. The two farms work closely together under the umbrella The Prairie Farm Project – an informal co-operative of farms in the area that hosts dinners, plans workbees, and markets collaboratively.

About the Farms

Brett and Jenna Hauck of Lazy T Farm moved back to Jenna’s parents farm four years ago. The fifth-generation family farm has been practicing Holistic Management since 2002 and is powered by solar. Jenna and Brett raise pastured poultry, hens and grass-fed/finished beef. The apprentice would be expected to help the couple rotate 1,000 meat chickens onto new grass each day, collect eggs and help with other general tasks on the farm. There is a small farm house on the property that the apprentice would be able to stay in for the duration of the apprenticeship.

Just 10 minutes away is Lady’s Hat Farm. Nikki Wiart is a third generation farmer in her third season. The farm produces seasonal and ecological cut flowers, honey, eggs and grass-fed lamb – and is also home to a floral studio where Nikki designs arrangements for weddings, funerals and events. A relatively new farmstead, Nikki will need a lot of help this summer cleaning up the yard, weeding, planting fruit and flower trees, and building permanent beds – not to mention cutting, arranging and delivering flowers, moving lambs (ok, also chasing them after they get out!), caring for other livestock and checking hives.

Because the Prairie Farm Project also works with RedTail Farms, the apprentice will be able to learn from Ian and Dana while helping out at work bees throughout the summer. The crew gets together a lot for dinners, bonfires and drinks!

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The Prairie Farm Project crew – from left to right: Brett, Jenna, Nikki, Dana, and Ian

 About the Apprenticeship

Between the two farms, the apprentice will get a wide-range of hands-on experience, and hopefully leave at the end of the season with a clear understanding of farm life. Because the farms are small, the apprentice will need to assume a lot of responsibility and independence.

Lazy T Farm is also offering a paid farm position of Chicken Boss. This position could be filled by a motivated apprentice. More information on this position can be found here. To apply for Chicken Boss as a YA Apprentice, fill out the YA Apprenticeship application form and select the option of Chicken Boss.

As part of the apprenticeship, you will meet with other apprentices across Alberta who are part of the Young Agrarians Apprenticeship program. Field days, learning opportunities and potlucks will be planned with this group at each host’s farm.  You will also be invited to attend the 2022 Organic Alberta Conference.

Skills these farms have to teach:

The following skills are being offered by Lazy T Farm. While you’ll get exposure to many of these areas, it is likely that not all will be covered. Apprentices will work to identify the skills they want to develop through a learning plan with the host farm.

NUTRIENT DENSE FOOD PRODUCTION Financial planning
egg production DIRECT MARKETING
Haymaking poultry husbandry
Holistic Management low stress cattle handling
ROTATIONAL Grazing livestock husbandry
calving bale grazing
fencing – permanent + electric large machinery operation

The following skills will be offered by Lady’s Hat Farm:

Greenhouse management flower farming
starting + transplanting flowers + vegetables floral arranging
succession planting beekeeping
egg production sheep husbandry
rotational grazing + electric fencing
Flowers from Lady’s Hat Farm

Requirements of the Apprentice 

The apprentice must have their own car.

Housing & Stipend

The apprentice will stay in their own house in the same yard as the main farm house at Lazy T Farm, though there might be the odd time a family member or guest will share the space. It is tucked back in the trees, has a private deck, a full kitchen and wifi.

Gas will be compensated and monthly stipend provided.

About the Community:

 While both these farms are closest to the Village of Halkirk, Castor is the nearest town and has all of the amenities – grocery stores, gas stations, outdoor pool, gym, etc. A farming community, Castor is incredibly welcoming to new faces, and is supportive of the Prairie Farm Project – especially the farm-to-table dinners!

Moving pastured chickens at Lazy T Farm

The farm is on Treaty 6 territory and the traditional and ancestral lands of Cree, Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Iroquois, Dene, Ojibway/ Saulteaux/Anishinaabe, and Inuit Peoples. These communities have a deep relationship with this land based on, among other things, a spiritual connection and subsistence extending back thousands of years.

Young Agrarians recognizes the unresolved Indigenous land title and rights in the diverse territories in what is today called Canada. As we live and work in the context of and in response to a colonial system of laws and policies, it is important to acknowledge the historical and ongoing impact of agriculture and land enclosure on Indigenous lands and food systems. In this context, we acknowledge our collective responsibility to position Indigenous Peoples and their experiences with coloniality, in a narrative of reconciliation that places ecology, land stewardship, and Indigenous land title and rights at the forefront – if we are to sustain the Earth’s ecosystems in today’s rapidly changing climate.

Our deepest hope is that the future of our food systems is diverse, interconnected, and resilient, embraces people of all walks of life and sustains the water, plants, and creatures in ways that benefit and work alongside Indigenous Peoples and narratives and ways of knowing and caring for the land.

This farm, like many others, is surrounded by agricultural cultivated land, uncultivated land, Indigenous people and voices from non-settler walks of life. We encourage everyone to build relationship with the land and community that surrounds the place where you will be learning.

More Details about this Apprenticeship and How to Apply 

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS – deadline is January 31, 2021.

Interested in an Apprenticeship but this isn’t quite the right one? Check out other Young Agrarians Prairie Apprenticeships being offered in 2021 here. 

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