Are you an aspiring rancher looking to gain experience of managing cattle in a way that’s good for the planet? Richards Family Farm and Livestock is excited to offer an apprenticeship just for you.
About the Farm
Richards Family Farm is located on Treaty 4 territory, near Bangor SK.
Garry, his wife Lynn, and their 3 children, Rebekah, Evan, and Caroline operate a mixed grain and cattle farm. Their goal is to have a resilient, low risk, profitable farm that creates healthy food, healthy ecosystems, and healthy people.
Their family farm is 118 years old and now encompasses a 500 cow-calf herd and additional yearlings in the summer. They grow some grain and work to improve soil health through cover crops, perennial forage, and livestock integration. Richard’s family farm is passionate about the benefits of livestock in grain production.
About the apprenticeship:
Mid-April the farm starts preparing for seeding in May. Cows calve from May to July. At that time the farm focuses on making silage and hauling bales. Beginning in August they prepare for harvesting any grain crops, vaccinating calves and preparing herds for bull turnout. Mid August they market yearlings and start harvest in September. October involves preparing for winter, vaccinating and castrating calves. All through the growing season they are moving cattle in their planned grazing system. In November winter feeding starts and in December they wean calves. Garry, Dianne and their family are also excited about integrating permaculture into projects on their farm.
As part of the apprenticeship, you will meet with other apprentices across Saskatchewan 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.
About the farm mentors
Garry grew up on his family’s farm and then went off to university and became a pharmacist. Lynn is trained as a nurse. When they returned the farm, they wanted to see if it was viable without long term income from pharmacy and nursing. They believe that farming can be fun, profitable, and have potential for future generations if agricultural practices mimics nature. They see the farm as a great way to grow food that makes people and ecosystems healthy and cultivates people that are an asset in our society.
Skills this farm has to teach:
The following skills are being offered by this 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.
|Livestock husbandry||ROTATIONAL GRAZING|
|LIVESTOCK HEALTH||HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT|
|SOIL health||Low stress livestock handling|
|CAttle genetics||regenerative crop production|
|forage production||Monitoring ecosystems|
Skill required of the apprentice
Apprentices working at Richards Family Farm must have a desire to learn, be self-motivated and able to prioritize a number of tasks. Basic quad and tractor driving skills are an asset. Apprentices will work strenuously for extended periods of time so determination and perseverance will come in handy. Apprentice must have attire for work on a farm.
Housing, Stipend and Duration
The apprentice will have their own camper for private accommodation. There will be accessible laundry and possibly WIFI. The apprentice will be invited to one meal per day with the host family. Some meat and vegetables will be provided when they are in season, however all other food is the apprentice’s responsibility.
The apprentice will need their own personal vehicle for non farm use. The hosts prefer not to have visitors staying overnight in apprentice housing. Accommodations are available nearby.
The stipend is $500 per month to start; up to $1000 per month (depending on work quality and interest).
*Wage / stipend, and room and board to be discussed in the interview process.
This apprenticeship will take place from Mid-April to Mid-November. Apprentices will have 2 days a week off depending on the busyness of the season.
About the Community and Land
Bangor, SK is located in the Eastern part of Saskatchewan. About 30 minutes to Melville, 1 hour to Yorkton and 45 minutes to Cowessess First Nation.
The farm is also about 40 minutes north of the beautiful Qu’Appelle valley with nice lakes and swimming holes! Heading to the North East, 1 hour and 20 mins to Assesippi Provincial park and the Assiniboine river in Manitoba. And to the north 1 hour and 15 mins is the beautiful Good Spirit Lake. Lot’s of beautiful land to see and experience on and near Richard’s Family Farm!
“I acknowledge that many First Nation people were displaced by others in the settlement of Canada. I would like to focus primarily on the future and how to get First Nation people back on the land. We rent land from Cowessess First Nation and I have talked with leaders in the community to send anyone to visit our farm who is interested in farming.”
To show our respect for the history of the Land and People, Young Agrarians acknowledges:
This farm is located on Treaty 4 territory and the traditional and ancestral lands of the cultures, languages, and People from Cree, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Dakota, Nakota, Lakota, and Métis roots. 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 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 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.
Deadline January 31st, 2022
Contact Sara – Saskatchewan Apprenticeship Coordinator with questions: