Posted by Sara Yagelniski on February 08, 2022

Are you an aspiring farmer who wants to gain experience growing amazing food for an amazing community? Fresh Roots Farm is excited to offer a meaningful apprenticeship to help you on your farming journey.

About the Farm

Fresh Roots Farm is located on Treaty 1 territory near Cartwright, MB. 

Michelle Schram and Troy Stozek have been farming since 2011, on a quarter section
inherited from Michelle’s grandparents. They decided to try and make a living from the
land, laying down “fresh roots” along with optimism for a modern yet traditional style of
food production. They rent another quarter section from Michelle’s father.

Fresh Roots Farm consists of a herd of around 45 cows and their calves. Their grassfed
beef products are marketed directly to customers in Manitoba. The farm also includes
an apiary of around 175 beehives that produce raw honey, most of which is sold either
as wholesale to stores, or direct to consumers. The honey is processed and packaged
in an on-farm honey house facility. Troy and Michelle also have a laying hen flock of
around 80-100 hens. In summer the hens are on a pasture-based rotating system. These 2 friendly farmers also produce much of our their food, including a vegetable and herb garden.

Fresh Roots Farm has a fantastic network of returning customers mostly based in
Winnipeg, MB. Troy and Michelle pride themselves on stewarding the animals and the
land, while providing a variety of nourishing foods to local Manitobans.

About the Apprenticeship

The apprentice will work in most aspects of the farm operation. They will help with daily
chores related to livestock including feeding and watering laying hens, egg collection,
checking on cattle, setting up fences and moving animals to new paddocks. In May and
June, the apprentice will help with calving.

Beekeeping activities will include feeding, splitting and queening, moving hives to yards,
checking on hives, collection of honey, and honey harvesting/packaging. The apprentice
will also help with planting, maintenance, care, and harvest of the household vegetable garden.

Additionally, the apprentice will assist with preparing direct marketing orders. They will
also help with regular construction, maintenance and repair projects on the farm.

About the mentors

Troy is a first generation farmer, after growing up in Dauphin, MB and after having
gained his M. Environmental Studies at University of Manitoba. Michelle grew up on a
mixed farm and ranch and got her B. International Development Studies at University of
Winnipeg. Though Troy wasn’t raised on a farm, he had a deep interest in farming and
rural life. Like Michelle, he felt strongly about food sovereignty and sustainable food
production, as well as community development and justice values.

They have 2 young sons (Sydney and Sasha), and they endeavor to continue farming in
a way that will enable the next generation to have farming as a viable livelihood option.

Their children are an important part of their farming world, and they would love to have someone at their place as an apprentice who likes kids and does not mind being around babies and toddlers.

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 to a learning plan with the host farm.

Livestock husbandry calving
maintenance and repair gardening

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Skills Required of the Apprentice

Prior farm or ranch experience is preferred, but not required. The apprentice will be
expected to work both independently and in a team. Organization and problem solving
skills will be helpful.  Knowledge of basic tools/hardware, building or construction
knowledge, and/or beekeeping experience would be an asset but not a requirement.

The crew will also be working outdoors in various types of weather. The apprentice will need to take responsibility for their own personal self-care and appropriate work clothing.

Note: It would be almost impossible for Fresh Roots to host an apprentice that had a
known serious allergy to bee stings. Honeybees are sometimes kept close to the home
yard, and they also need to have someone come that can actively engage (safely) in the
beekeeping enterprise.

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Housing, Stipend and Duration

*This apprentice will have private, separate housing –  a cozy one-room, octagonal
‘cabin’ within the farmyard affectionately called it the ‘Willa Villa’. It has electricity and
running water, a small kitchen and a nearby outhouse. The apprentice can respectfully
use the bath, showering and laundry facilities in the main house.
*The cabin and house both have WIFI.

*The apprentice will generally be provided with food. Breakfast can be prepared and
eaten privately in the apprentice’s own housing. Lunches and most suppers can be
enjoyed together, though if preferred a more independent eating arrangement can be
made. Overall, the family loves cooking and preparing food together, they love the opportunity that sharing meals gives to everyone getting to know each other better.
Even if the applicant does not have much culinary skills or experience,  it would be great if someone is keen to learn and do some food preparation in addition to helping clean up after meals. Please note that their household is omnivorous, and if the applicant has severe or multiple dietary restrictions, they may need to prepare their own meals.

* $12/hour or $1000 (depending on wage subsidies) and can be discussed in the interview.

*The apprentice can expect 1-2 days off per week. This apprenticeship will be ideally 4-5
months, from May to August or September.

About the Community and Land

Cartwright, Manitoba is the nearest small town and the farm is about 1.5 hours to Brandon, MB and 2hrs 45mins to Winnipeg, MB. Many beautiful lakes surround the farm and nearby land. Turtle Mountain Provincial Park and Spruce Woods Provincial Park – both within an hours drive have many hiking trails, camping opportunities, and beautiful land.

The farm is on Treaty 1 territory and the traditional and ancestral lands of Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. 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 

Deadline EXTENDED – February 15th, 2022

Interested in an Apprenticeship but this isn’t quite the right one? Check out other Young Agrarians  Apprenticeships being offered in 2022 here.






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