YA APPRENTICESHIP 2024: BALMORAL, MB – FOSTERING CHANGE FARM

Posted by Justin Girard on December 19, 2023 3 Comments

Farming opportunity to get your hands dirty in 2024 farming with the folks at Fostering Change Farm! Spend time working with cows, pigs, chickens, and goats and enjoy your summer in a fun farm adventure between the big beautiful lakes in the middle of Manitoba.

ABOUT FOSTERING CHANGE FARM

Fostering Change Farm is located near Balmoral, Manitoba – Treaty 1 Territory

Fostering Change Farm is a small farm in the Interlake area of Manitoba comprised of 80 acres of land of which 40 acres are forest, 30 acres are meadow and 10 acres are marsh (primarily a reclaimed gravel pit). The farmhouse is a beautiful little log house that was built in 1977. They direct market the food and focus on the health of people, animals and the environment through regenerative agriculture techniques. You will find pastured poultry, woodlot reared pork, as well as grass-fed beef. They even have dairy goats! The farm began about a decade ago and has gradually grown. It has primarily been run by a single farmer, Farmer Charlene, with increasing need for assistance and hired help over the past few years. This is where you come in; look no further than Fostering Change Farm as the perfect place to get experience raising all sorts of animals.

https://fosteringchangefarm.weebly.com/

About the apprenticeship:


An apprentice would participate in various activities that occur on the farm. They would assist with rearing, feeding and watering all our pastured poultry, laying hens and broilers. They would also assist with egg collection and storage. Daily chicken tractor moves. Weekly egg mobile moves. They would assist with hauling water to the cattle and pasture moves. They would learn a great deal about electric fence, including net fences as well as temporary and permanent electric fence. They would also assist with feeding the pigs as well as fence repairs and movements. They would have the opportunity to learn how to hand milk a goat as well as assist with handling and care of goats including vaccinations and hoof trims. They would assist with the winter barn cleaning for the goats and chickens. The apprentice would learn a lot about animal care and animal health as it relates to a variety of species. They would also learn about some of the wildlife, fauna and flora, present on the farm. If interested, they would have the opportunity to join and interact with customers at food drop-offs/pick-ups as well as on farm tours.

As part of the apprenticeship, you will meet with other apprentices across Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta who are part of the Young Agrarians Apprenticeship program. Field days, learning opportunities and potlucks will be planned with the Manitoba group at each hosts farm.  You will also be encouraged to attend a regenerative or organic food conference during or following the apprenticeship (with potential volunteer positions available).

About the farm mentor:

Charlene is the farm owner and primary farm steward. She purchased the farm in 2010. Initially her goal was simply to raise more of her own food but over time that extended to growing healthy, environmentally friendly, welfare friendly food for friends and family. In addition to being a farmer, Charlene is also a veterinarian with a deeply engrained interest in the health of the whole planet. Orla is Charlene’s mom who regularly helps on the farm and keeps it functioning when Charlene is away. She recently retired from the Health Care field and is constantly learning new things, like how to drive a tractor. She loves the connect with nature the farm provides as well as the opportunity to meet with various people in the community.

Both Charlene and Orla tend to be relatively relaxed mentors. Charlene has experience working with a variety of students through her off farm career and understands that different people have different levels of experience and learn in different ways. Thus, she always tries to provide individual appropriate levels of guidance for everyone’s individual stage of knowledge/experience development.

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.

raising pigs in the forest direct marketing
rotation grazing livestock raising goats
raising chickens for meat and eggs calving, farrrowing, kidding
fencing gardening
milking goats pasture health

Skill required of the apprentice
*It would be great if the apprentice comes with an open mind, good focus and listening skills, attention to detail, and a strong interest in animal based regenerative agriculture.
*It would be ideal if they had some experience working with animals.
*A driver’s license and be able to lift 50 lbs.
*Work boots and rubber boots as well as weather and farm appropriate clothing.
*Apprentice may be working a lot on their own, with Charlene also working off-farm.
*Self motivated, likes to work alone.

Boma (last year’s apprentice), Charlene, and a farm cat

Housing, Stipend and Duration
*Housing will either be the 1980s RV on the property or a spare room in the house.
*Shared laundry is available in the house, as well as internet connection and a medium sized library of regenerative agriculture and gardening books.
*Shared products from the farm – eggs, pork, chicken, garden produce. Potential for shared meals eg. Breakfasts, dinners – depending on dietary preferences/intolerances.
*$1000 per month
*4 months – May 1st to September 1st – may be able to extend if wage supplements available.
*Hours on the farm may vary especially during the heat of the summer when working in the early morning and evening is more comfortable than the mid-day heat. Would aim for 1.5-2 days off per week.

About the Community and Land
Located between Balmoral and Gunton just north of Winnipeg the farm is in close proximity (30 minutes to 1 hour) of a wide variety of tourist attractions and fun places to visit. The farm is only a 30 minute drive to Gimli which is a bustling tourist attraction in the summer. The Narcisse Snake Dens and Oak Hammock marsh are great nature areas to visit. Stonewall has some wonderful shops and stores as well as all amenities. The farm’s community of supportive friends are an absolutely wonderful group of people to know and will quickly include any and all newcomers.

Fostering Change Farm is located on Treaty 1 territory, traditional land of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

More Details about this Apprenticeship and How to Apply 

Deadline to apply > January 31st, 2024

Interested in an Apprenticeship but this isn’t quite the right one? Check out other Young Agrarians  Apprenticeships being offered in 2024 here.

Contact the Manitoba Program coordinator with questions: manitoba@youngagrarians.org

3 thoughts on “YA APPRENTICESHIP 2024: BALMORAL, MB – FOSTERING CHANGE FARM

  1. Hi there,

    I am a Chemist, my dream is having a regenerative farm, and I found out this aprenticeship opportunity very interesting to be involved with my project. I would like to know if you have some age requirements as I am 48 years old. Thank you.

    1. Hi Rene!

      Thanks for your message! There is no age requirement. We’re happy to have anyone young and young-at-heart apply!

      Cheers,
      JoHana

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