Posted by Sara Yagelniski on November 10, 2022

Do you dream of starting your own farm but don’t know where to start. The Dogs Run Farm is excited to offer an exciting apprenticeship to help you learn what it takes to start your farming journey.

About the Farm

The Dog’s Run Farm is located on Treaty 1 territory near Clearwater, MB. 

The Dog’s Run Farm encompasses just under twelve acres on a beautiful valley, with a small unnamed creek, or run, at the bottom, plus 37 acres of rented pasture. Their two farm dogs enjoy roaming the creek, which from a birds eye view resembles a dog’s head. This is how the farm got its name.

Colin and Katie raise Dorper sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, laying hens, miniature donkeys, a horse, as well as a few cats and their dogs. The grow a large garden for flowers and vegetables for their own consumption. They are always looking for ways to make their farm more efficient and their home more welcoming.

Colin and Katie are motivated by commitments to regenerative agriculture, their community, and skills and knowledge that have been passed down through generations. They practice rotational grazing techniques, which helps lands to recover and improve in relationship with the animals it feeds. They also enjoy practicing skills such as carpentry, canning, soap making, tapping Manitoba maples for syrup, and gathering food from the wild.

About the Apprenticeship

The apprentice will help with day to day operations of the farm. The main on-farm enterprises are livestock for meat and eggs, including pigs, sheep, poultry, as well as hand made all-natural soap. Animal duties would include moving pens and fencing for pasture on a regular basis, feeding and watering chores, loading and sorting of animals, poultry brooding care, assistance with lambing etc. The apprentice will also help with construction and maintenance projects on farm, including fencing, small construction projects, repairs, etc. The apprentice will also help with garden maintenance, food preservation, weeding and be involvement in meal prep and clean-up.

We are passionate about food, and maintaining the health of our family, animals, soil, and the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The prospective applicant would be welcomed into our family for the period of the internship, and would be considered a valued and integral member of our team.

As part of the apprenticeship, you will meet with other apprentices across Manitoba who are part of the Young Agrarians Apprenticeship program. Field days, learning opportunities and potlucks will be planned with this group at each hosts farm. You will be provided with a learning fund to support travel or other learning opportunities you wish to pursue.

About the mentors

Colin and Katie McInnes have been farming since they moved from Winnipeg in March of 2013. Their farm near Clearwater, MB is their second location, and their permanent home. Food is a very important thing in Katie and Colin’s lives. Since making the decision to farm, raising excellent quality food for themselves, their friends and family, and their customers as been their goal.

Colin is in charge of animal care, design, construction, and implementation on the farm. He is the ‘Departments of Infrastructure, Acquisition, and Agriculture’. Katie is in charge of customer service, marketing, household upkeep, seed starting, and garden and food preservation. She is the ‘Departments of Finance, Homeland Security, and Human Resources’.

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.

FARROWING soap making
FENCING gardening

Skills Required of the Apprentice

Apprentices working at the Homestead must have a desire to learn, a valid drivers license and own means of transportation, and an established vision for regenerative agriculture. They will be expected to provide their own work clothing including: appropriate footwear for various seasons/weather situations, gloves, hat, work clothes, pocket knife etc.

Housing, Stipend and Duration

A private room with double bed in the farmhouse. Access to separate bathroom/shower. In-house laundry, Wi-Fi, household library. Opportunity to use vehicle (non-exclusive use) can be negotiated.

Meals would be shared with the family, or prepared by the apprentice with provided ingredients. We are an omnivorous household, which includes, meat, eggs, dairy, grains, etc and would be best suited to an apprentice without a restrictive diet. An intern with specific dietary ‘wants’ may need to provide their own ingredients.

$1000 per month for a stipend. Time-off can be negotiated to suit the weekly needs of the apprentice, the farm, and the season. Any lengths of time off would need to be negotiated in advance. They are looking for an apprentice who can commit to a 6 month duration between the end of April to the end of October with an expectation of five day work week (at the minimum).

About the Community and Land

Clearwater is the nearest town to the farm. It has limited amenities however it is home to The Harvest Moon Festival and society. A food focused and agricultural town. In the heart of the prairie landscape and surrounded by oaks! The farm is about 1.5 hours to Brandon and 2.5 hours to Winnipeg.

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  > January 31st, 2023

Interested in an Apprenticeship but this isn’t quite the right one? Check out other Young Agrarians  Apprenticeships being offered in 2023 here.

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