Cheese Apprentice – Full Season 2018
About Edgwick Farm: Edgwick Farm is a farmstead goat micro-dairy and creamery located in the Hudson Valley of New York and operated by the husband-wife team of Dan and Talitha Jones. Our primary products are fresh soft goat cheese and pasteurized bottled goat milk. In addition, we craft an aged cheddar, an aged ale washed tomme, an aged Greek style feta and a variety of bloomy rinds. We are certified to offer raw goat milk for sale at the farm. We strive to bring a high quality handcrafted all natural cheese directly from our farm to the consumer’s table. We view ourselves as partners with our customers, our employees, our community, and our environment and we take personal responsibility in our actions toward each. While remaining small and limiting our growth to the milk we can sustainably produce on our own farm with our goat herd, we aim to be regionally recognized in the Hudson Valley, capitalizing on the sustained interest in fresh all natural local food. In answering the public’s growing clamor for distinctive local cuisine with depth of flavor, we maintain safety standards and processes that will insure production of milk and cheeses that are as nutritious and safe to consume as they are flavorful. Our goal is sustainable growth, annual profitability and promoting the value of small scale production of local food.
2018 Creamery Apprentice: This apprenticeship is a full immersion into the operation of our farmstead creamery with full transparency of all we do here. The training and exposure builds in complexity, starting with affinage, cleaning dishes, maintenance projects and fresh cheese making techniques, and building towards learning our creamery’s full range of cheeses. Additionally, the apprentice will be fully trained and exposed to bottling and sale of raw goat milk and pasteurized goat milk. The apprentice is also responsible for prepping cheese and milk for our wholesale and distribution customers and farmer’s markets. From February to April, the apprentice will participate in our farm tours which include cheese tastings and answering cheese making questions. Starting in the spring, the apprentice will manage one or two farmer’s market tables where he/she will market and sell Edgwick Farm milk and cheeses directly to the customer. When cheese making slows down in the fall, the apprentice will have the opportunity to take part in the milking procedures and be introduced to the goat dairying end of the business.
- Dates: January 8th, 2018 – November 4, 2018
- Compensation: Room and board, plus starting stipend of $150/week, with opportunity for raises up to $250/week upon successful mastery of assigned tasks. Every month we will review your progress with you and decide on a stipend increase. The stipend is paid through our bi-weekly payroll and taxable. Apprentice is fully covered by workers compensation insurance.
- Schedule: 50-60 hours/week over 6 days, with Mondays as day off. You must come expecting to work this amount. If you have any doubts about being able to physically or mentally handle this schedule and to do it with enthusiasm, then this position is not for you.
Working in the Creamery: Cheesemaking is an inspiring craft supported by focused hard work and 100% consistency in process. Without a high attention to detail and a meticulous focus on each batch or wheel of cheese, we will not be able to achieve the results we need for our customers. A lot of trust and responsibility is given to the creamery apprentice and it is critical that the processes are followed exactly. Applicants should have a very detail oriented and focused working style and be comfortable taking full responsibility for their tasks. The creamery training philosophy is to provide thorough education to empower our apprentice to excel in their specialties independently. While we take our cheesemaking and work very seriously, it’s also important that everyone maintains a positive attitude and has fun given the small quarters and the daily long hours of working together. Feeling comfortable in this type of working environment is critical. It is important to know that cheesemaking is 90 percent cleaning. Cheesemaking, affinage, and handling cheese requires very strict adherence to sanitation guidelines. Apprentice will have between 10-15 hours of equipment cleaning and dishwashing per week, 10-15 hours of affinage each week and additional cleaning and maintenance projects. Also days in the creamery can be long (10-12 hours) and we are on our feet much of the day. Applicants should feel comfortable doing this type of work. For food safety reasons, production of cheese is clearly separated from animal husbandry so the apprentice will be limited from animal contact during creamery working hours.
Living on the Farm: The apprentice will live at Edgwick Farm in Cornwall, New York. The farm sits in the Hudson Valley, surrounded by gorgeous views, hiking, biking and kayaking opportunities right at our door. Cornwall is a quaint Norman Rockwell type town with some restaurants and stores and one fantastic coffee shop. Surrounding communities offer all other amenities so a vehicle is recommended. New York City is an hour and a half away and easily accessible by bus or train. The apprentice will have a private small cottage adjacent to the creamery with one bedroom, a bathroom with shower stall, small sitting area and kitchen as well as a nice deck and fire pit (similar rentals in our area go for $1000 to $1500 per month). Electric service and propane heat are provided. Wi-Fi is available. Apprentice is responsible for upkeep of cottage. Upkeep includes: trash disposal, composting, recycling, sweeping, mopping, dusting, cleaning the fridge, weed eating, mowing etc. As we have inspectors, guests, and tours at the farm, you will be expected to keep the cottage area neat and clean on your own time.
Meals and Breaks: Meals are not provided nor scheduled at a particular time. Lunch can be taken at a time that fits best with your individual schedule. You will be responsible for being aware of your individual tasks and determining the best time to eat. The allotted time for lunch is 1 hour.
Compensation: We provide housing, a stipend, and some farm-produced food (milk, cheese and eggs and possibly some bartered product from farmer’s markets). The stipend starts at $150/week for the first month when the vast majority of training will be taking place, and can increase over the course of employment. Every month we will review your progress with you and decide on a stipend increase.
Application: Please send your resume and a word document to email@example.com with answers to completed application questions.
- Employment Questions
- Are you able to commit to the exact dates of the apprenticeship? If not, please advise any adjustments that would be required.
- Are you available for a 1-day work visit before your start date?
- Will you have your own vehicle?
- Are you able to be flexible with your schedule depending on the needs of the season; work late if needed, get up early, do a split shift
- Do you believe you are able to work 6 days a week at 8-12 hours a day? Have you had a job with similar demands?
- Do you have health insurance?
- Have you ever been convicted of a crime? If yes, you may explain.
- Short Questions (2-3 sentences minimum)
- Why are you interested in learning about cheese making?
- Do you have experience working on a farm, creamery or kitchen environment? Please describe in detail.
- Do you prefer to work independently or in groups/teams?
- In what type of working and learning environment do you feel the most successful?
- How would you describe your communication style – with peers and with superiors?
- Tell us about an interesting book you read lately or a music album you listened to, and what you appreciated about it.
- What are some of your hobbies or favorite things to do?
- What kind of physical exercise do you currently engage in? Are you able to carry 40-60 pounds at a time?
- Short Essay (2-3 paragraphs minimum)
- Detail what interests you most about working at Edgwick Farm and what you are looking to take away from an apprenticeship.
Thank you for your interest in the farm, and for taking the time to read through this document and fill out an application.
We are looking forward to talking with you.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (845)534-8707.
Talitha and Dan Jones
Edgwick Farm owners/managers/cheesemakers