SHELTON, Conn. — College students interested in learning about sustainable agriculture practices are invited to apply for summer internships to work in verdant pastures nestled in the White Hills of Shelton.
The application process opens in January for one of these opportunities at the Jones Family Farms and Winery.
The 400-acre working farm has been busy throughout December as families visited to cut their own Christmas trees — Jones Family Farms is famous for its 200 acres of trees. It also has 15 acres of strawberry fields and another 15 acres of blueberry fields; along with 25 acres of pumpkins, gourds and squash.
In the summer internships, students "learn about modern, sustainable agriculture, direct marketing and ecology, while earning a fair salary in a pleasant family farm environment," said Tom Harbinson, the farm's facilities and hospitality manager.
"This is how we create our summer team, and while we have had mostly local participants, we have also had college students from Iowa, Idaho and beyond," he told Daily Voice.
The internships give students a chance to learn about harvesting crops, running a retail businesses, providing good customer service, and performing farm chores, such as weeding, pruning, and harvesting.
There are also maintenance tasks to be done, such as cleaning, painting and folding boxes, and a farm stand to run to learn general sales practices.
- Be a team player and have a positive attitude and outgoing personality.
- Have strong communication skills.
- Be in good physical health.
- Be comfortable standing for eight hours, able to lift 50 pounds, and to perform demanding work at a fast farm pace.
- Be able to work in all weather conditions, from extreme heat to rain.
- Have a sincere interest in learning about sustainable agriculture, conservation, and eating healthy/locally.
- Full-time summer commitment for 13 weeks, from May 22 to Aug. 12 (about 400 to 450 hours, weather/crop dependent)
- Must work weekend and some evening hours, including holidays (such as Memorial Day and July 4th)
- Strawberry season: Six-day work weeks, with Sunday afternoons and one weekday off in June
- Blueberry season: Five-day work weeks, with Sundays and Mondays off in July-August
- One three-day weekend granted in July, as assigned by managers
- Work days can start as early as 7:30 a.m. and can finish as late as 7 p.m. (varies). A typical shift is eight hours.
- Strawberry/farm training before start of retail season (about 15 hours of structured lessons)
- Blueberry/Summer Agricultural Work training in July (about 12 hours of structured lessons)
- Project-oriented, on-the-job instruction on agricultural techniques, farm products, and direct marketing
- Pay is at an hourly rate and payroll is on a biweekly basis
- Compensation relates to amount of work and dedication to the completion of summer farm work
- Successful returning farm interns will have experienced job status and can be compensated as such
- Retail clothing (T-shirts, caps) provided
- Housing/transportation is not provided
Click here for information and to apply for an internship.
Jones Family Farm is located at 606 Walnut Tree Hill Road, Shelton. Call 203-929-8425.
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