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Livestock Apprentice at ACES Rock Bottom Ranch - 17411

Job Title: 
Livestock Apprentice
ACES Rock Bottom Ranch
2001 Hooks Spur
81621 Basalt , CO ,
Job Type: 
Employment Type: 
Job Description: 

Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is a nonprofit environmental science education organization. Since 1968, ACES has inspired a life-long commitment to the earth by providing innovative and immersive programming for all ages. We have three locations: Hallam Lake, Rock Bottom Ranch, and Catto Center at Toklat. Our programs focus on ecological literacy, regenerative agriculture, forest and ecosystem health, land restoration, and environmental leadership. Through this, ACES meets our mission of educating for environmental responsibility.

Located mid-valley in Basalt, CO, Rock Bottom Ranch is a 113-acre site which dedicates approximately 70 acres to natural wildlands and about 35 acres to pasture-based, rotationally grazed multi-species livestock systems and intensive low-till vegetable production. Rock Bottom Ranch also serves as an outdoor classroom for summer camps, school groups, and community education programming to engage visitors and staff alike with questions about how humanity interacts with and impacts our ecosystems through a lens of nature-based scientific exploration and food production.

The Agriculture Program aims to spark a community of food-educated citizens through the demonstration of forward-thinking, environmentally, socially, and climate-aware agriculture and land stewardship practices. We seek to educate farmers on profitable, scalable, and replicable agriculture systems. Our livestock production raises sheep, laying hens, cattle, broiler chickens, turkeys, rabbits and bees. Our vegetable production grows 50+ crops on our ⅔ acre of intensively spaced outdoor production and in our four season extension structures. Rock Bottom Ranch’s livestock and vegetable products are featured at our summer dining events, weekly farmers’ markets, vegetable CSA, and on-farm sales.

Our production farm and educational site is open to the public five days a week during the summer and offers farm tours, youth and adult programs, and dining events. Agricultural staff are primarily involved in the diverse array of production agriculture operations, but have the opportunity to become involved in customer service, event, and educational experiences.

ACES Agriculture Apprenticeship is a hands-on learning and training program that is geared towards those with an
interest in pursuing agriculture as a career. This production focused program exposes you to every aspect of the season from planning to production to sales, with the intent of making you a competitive candidate for future agriculture operations. Upon completion of this program, apprentices will feel confident and knowledgeable in a diversity of regenerative agriculture systems.

Duties & Responsibilities: 

Educational Opportunities and Professional Development:
During the season, production responsibilities are complemented by additional learning opportunities via tours, presentations, workshops, and trainings. Some of this additional programming may require limited evening obligations.
Programming primarily takes place in the spring and fall and may include:
Presentations on various agricultural topics, practices, and methods including agriculture policy, production planning, and carbon sequestration;
Hands-on workshops offering exposure to subjects that could include floral arrangement, welding, small engine repair, butchery, and many others;
In-depth training on skills including tractor operation, haying, trailer driving, manual transmission driving, small power tools and others;
Tours of local farm and food operations;
Public speaking;
Events set up and execution.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
1) Livestock Production:
Assist with the daily care of cattle, sheep, goats, laying hens, broilers, turkeys, rabbits, and bees.
Daily care includes: providing feed and fresh water, creating electric fencing paddocks and moving animals through a multi-species rotational grazing system, mucking out stalls and houses, collecting and washing eggs.
Participate in humane, on-property slaughter of chickens and turkeys.
Participate in evening chicken cratings through the summer.

2) Site Maintenance:
Site maintenance including mowing, weed whacking, fence repair, trail repair, event preparation, cleaning, or other site duties as needed.

Secondary Duties and Responsibilities:
1) Low-till Vegetable Production:
Assist with vegetable production including: soil preparation, seed propagation, watering, transplanting, and cultivation.
Assist with harvesting, washing, packaging, and sales of final vegetable products.

2) Customer Service, Events, and Other Duties:
Provide a welcoming and educational environment to all guests.
Lead public farm tours.
Assist with leading and mentoring summer stewards.
Assist with sales of produce and meat at local farmers’ markets and at the ranch. Farmers markets require longer work hours. CSA pick-up may require working in the evening.
Participation in on-farm events including, but not limited to, dining events, educational programs, and farm tours.
Evening events are either compensated with comp time or an hourly pay.
After hours, on-call responsibilities which will include chicken crating, animal emergencies, animal birthing, or site maintenance issues.
Contribute daily to a clean and organized site.
Other related duties as assigned to further the mission of ACES.

Education & Experience: 

Candidates must have the following:
Exposure to agriculture production (season of production, summer internship, regular volunteering, or equivalent experience).
An interest in pursuing farming as a career.
Strong work ethic and understanding that farm work is rewarding, yet physically demanding.
Have the ability to work over 8 hour days.
Enjoy working outdoors in varying weather conditions.
Able to lift heavy items.
Friendly, inviting personality and positive attitude.
Respect for farm products, fellow crew members, and all ACES staff.
Strong willingness and desire to learn.

Preferred but not required, candidates will have the following:
Bilingual, particularly conversational Spanish.

Reporting Relationship: This position reports to the Agriculture Manager. The Agriculture Crew Leads also provide management and support.

Work schedule: 5 days per week, Tuesday through Saturday. Up to 50 hours a week in peak season. Additional rotating weekend chores responsibilities required and are additionally compensated. We value a work/life balance; however, farming has peak demands and occasional times of unpredictability where we will be challenged to work through our physical and mental limitations.

Housing: Housing provided. On average one hour per week of general maintenance duties are expected to be fulfilled as part of the in-kind housing compensation.
Position Dates: March 16, 2023 – October 31, 2023. Start date is non-negotiable

Compensation and benefits: Compensation includes: $485/week, plus housing, utilities, and vegetables (available seasonally (June-October, lighter in June) and eggs (available March-November). This is a full-time, seasonal, position and is currently ineligible for ACES benefits package.

Application Instructions: 

To Apply: Apply at Please direct any questions to Please do not make any phone calls to the ranch regarding this position.

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