Mesa Top Farm is a biodynamic farm that exists on a beautiful 360 acre parcel of land in the Glorieta Mesa area outside of Santa Fe. Surrounded by high desert (7500 ft. altitude) beauty, we enjoy truly glorious sunsets and sunrises, the shelter of pine trees, and amazing views of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The farm itself is nestled in an 8 acre valley. We have a range of crops during planting season, laying chickens, dairy cows, guard-dog/entertainment llamas, and pigs.
We’ve recently expanded our herd of dairy cows, and a herd manager is needed. A milking parlor/cheese kitchen is currently in the process of being built; part of this job includes creating small batch, artisan cheese. Responsibilities include, but may not be limited to:
o Maintenance of the health and well being of the dairy herd: cows, calves, bulls, and steer
o Development of the cheese program & other dairy operations at the farm
o Streamline & manage milking process
o Management of animal husbandry
o Report progress & necessary information to the farm manager
o Participation in daily chores – feeding all animals, egg collection, projects as assigned, etc.
The Right Person
This is a live/work situation so the right person is extremely important. Hate to be picky, but sometimes you just gotta be! The farm is a drug & alcohol free place. We work hard – 5.5 days a week, average 10 hours per day. Here are more details about the ideal person for the job:
o ATTITUDE. So important. A positive attitude and excellent work ethic are non-negotiable
o GOOD COMMUNICATION & JUDGMENT SKILLS – there’s a lot going on, all the time. Please have the ability to take direction well, ask good questions, be able to think on your feet and make good judgment calls. Bad judgment calls and negligence can lead at worst to living things dying or being seriously injured, at best to wasted days spent fixing careless mistakes
o The ability to follow through and finish a task is extremely important
o Compassion and respect for all living things – animals & people, are a must
o Must be physically fit – able to lift 75 lbs regularly without trouble, walk up and down steep hills, wrestle thousand pound bulls (just kidding on wrestling bulls)
o Experience in operating heavy machinery and light carpentry work are highly desirable
o Previous experience with livestock – medicating, minor wound treatment, diet optimization, husbandry, etc.
o Experience with cheese-making or other artisanal food product highly desirable
o Personal stability – we are pretty isolated on top of the mesa…away from friends and family, so you need to be prepared for that. We’re deep in the country and we take care of each other, but it still gets hard sometimes.
o Sense of humor – we find ourselves in crazy situations and crazy conversations about crazy situations, so a level head and a sense of humor is pretty crucial
o Respect & cleanliness – this goes back to living with each other: please be respectful of common areas and the well-being of others
Compensation is room and board plus a stipend to be determined based on experience and performance during trial period.
We eat well, including things like organic, local produce, raw milk from our own herd, and eggs from our own chickens. A number of us have a penchant for pie, cookies, and other baked goods, so there is always some sort of home-baked treat to munch on. Staff housing is comfortable – choose from your own room in the straw bale house with shared kitchen/bathroom or a yurt on the property.