River Hill Ranch is seeking up to three interns driven to learn about small business ownership, managing a farm operation, product development, fiber/textiles, meat production, and of course alpacas. This will start as a barter employment position for the first 6 months, but can convert into a paid position running a booth at the Richmond, Lexington, or Louisville Farmers Markets and/or giving tours on the ranch after successful completion of training. There is no obligation to continue after the training.
We run anywhere from 60 to 100 alpacas throughout the year. Our interns will learn what it takes to keep these critters happy & healthy. Sometimes this involves needles, blood, puss, and various other body fluids. It always involves poop. But it also includes rubbing a newborn cria (baby alpaca) dry and standing back to watch it take its first steps and try to find its mother’s milk. It means watching the animals’ hilarious antics while you’re out there with them so you find yourself laughing while pushing a wheelbarrow full of that poop. Being an alpaca rancher also means we are grass farmers, so you’ll learn about responsible pasture management and helping manage our program efficiently.
However, spending time with the alpacas is the least demanding part of the job. Making sales calls, managing social media, the website and other marketing, taking product pictures & writing descriptions to post online, making products to sell, sorting the fiber & shipping it to various buyers…I could use help doing some or all of these tasks. We would also be researching/writing grant proposals then hopefully managing grant projects, doing market research, product development for textiles and items like fur. Finally, there are tours. We enjoy sharing and educating our community about alpacas as well as the Slow Clothes movement, showing how clothes are created in a sustainable fashion.
We do not expect anyone to tackle learning off of these tasks at once. We will start by doing a little of everything to find what your particular interests and gifts are.
There is not much money in small family farming. We enjoy a simple life filled with quality over quantity, do the best we can to be self-sufficient, I cannot describe how alive you feel being so close to the highs and lows of God’s creation. It is hard work that tests and pushes you while feeding your soul.
Our goal is to find someone with grit and passionate about serving our community through agriculture. Applicants need to have a reliable vehicle that can transport the necessary amount of equipment and inventory for a farmers’ market booth.
To apply, email RiverHillRanch@rocketmail.com with your name & contact information to set up an interview. Extra consideration will be given to veterans.