Cricket Creek Farm is a small grass-based dairy in Western Massachusetts. We make several award-winning cheeses from the milk of our herd of Brown Swiss and Jersey cows (currently milking about 30 cows). In addition to the cheese, we sell raw milk from our farm store. We also raise pigs and beef, as well as layer hens. We make all our own hay for our cows that we feed out during the winter.We have a small self-serve Farm Store, are a member of Berkshire Grown and sell cheese to many shops & restaurants in the Berkshires, and attend several local farmers markets.
We are located in Williamstown, MA – a small college town in the northern Berkshires. Williamstown has a great independent movie theater, the Clark Art museum, a wonderful theater festival in the summertime and several great restaurants. We are surrounded by preserved land with many hiking trails. Nearby is Mass MOCA, Tanglewood, and many lovely small towns. Williamstown is 3 hours from Boston and 3 1/2 hours from NYC.
Those interested in the cheese internship must be comfortable learning the technical aspects of cheese making, including some chemistry. Must be very meticulous, detail oriented, and experienced in sanitary food preparation/handling. Cleanliness is key. Work in the creamery is fun and rewarding and also requires long hours on your feet washing dishes and caring for the aging cheese. Work includes making cheese, affinage, and creamery maintenance. Interns must have good people skills and enjoy interacting with the public. We’re looking for interns who are excited about taking on significant responsibility. All interns will be attending weekly farmers markets and occasionally making deliveries. All interns work 5-6 days per week. We are looking for self-motivated people who are interested in learning through hard work. Creamery interns attend farmers markets and general farm maintenance and upkeep.
CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training): Cricket Creek Farm participates in the CRAFT program. This means that our interns will have the opportunity to visit many other small farms during their time here and connect with the interns community in this region. We are thrilled to be part of this group and offer this exciting opportunity to interns. To find out more about the CRAFT program, check out the CRAFT website.
Compensation: We provide housing, a stipend, and some food. Interns will share the farm house with the other staff, located on the farm. The house has wireless internet, heat, washer and dryer, two bathrooms, and a fully-equipped kitchen. We also provide a stipend of $500/month. Raw milk and cheese are free and available to all Cricket Creek staff and interns. All staff and interns receive a 20% discount on all items in our farm store.
Communication: Communication is of paramount importance here. We strive to create a work environment that is comfortable, open, clear, and honest for everyone. Every week we have a staff meeting, during which everyone sits down together to review the week and any upcoming news. During this meeting everyone shares personal highlights and difficulties of the previous week. It is also an opportunity to openly discuss any farm happenings.
On an individual basis, we have regular scheduled check-ins with interns to give and receive feedback. The check-ins take place every couple of months, and are an important space for bringing up any issues in a formal and intimate setting.
Another important piece regarding communication is the use of internet here on the farm. Since we have a relatively large staff, and there are so many moving parts here, we rely heavily on use of the internet for internal communications. There is wireless internet around the farm, and we expect all interns to check their email regularly and respond to emails as needed. This piece, while it may seem trivial is definitely part of working here.
Work Schedule and days off: All interns work 5-6 days per week. Work days vary from 8-12 hours, depending on the day of the week and the time of year. The average work week is 50 hours. Interns should come with the confidence that this schedule will work for them.If you have any doubts about your ability or enthusiasm for working long days, this position is not for you. The people who fit in best here are those who enjoy a long day of work, who find farm tasks to occupy any down time, and who are highly self-directed and motivated.
Daily Structure: Work on the farm and in the creamery begins at 8am. However, on days when interns attend markets, the day starts earlier. Each day everyone works until until 4:30pm or later if necessary in order to complete the work for the day. We are all here to learn and work, and we look for interns who are interested in fully committing themselves to this farm while they are here. The tasks in the creamery are very structured as we follow the same rigid production schedule each week.
Meals and Breaks:Meals are not scheduled at a particular time, and are not shared in any formal sense, with the exception of Monday lunch Everyone except for the morning milker is expected to eat breakfast before starting their work day. Lunch can be taken at any time that seems logical and comfortable, and fits in with the work of that day. Each individual working here is responsible for being aware of the schedule and deciding when to take lunch. No one will tell you when to stop for lunch. The time allotment for lunch is one hour, except for days when the schedule does not allow it, and in that case it will be between 1/2 hour and 1 hour. On Monday we eat lunch as a group, with one member of staff preparing the meal, on a rotating basis.
Visitor Policy: Visitors are welcome at Cricket Creek Farm. Visitors are encouraged to work with the interns to see what life and work on the farm is like. Any intern who is planning to host a visitor overnight must obtain explicit verbal approval from all the other house mates. Please check with all house mates each time an overnight visitor is planned; never assume that everyone is okay with it. Visitors are welcome to stay for up to two nights on the farm. If an intern would like to host a visitor for more than two nights, they must ask Topher for explicit permission and understand that the visitor will be expected to contribute to the farm by lending a hand and working in a helpful and productive capacity. Long-term guests are not permitted.
Length of commitment: We are looking for interns who can commit to a full summer, start and end dates can be discussed.
Application process and timeline: We highly encourage a visit from any serious applicant. We do have space available to house an applicant overnight, and a 2-day visit is ideal. Working and spending some time together will help let us determine whether you will be a good fit for the farm, and will help give you a better sense of us.
If you are interested in applying for an internship here, the first step is to answer the questions below and send us the responses along with a current resume. Based on the responses, we will contact you to set up a phone interview and potentially a visit.
If you are interested please send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a resume, 3 references, and answers to the list of questions below. Please clearly state the best way to get in touch with you. You can send an email to email@example.com or call (413) 458-5888 if you have questions. Any applicant who seems to be a good fit will be expected to come for a visit.
A list of interview questions is below.
The more information you provide, the better. This will help us determine if you would be a good fit for the farm.
1. Are you interested in the creamery?
2. How did you hear about working at Cricket Creek?
3. What interests you most about working here?
4. What is your availability? Are you able to commit to the full summer? When can you start (give an exact date please)?
5. What is your experience working/living in an intimate setting like a small farm?
6. Is a stipend of $500/month feasible for you?
7. How do you feel about our work schedule – 5 to 6 long days per week? Do you have experience with a schedule like this? If so, please describe the context.
8. How would you describe your communication skills? Are you open, honest, and communicative?
9. How would you describe your interest/ability to be a public face of the farm (attending farmers markets, assisting customers in our farm store)?
10. Have you ever lived in this area? Do you think Northern Berkshire County would be a good fit for you?
11. Would you be available for a 2-day work visit between now and your start date?
12. Please list anything else you think might be helpful in describing yourself such as personal interests, etc.
13. Please describe in detail any cheese making experience.
14. What specifically interests you in cheese making – details are helpful.
15. Please describe any commercial food preparation/handling experience.
16. Would you describe yourself as meticulous, detail oriented, clean, and through?
17 Cheese making involved a lot of dish washing, cleaning, and maintenance, do you think you are well suited to this type of work?