Little Wings Apprentice


Company: Little Wings
Location: Eugene
Compensation: 15/h
Employment Type: Full-Time, Internship / Apprentice
Job Categories: Agriculture
Region: South Willamette Valley
Date Posted: January 16, 2024

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https://www.roguefarmcorps.org/host-farms/little-wings

Little Wings Farm has been thriving for 6 years and is operated by partners Rosie and Adam. The farm is Certified Organic and grows a wide range of vegetables and fruit for two primary market channels. These include a 200 member CSA (Cropshare) and a vibrant Wholesale market consisting of natural food stores, restaurants and local food hubs. There is a mix of both tractors (gas and electric) and hand work for cultivation and the farmers take care during soil prep to minimize tillage to what is necessary while using alternative and creative means in the process. The farm does not use single-use plastic mulch in its production. Little Wings has 2 apprentice positions available.

The farm is located 6 miles North of Downtown Eugene just outside of the Urban Growth Boundary at the end of a gravel road. It is bordered by the Willamette River where they swim almost every day of the Summer. Little Wings grows on about 12 acres on 3 different pieces of property all adjacent to one another leasing ground from two of their neighbors who have grown to become like family. The area around the farm offers easy access to hiking, boating, fishing, biking, etcetera. It is a convenient commute for employees who want to live in town while working on the farm.

Rosie has been farming for nearly 18 years, having worked for 5 different farms where she gained the knowledge and experience to run her own successful farm business. Throughout this time, she has organized and managed various farm crews, learning how to maintain a smooth flow of productivity while still having fun. Her passion is growing high quality food and building community on and off the farm while doing it.

Adam has been farming for almost 10 years, working for two other farms before starting Little Wings. His focus has been on soils, cultivation, irrigation, and pest and disease management.  He is stoked to be honing skills such as plumbing, wiring, welding, and carpentry and taking on projects like designing irrigation systems and modifying farm equipment to improve the farm operation. He also thrives on working with a team of positive hard working people.

“Often, we reflect back on why we started our own farm, rather than continue to work for others and it came down our desire for a positive work culture (which puts the humanity back into the workers) and an environmental ethic that we felt was missing on other organic farms (namely the growing practice of single use plastic as a primary tool for weed suppression). We knew that if we wanted to work on a farm that carried these two principles we would have to start it ourselves.”

Going into their 7th season, Rosie and Adam have also come to realize that running a successful and profitable farm business was also a very important ethic that is often overlooked when thinking about producing organic vegetables. After working 12-16 hour days during the first 5 years of farming, it became essential to value their own time monetarily. They also see how important it is to pay their employees competitive wages so that they feel motivated to work hard and stay engaged in farming. So, the farm’s profitability is something they are constantly reassessing.  However, it isn’t their only metric of success. They also look at their lives and the lives of their workers to determine: Is the work interesting and fun? Do we have enough time off to enjoy our lives off of the farm? Are we growing anything that is exceptionally hard on our bodies that we can give up?

Compensation includes:

$15-17/hr; Paid Time Off – Accrual Rate of 1 hr for every 40 hrs worked; Farm Produce

An Apprenticeship at Little Wings is part of Rogue Farm Corps’ beginning farmer training program. Hands-on field training at the Host Farm is complemented by a series of classes, farm tours, discussions, and networking events organized by Rogue Farm Corps. 

EDUCATIONAL EVENTS

Apprentices join other beginning farmers for an Educational Event Series facilitated by Rogue Farm Corps.

The satellite farm event series includes:

24 classes focused on foundational sustainable agriculture concepts, skills, and knowledge and the food system.

4-6 farm tours which showcase practical skills and individual farmers’ stories, as well as provide insight into diverse production and marketing systems. Mainly via 3 weekend intensives.  

3-5 discussion circles with topics including Food Justice / Food Sovereignty, and Next Steps for Beginning Farmers.

RFC strives to make all educational events inclusive and welcoming to people from all backgrounds and identities. Classes, tours, and discussions are led by Rogue Farm Corps staff, agricultural professionals, and expert farmers. Scholarships are available.