Questions about the Intership at Polyface Farm?

It’s time! August 1-10, Polyface accepts applications for the next year’s summer season.

Cows on hillside (samuel)

We’ve had interns and apprentices from all over the US and all over the world – Mexico, Australia, Austria, and South Korea, just to name a few.

But that’s not what this blog post is about. Today, I would like to open the floor to questions from you about the internship and apprenticeship program.

You can read about the program here.

If you’re thinking about applying or just want some clarification on something, you’ve visited the blog at the right time!

Fire away! What questions do you have?

If we’re going to spread this type of farming throughout the world, we must be able to teach it…

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About Sheri Salatin

Sheri is married to Daniel Salatin. She is the marketing director at Polyface Farm and stay-at-home mom of three children. Sheri is passionate about clean food and is enjoying working the land along side her husband. When not farming, Sheri can be found reading, writing, sewing, baking and serving in her church family.
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41 Responses to Questions about the Intership at Polyface Farm?

  1. Jessica McShane says:

    I SOOOO wish I qualified!!! Keep up the GREAT WORK you guys! We will keep educating up here in MN too!

  2. Stephanie says:

    What are your best suggestions for preparing for a young lady who would like to apply for the internship in four more years? She is 13, homeschooled, living on a farmstead (where we all have so much to learn). :). TIA.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Read all of Joel’s books and saturate herself with as much of farming as she can get on your little homestead. 🙂

  3. Cyndi Lewis says:

    What top quality do you look for in applicants?

  4. Jacobo Murillo says:

    Is necessary read all Joel´s books to aply ?

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      No, but it would certainly increase your chances of being accepted if you have. 🙂 It’s indicator of how much you already know about Polyface. At the very least, we recommend that you read them before coming for the summer.

  5. Dulcimer says:

    Do you ever consider older applicants? (Like 30-year-olds who are interested in farming and want to learn from Polyface’s practices?)

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      HI Dulcimer,
      Our oldest intern was in his 40’s. Can you do the work? That is the question you have to ask yourself.

  6. Quinn Potterf says:

    Hello, I am currently filling out the questionnaire, and while reading the Apprenticeship page I saw the “two day checkout” part, what exactly is this?
    Thank you!

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Quinn,
      Applying for the internship is a 2-part process. First, you must fill out the questionnaire. Then we invite around 35 of these to join us for 2-day check out. This is for both you and us to see if we fit enough to spend a summer. It’s sort of a “working” interview with us. Make sense?

      • Quinn Potterf says:

        Thank you, that does make sense. Does that mean the thirty-five applicants will spend the night at Polyface? (or nearby)
        I realize this will all be explained to those chosen, but I was curious about it all anyway.

        • Sheri Salatin says:

          You’ll spend the night here on Polyface. And eat all your meals with us too. 🙂

  7. Chris says:

    For international applicants, do we need to sort out a visa before we come or are you able to help us out with that?

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Chris,
      You’ll need to be able to work most of it out on your own. We can send you a letter with an invitation to help the process.

  8. Emma says:

    The questionnaire is really quite short, only a few questions. Are long answers appreciated or expected?

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Emma,
      We don’t care. We want you to answer them however you want to answer them. They’ll give us a small peek into you. 🙂

  9. Ben says:

    No questions here. I sent for an application the other day, and I feel like a small child on christmas morning just waiting for it to arrive in my inbox. Thanks for taking the time to write in this blog, Sheri. Your posts are always so informative and fun to read.

  10. James says:

    Has Polyface ever taken a husband and wife as interns, and would you if they met the criteria?

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Yes, two years ago, we had a husband and wife as interns. They both filled out the application and were accepted as individuals. Yes, we do take them, but both must be accepted on their own merit.

  11. Tara says:

    One of the qualifications is to be a”clean cut” all American boy or girl. Does having a couple tattoos disqualify someone from being either clean cut or all American?

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      No, probably not. It’s all in how you “flaunt” them. We had an intern last year with a tattoo on his arm. We just want nice, clean appearances. No dreadlocks or facial piercings. Ear piercings are fine. Does this help?

  12. David Yutzy says:

    I emailed a couple of times for a questionnaire and still haven’t gotten one. Are you still accepting applications? Thank you so much.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      I’ve emailed you back 3 times and keep getting a bounce back as “undeliverable”. Can you email me from a different address asap?

  13. Tina says:

    Any chance of accepting a family with small children for the internship?

    • Audrey says:

      I am curious about this also; my husband and I would love to come gaining experience for our own family farm, and we have children ages 4, 2, and due in November. This would probably be for the summer 2015 session.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      No, we cannot accept families as for the internship. Too many possibilities for injuries, and child labor laws, etc.

  14. Emma says:

    When submitting the questionnaire, how should it be formatted within the email? Spaces between questions, etc?
    I appreciate your guidance.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      It doesn’t matter. Whatever you want to do. Just reply to the email, no attachments please 🙂

  15. Priscilla says:

    I have the same question as Tina. Would you accept a family with littles?

  16. Holly says:

    Read on the apprenticeship ship page that the interns will be sick for 3 days in the first 2 weeks, just wondering why that is? Is it do to a different environment, long hours, or even the work the interns are doing? Just curious, not concerned.

  17. Aleatha says:

    I agree with Ben. it really is like Christmas in my email inbox!

  18. I find it a bit rude to say you don’t allow for dreadlocks?! I am a farmer with dreadlocks because they are natural, as natural as the earth and dirt is. It’s a shame to be seen as an “unacceptable apprentice” due to my hair. Sad. =(

  19. Most of you are familiar with Brie from this blog or if you’re really lucky you’ve visited the farm and met her in person. You’ve seen her sparkling eyes, heard her sweet angel voice and left the farm knowing the world is a better place because she’s in it. She’s the kind of girl you pick flowers for. She will inspire you to do things that you never thought were possible.

  20. Tara Sotelo says:

    We are 100% committed to the way of farming that Joel writes about. We are on the market to buy property and want to get it right from the get-go. The internship sounds like the best intensive learning we could start with! My question stems from “clean-cut, all American boy-girl appearance characters. We are very, very, very discriminatory.” Even if we meet all of the other criteria and are extremely passionate about learning this way of farming, we can’t qualify if my girlfriend has short hair, a visible tattoo, and doesn’t “look” like a feminine farmer’s daughter? You promised to answer questions regarding the internship…that means the tough ones too. PLEASE…we really want to know if it’s worth our time to apply or if we should just plan to attend smaller functions. 🙂

  21. James says:

    Hi Sheri, I’m planning out the year as any farmer should… although I’m not a farmer yet- and I’m wondering about the check out period. I read in “Field of Farmers” that 40 make the first cut then come to the farm for a 2 week check out period. I’m wondering if I was lucky enough to make the first cut when that 2 week check out window might be? Thank you. James

  22. Isaac Stiefel says:

    Hi, I’m 14 and was wondering about my chances of being accepted! I’ve done some type of garden work with my grandparents ever since I could remember, and I’ve been able to tend my own garden for the past 3 years, and plan on getting a calf to raise for slaughter soon. I’ve read “You can Farm”, and am working on “Pastured Poultry Profit$”, and “Folks, This ain’t Normal”. What do you think my chances are of being in the 35 people tested for their working skills? Also if I did make it into the 35, why are my chances of actually making the internship? I’m really into your farming practices, I’ve watched lots of Joel’s seminars on YouTube as well! I’ve got at least 3 years till I can apply, and would like to learn as much as I can in that time period, and know what to expect. I sincerely thank you and your family for all you do and hope I can visit someday, whether or not it is for an internship! Thanks again!