Open discussion about Polyface Internship

During this time of year, I like to open the floor to you to ask questions about our Polyface internship.

Right now through Aug 10, we are accepting requests for applications for next summer’s season. June 1 – September 30, 2015.

Eager Farmer 123-001To apply, you will need to visit our webpage.

Copied directly from the Polyface Farm Apprentice page, here’s the general information about our Summer Internship program.

Polyface Summer Internship

Spend a summer with us and leave years ahead, or stay on to move up in the Polyface team.

June 1-September 30 (no exceptions)

  • Bright eyed, bushy-tailed, self-starter, eager-beaver, situationally aware, go-get-‘em, teachable, positive, non-complaining, grateful, rejoicing, get’er done, dependable, faithful, perseverant, take-responsibility, clean-cut boy-girl appearance characters. We are very, very, very discriminatory.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age at start of internship.
  • Requires a 2 day checkout prior to acceptance.
  • Required time is June 1-Sept. 30.
  • Work 5 days per week, off two days except every third week, which is a 7-day week. Sundays are usually chores only and Saturdays are minimal.
  • Room and most board provided and you can eat, within reason, from the Polyface larder (no filet mignon lunches, please). Prepare your own breakfast and lunch. Evening meals Monday-Friday provided communally with the Salatins. Accommodations include a full kitchen, bath, and bunk-style sleeping quarters.
  • Quarters do not include phone or internet, although the sales building has high speed wireless.
  • Expectations: like any experience, you will get out of it what you put into it. We have attainable benchmarks, but they require effort and sweat. Physically, you will be in better shape than you ever thought possible. Emotionally, you will know what you did today, why it was important, and feel great about it.
  • Stipend of $100 per month for incidentals. Polyface invests heavily in the physical, emotional, and mental needs of this opportunity; it’s the most education for the money you’ll ever receive.
  • Warning: you will be sore, ache, dead tired, and be sick for 3 days in your first two weeks. Once you get acclimated, you’ll be more physically fit than you’ve ever been in your life. But it won’t feel good getting there.
  • Maximum number, 9 interns due to accommodation and work limitations.

Fields of Farmers

Last year, Joel put out a book on our mentoring program. If you have any seen it or read it yet, you should definitely check it out. You can purchase directly from Polyface here, ask for it at your local bookstore or find it on Amazon below.

Okay, so now it’s your turn. Any questions regarding the Polyface internship?

Anything you want to discuss regarding your own farm’s program?

Let’s have a little chat.

Happy Friday!

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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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27 Responses to Open discussion about Polyface Internship

  1. Caroline says:

    Such a neat program! I truly wish I had known about it when I was a young person just starting out. I hope you get a lot of interest and God bless your next group of interns!

  2. Sarah Pevehouse says:

    In reading the Fields of Farmers book by Joel Salatin he mentioned the ability to carry two 5 lb buckets of water being important! I’m assuming that there are people who come a little weak and leave much, much stronger. My question – Is it okay to not be the strongest immediately (Is there room for growth in that department)?

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Yes! Most of us have to work up to being able to carry two 5-gallon buckets at the same time. Always room for growth 🙂

  3. Erin says:

    Hello! I was wondering how many people apply for the internship each year? Just curious =)

  4. Bobbi says:

    I was wondering exactly what the “2 day checkout” was? Thanks

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      You come to the farm for 2 days and work with us. It’s a check out both ways – you check to make sure you could spend your summer with us and we do likewise. Sort of a working interview for both parties.

  5. Sarah Pevehouse says:

    I have yet to read the Fields to Farmers in its entirety so I apologize if something I ask is covered there. I know from attending the 2014 Field Day that there is a lot of emphasis placed on grass, soil, animal production, and the symbiotic relationship they all have. However, I have seen on the Hen House postings that there are gardening tasks being completed as well as food preservation (like canning) taking place. Do the interns get to learn about this aspect on the farm as well?

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Yes, they can. It’s really up to the intern. There is many, many different things to learn and they are welcome to participate in all that interest them. We cover as many aspects of the farm as possible in the short 4 months they are here.

  6. Bobbi says:

    Do you need to know how to run any equipment/machinery? What does an average day look like for a summer intern?

  7. Olivia says:

    Have you had interns from Canada before? I’m from Canada and thinking of applying, so I was wondering if you’d had other Canadians that this has worked out for.

    • Sheri Salatin says:

      Hi Olivia,
      We haven’t had anyone from Canada yet, but we have had interns from Austria, Tasmania, and Mexico.

      • Olivia Bast says:

        Have they ever had an issue getting into the country for the program?

        • Sheri Salatin says:

          Not that I know of. It certainly takes some extra work, but can be done.

        • Adam MacLean says:

          Hello Olivia,

          I’m a Canadian currently looking into visa options for a Polyface internship. It’s not exactly a straightforward process. To “legally” participate in the program (and not just enter the country as a visitor), it appears that we would need a visa.

          A J-1 visa allows for internship/traineeship opportunities. This visa requires coordinating with a US-based organization that administers such programs (such as This organization inspects the host and monitors the program. This may/may not be feasible.

          For more on the J1 Visa:

          We can volunteer using a B-1 visa, but only for religious or charitable organizations.

          Stay connected, and let me know if you learn anything.

          Sincere regards,
          Adam MacLean

          • Olivia Bast says:

            Thanks for that information, Adam. I haven’t found out anything new yet. I’ll do some serious looking into it if I’m actually accepted for the program, right now I’m not doing much yet. 🙂 Thank you!

  8. Haley Powell says:

    Hi Sheri! I’m afraid that I have not read the book either but I am very interested in the program after college (I am 18 currently). I have to say that my mother is not excited about this because $100/mon sounds pretty slim and she’s worried that I’d run out of money. I know this sounds super personal but do you know if any of the interns struggled with the money aspect?

  9. Kaitlyn says:

    I was wondering, when people apply for the internship, how many of the applicants actually get to come to the farm for the 2 day checkout? Is it all or just a few of the prospective ones?

  10. Kaitlyn says:

    What is the room and board like? Does it have separate locations for guys vs. gals?

  11. Ian says:

    Hello! Just wondering if you’ve ever had an intern that had a family (wife and two little rascals)? Thanks!

  12. Brad Bloomer says:

    I have submitted my application/questionnaire and am very excited about the potential for this opportunity. Any insider tips on how to get selected? 😉

  13. Isaac Stiefel says:

    Sorry I’ll post what I posted on an older post on the same topic a few minutes ago. 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!

  14. Erika Elizabeth Fritz says:

    Hello! I’m 18 years old and am hoping to apply this coming august. I was wondering what I should be doing to prepare myself. I have already read almost all of Joel’s books and have a limited farm experience ( 3 months on an organic CSA and helping out with a friend’s animals.) Is there anything else I can do to make myself more eligible? Thank You so much for your time. 🙂