Open Doors Heritage Farm

126 acres

Property Owner:

Farmer or farm family

Contact Name:

PAUL ESSENMACHER

Property Location:

Worden, IL

The Land

Total number of acres available with this property:

126.0

Total acres available for agriculture:

100.0

Acres of forested land:

5.0

Acres of cropland or tillable land:

35.0

Acres of pasture:

65.0

Other open and/or non-farmable land:

~15 acres split between 3 lakes/ponds

Quality of land:

All pasture land has been managed with organic principles using Holistic Mob Grazing methods for 4-6 years. Land drains well with excess water draining to lakes and stream-beds. Pasture fertilized through the grazing of animals and trampling for forage to feed the soil life, then given long rest periods to all grass recovery and facilitate deep root growth.

Farm Information

Water sources present:

Available

Water sources details:

On farm well, water pumped from lakes.

Barns and sheds:

Available

Farmer housing:

Available

Farmer housing details:

Will work out to provide on farm housing for the right partner.

Equipment and machinery:

Available

Equipment and machinery details:

Tractors for moving hay bales, scooping manure/mulch/compost.

Farm infrastructure details:

4 barns and machine sheds.

Tenure Arrangement

Tenure arrangement:

Other

Other:

Farm/Livestock Manager/Partnership.

Additional Information

Position Available: 1-year internship/training period transitioning into full time Farm Manager

Farm: Established in 2015, Open Doors Heritage Farm is a direct market, family run farm with 100% grass-fed dairy as its focus, but also producing 100% grass-fed beef and lamb, and pastured chickens for eggs. The farm is 126 acres total, currently grazing ~60-65 acres, with the possibility to add 35 more in the future. The remainder is lakes, ponds, woods, and farm buildings/yard/gardens. We are a Bible believing, conservative minded, married couple (mid 30's) with 6 kids ages 5 to 13.

Desired Applicant: We are looking for a (relatively) young energetic individual or married couple who exhibits excellent responsibility, initiative, a go-get-em attitude, and a willingness to learn and absorb what we do and why we do it and then help us grow\expand\improve on what we are already doing.

Position Responsibilities: We are looking for someone with a wide range of farm related abilities and skills, and\or a willingness to learn. The main responsibilities will include helping with the daily milking, the daily (or more) moves for the dairy herd, water supply (portable tanks now, water system install in the future), minerals, shade, as well as grazing management for heifers/steers/sheep separate from the main herd. Additional responsibilities include the myriad of things required to keep a farm running: maintenance, fence building\repair, tractor\equipment repair, working animals, mowing fields, clearing woods, etc.

Pay: This is the tricky part, but we are open to negotiation depending on the experience and assets that you can provide. We don't want to take advantage of "free" help just to get ahead ourselves, and our vision is to have this be an incentive based position where the Apprentice is invested in the success or failure of the enterprise. The reality is that we will likely need up to a year long transition period to make it financially feasible for us to revenue share while still keeping ourselves afloat. The plus side is that we are able to offer some great incentives that would significantly reduce the cost of living.

Perks: Negotiable as part of the position's "pay", we can provide raw dairy milk and related products, meat (beef, lamb, chicken, fish), eggs, and fruit/vegetable produce. Ideally housing would be on-farm, but the exact form of that is to be determined. An applicant with a winter-proof RV or travel trailer would be a plus! We would consider purchasing something to provide living quarters for the right applicant. If we can work out rent-free or low rent on farm housing along with a significant reduction in off-farm grocery needs that would greatly reduce the living costs for someone taking this position.

Vision: We started this farm because we value working together as a family, producing and consuming REAL food that heals our bodies and builds strong immune systems; and giving our children an amazing childhood filled with fun, adventure, exploration, responsibility and the ability to experience God's healing, regeneration  and explosive abundance in land that is properly nurtured and cared for. It is a joy to be able to provide wholesome food for our customers, and it is clearly evident that they value and appreciate what we are able to provide. We desire someone who will come alongside us to reduce the farming burden on our family, without having to have the added burden of starting/maintaining the business side of the operation yourself. You could do more than we are doing on the farm right now, and we could grow the customer base beyond what we are able to right now. In addition, with more people to "cover" each other, days off, vacation, sick-days, etc. could be a reality rather than a dream or a luxury.

Due to lingering and chronic back issues caused by childhood growth defects (i.e. it can't be fixed) that have cropped up in recent years, the husband here is very limited on the heavier work around the farm, and this is causing strain in our ability to maintain and manage what we have so far, much less grow and expand. We seek someone who can fit in and become part of our farm "family," and take over and run a significant portion of farm operation on an incentive based pay scale.

We are in the process of starting a separate virtual, home based, business to replace our income, but we need assistance to be able to reduce our workload as we build that business so that we can divert farm revenue to a full time position. This is why we are seeking a 6-12 month intern to come up to speed with what we do and how we manage our operation, with the goal of then transitioning to a full time position with all the above listed perks included, and a share of the revenue stream from the farm.

We have no desire to have employees who are not otherwise invested in the farm, we desire someone who is self-driven, reliable, and eager to take advantage of a "step in and grow" situation where your income can grow with your effort.