Courtney McDonald, one of our two interns for the 2009-2010 season, just completed her internship. Julie House, our second intern, will complete her program next month. Both interns have been a tremendous help over the last year, and both have learned a great deal about livestock husbandry, grazing management and sustainable forestry.
We started our internship program as a way to help train a new generation of farmers. As I've written previously, about two percent of local farmers are 35 years of age or younger. Courtney has now joined their ranks. She will be milking four dairy sheep this season, and has started her own small flock of chickens. She's also become a partner in our firewood operation. As Julie wraps up her experience with us, she's also contemplating her future involvement in small-scale farming.
Our internship program continues to evolve, thanks in part to the feedback that Courtney and Julie have provided. We've changed the program to a Shepherd Apprenticeship Program (with an option for additional experience in sustainable forestry). The program is broken into quarters with a different emphasis each 3-month period. For more information, go to the Shepherd's Apprenticeship page on our website.
Finally, join us in wishing Courtney the best of luck as she embarks on her farming career!