Hands-on work in the barns
We welcome volunteers at the farm. We hold regular “farm work days” every Saturday between 9am and 1pm where you can come and help with the following chores:
Mucking the barn
Scrubbing water troughs
Helping with other projects
Volunteers need to attend an orientation before beginning work, and must sign a liability waiver form. Children between the ages of 11 and 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for the initial orientation. We cannot accommodate volunteers under the age of 11. Orientations are scheduled regularly and dates for orientation are posted on the home page of the web site.
We work outside in all weather. Volunteers must wear close-toed shoes at all time. We recommend muck boots (available at Walmart and Tractor supply) or sturdy sneakers. We strongly urge you to wear long pants, even in summer. Please do not wear dangly earrings or any kind of clothing that can get snagged on gates (or chewed by goats). Wearing earbuds is strictly prohibited at all times.
Work on the farm is hard and dirty. Some people love it – some don’t. We work when it is 95 and 10 degrees outside. It’s a challenging volunteer position, and carries with it quite a responsibility in working directly with large animals. We have a trial period of 4 workdays for all our new volunteers during which time you can evaluate if it’s a good fit for you and we can provide you with feedback, as well.
Notification of Attendance on Work Days
We have a very high demand for volunteer slots – we are one of the only animal non profit organizations that accepts volunteers as young as 11. We are migrating to a volunteer signup app; in the meantime, we ask that you send us an email no later than Thursday before the workday you want to attend.
Working safely in a farm environment is extremely important. We take safety very seriously, and will go over our safety regulations during orientation. Here are some of the most important points:
- We do not allow smoking, drugs, or alcohol at any time.
- There is no feeding of the animals (and if you wish to eat a snack, it must be done inside).
- Gates and fences are not to be climbed on.
- Volunteers must learn the body language of the animals in order to understand how to work safely around them.
- Positively no chasing, harassing, or riding of any of the animals.
- Phones may be carried in pockets and used for taking photographs; if you need to communicate with someone using your phone, you must do this inside.
Click here to fill out our Volunteer Application
Don’t want to get your hands dirty, but want to help?
We have jobs for you! Here are just some of the jobs our volunteers do who are not working outside!
- Crafting. Do you have a special talent in working with your hands? We have a lovely little gift shop where we sell hand-crafted items to help raise funds for the farm. Our crafters include fiber artists, potters, and jewelry makers.
- Events staffing. Are you outgoing? Love to talk to people? Love animals? We do four major on-farm events during the year, and we also do outreach events off the farm. We are currently looking for more folks who would like to help us get the word out about our work with animals at local fairs and festivals.
- Fundraising. Are you interested in helping us raise funds for the farm? We need folks who will assist with writing letters, talking with both local businesses and corporations about their giving programs, and coming up with creative ideas to help us keep our income stream steady so that we can keep our promise to the animals.
- Administrative. Do you love to be organized? Wow, we need someone like that! We have an endless stream of papers, emails, phone calls coming in. We need some basic office help (like filing, data entry), and we also need someone adept at Quickbooks to help us keep our accounts in good order. Our office is off the farm, in Poolesville, Maryland.
- The winter months are hard with frequent bad weather and poor road conditions. Always check before leaving for the farm that it is safe to drive. Remember that we are in the upper western part of Montgomery County and get more “weather” than other parts of the county.
- Please do not bring along out of town family members or friends to volunteer with you unless they have already attended orientation. We usually have a waiting list so we want to be fair to everyone.
- Please leave your own animals at home.
If you’d like to spend a few hours down on the farm, get out your gloves and boots and come on out! Please fill out our volunteer application form.