So you are thinking about volunteering? We often get requests from kind folks that would like to volunteer for the day, often wanting to bring young children as well. We love your way of thinking but we are not set up for young children – we are a working farm with many hazards. Additionally, unless we have published an immediate need, we do not take one time volunteers. As a working farm we have set chores that have to be completed on time daily and the inevitable emergencies that wreak havoc on our time management as well. I know the intentions are good, but if we stop to have you help and go through the explanations of what we are doing, it slows our progress. The time I lose during the day will reflect in lost sleep as the chores still have to be accomplished, whether it is time for bed or not! If you want to see how we do things, please join us for one of our Farm Days we do twice a year (March and October). We will have team members on hand to demonstrate and explain how we do things on the farm. It is a great time and well worth the visit. Or join us for a guided two hour tour through the farm as an Airbnb Experience Guest for an intimate tour as the farm works around you and you can enjoy a tasting of the farm products.
Please keep in mind, this is a working farm and there are spiders, cobwebs, mice, mosquitos, flies and other creepy crawlers. Rarely a snake but they have been seen! If this upsets you, it might not be your “cup of tea” to volunteer at a farm. It is also hot in summer and sweaty dirty work. Glamour would not be an adjective we use for the work at the farm. If you want to join our team, please read on for the different volunteer opportunities!
Our farm accepts volunteers from time to time that may work as a part of one of FOUR different teams: Long Term, Nanny Team, Milking Team and Immediate Needs. It is amazing how much you will learn just being around the farm and helping and we can find a task for any activity level. All volunteers must read and sign our Volunteer Agreement.
Long Term Volunteer
We expect our Long Term volunteers to learn a few tasks and return multiple times to perform those tasks! Training takes one-on-one work, and time. It takes twice as long to teach someone a task, as it does to do it solo. Consequently the time we invest training you is important to us as we expect you to return and be able to perform those tasks independently. We ask for Long Term volunteers to come once a week and commit three to six months of their time.
Long Term Volunteer duties may vary based on what we need done at the moment, but below is a list of the general tasks.
- Wash buckets and equipment
- Tidy up and sweep an area
- Help with laundry
- Organize shelves
- Sweep up discarded hay and add it to the chicken nesting boxes
- Feed the goats and give them some tasty snacks when we have them!
- Brush the goats, and learn to trim hooves – they love it!
- Rake up stalls and re-bed the pens
Nanny Team Volunteer
We look for Nanny Team volunteers who express a love for animals and are not afraid to do the hard work needed to join a team of caregivers. We ask for Nanny Team volunteers to come at least once a week and commit four or more months of their time. Of course, you may “re-up” as many times as you wish. The Nanny Team usually starts in December/January and runs through June/July.
Nanny Team Volunteer duties may vary based on the season, but below is a list of the general tasks.
- Care for newborns
- Deliver or assist in the delivery of babies
- Make and give bottles to the baby animals
- Do the laundry associated with the little ones
- Keep the pens clean
- Care for all the needs of our “kids”
Milking Team Volunteer
We look for Milking Team volunteers who are reliable, love animals and do not shy away from physical labor. The milking parlor is hot in summer and cold in winter, and the job is physical and tiring. It is truly a labor of love and you will fall in love with the “girls”. Joining the Milking Team involves a minimum of 5 training sessions before you are allowed to milk “on your own”. We do offer a gas reimbursement for the milking team which we will discuss when you come to see if the position is a good fit. We ask for Milking Team volunteers to come at least once a week and commit a minimum of six months of their time. Most Milking Team volunteers have been with me for a year and some 8+. This is an excellent way to gain Bright Future hours or Vet Assist Hours. As an educational facility, the hands on and working knowledge you will gain here is unequaled in the classroom.
Milking is performed at the farm every day, twice a day (morning and night) rain or shine. You must show up on schedule! A no-show or late call can really hurt the dairy and is not an option. A two week notice is required for swapping shifts unless there is a dire emergency. A two month notice is required if you decide to leave in order to give ample time to put another milker in that position. This is especially important at the beginning and end of school terms. If you are scheduled as a relief milker, we ask that you stay up to date on what is happening with the milkline girls. At kidding time, the milking parlor can be very hectic, so we look for someone who can “go with the flow”.
Immediate Needs Volunteer
Sometimes we have small emergencies or hay deliveries here at the farm and need a few extra hands to help out! When this happens, we will make a post on Facebook, asking for some Immediate Needs volunteers. I try to give a few days notice, but these posts are often last minute. No training is necessary for Immediate Needs volunteers, just a good attitude and a willingness to work hard!
If you would like to donate to the Dancing Goat Dairy, please see our Wish List is below. All items listed below are things we are constantly in need of here at the farm. Some may be big ticket items, while others cast offs you have in your yard and are looking to get rid of. Either way, if it is on this list, we will take it! Anything you are able to donate to us, is greatly appreciated. Feel free to call and ask if you’re unsure if we would be able to use an item you are interested in donating.
- Pitch forks, shovels, and rakes of any kind
- Any olive/sage/dark green exterior paint
- Little Tykes Houses or Slides etc for play yards for baby goats
- Wheelbarrows of any type
- Tractor/Riding Mower with or without deck
- 4 x 4 posts any length
- Clear or smoked color corrugated plastic roofing
- Chain link gates for garden use or trellis
- Litter, litter and more litter for our rescue cats (we use 160lbs a month)!
- Wet cat food in cans for kittens and mamas
- Ox Bow Timothy Hay 50lb box (Chewy is best price) for the rabbits
- Old bath towels and kitchen towels – preferably white to bleach easy
- Push broom heads (turned into back scratchers for the goats)
- Kitty litter containers with lids for chicken nesting boxes
- Exterior trash cans with tight fitting lids
- Cattle panels – used are great too!
- Rural King gift cards
- Tractor Supply gift cards
- 1 x 6 x 16 PT fencing boards
- Marine heavy duty 12v battery x 2
- PVC piping, cutoffs and various connects 1/2″ and 3/4″ primarily and some 1″.
- Fencing wire – plastic/metal we can use most any kind from 2 x 4 no climb to 1/4 inch hardware wire.
- We rehab old chicken coops to use and make chicken tractors