A hands-on school for aspiring farmers and conservationists to gain skills and knowledge in ecological and regenerative land management.
Imagine having the confidence and skill to move - on your own - a 150-strong suckler cow herd with their calves from one paddock to the next, four massive breeding bulls, with even bigger horns, in tow. And do it in a way that helps to replenish soils and heal scarred landscapes.
We’ll teach you everything you need to know to do just that and give you the skills and know-how for running your own profitable environmentally friendly business.
Here’s a teaser featuring our friendly Herefords:
Koivakonnu is a diversified regenerative organic farm in Northern Europe in Estonia. Our primary focus is restoration and maintenance of semi-natural biotic communities in cooperation with Environmental Board, experts and scientists.
We raise grass-fed grass-finished Hereford beef cattle (we have 300-400 animals in total, depending on season) on 1000-hectares of heritage floodplain meadows and woodland that host many rare species of plants, insects and animals. We also grow shiitake mushrooms, heirloom pumpkins and produce gourmet food products. We also have a small herd of draught horses whom we use for low-impact management of our forests.
Koivakonnu internship is a full immersion program that provides both theoretical and practical experience in regenerative and organic agriculture to future farmers and change agents. The core of the program is based on Holistic Management of grasslands - a method of facilitating the regeneration of soils, increase productivity and biological diversity, as well as economic and social well-being.
Interns receive full room and board. All of our food is organic - vegetables from permaculture garden and über-quality dry-aged beef from our on-farm butchery. Interns stay in a private two-bedroom warm, sunny and spacious apartment which is equipped with kitchen, bathroom and office with high-speed internet.
Our 2023 program will support two interns.
Internships last 3-6 months, from May 1 to October 31. We prefer longer vs shorter stays. Work hours will vary with the season but not more than 30 hours, five days per week. We work with each intern to develop a personalised learning plan around subjects that interest you the most.
The work is not physically demanding e.g. pasture moves, setting up fences and data collection for scientists but there will be plenty of voluntary challenges for you to toughen up both physically and mentally and push your limits if you wish to do so.
You will learn about soil, pasture, livestock and fencing, rotational grazing and grazing charts, how to preserve and increase biodiversity, food production, direct marketing and business planning. Upon request you can also learn artisanal butchery and permaculture. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older to apply.
Accommodation and food is for free. We do not offer a stipend or cover transportation to/from Estonia but do give interns lifts to cities to get toiletries etc and interns can help themselves to our bicycles, canoes and horses to explore the beautiful nature we have around us. Interns may be expected to participate in food preparation and clean-up for shared meals.
We offer many work and business opportunities on our farm for passionate graduates. We also collaborate with other sustainable farms in Scandinavia to help our interns find good-quality well-paying jobs, further internships or opportunities to start your own farm.
Experience is not necessary, but a great attitude and a love for nature are essential qualities. Interns must have a demonstrated interest in regenerative agriculture and must be excited at the prospect of getting hands-on with the real day-to-day workings of a sustainable organic business.
For your application, please send a brief summary of yourself and your life so far (in whichever format your prefer) including your plans for the future, your strengths and weaknesses, and your connection to nature (conservation) and regenerative farming or forestry.
Please email your application to: RASMUS@KOIVAKONNU.EE
Applications will be reviewed and successful candidates will be contacted for an interview.
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