North Branch Farm-
Monroe, Maine, December 21, 2016
North Branch Farm:
Cheesemaker & Manager (one position)-
Our farm has a herd of eleven (and increasing) grass-fed, mixed-breed cows, including Canadiennes, Jerseys, Brown Swiss, and American Milking Devons, which we milk seasonally from May through December. Over the last two years, we set up all the infrastructure to produce hard, cave-aged cheeses for local and mail-order wholesale, but a change in farm partnerships lost us our cheesemaker and we are looking for someone to step into this essentially “turn-key” situation.
We are looking for someone to make cheese starting in May, manage and market the cheese made last season, and do the recordkeeping and bookkeeping for the creamery. Although we are set up for a particular product and market, we are most interested in hiring someone with experience even if their business plan is different from what has happened here so far.
We expect this position will require 25-30 hours per week during the milking season and less during the off-season; this operation is part of a larger farm where other work could bring the hours up to full time if it works for all of us. Compensation is negotiable, hourly at least to start with, and based on experience, and housing and farm produce could be part of the pay.
The creamery is set up with a cheese make room where milk is pumped from the bulk tank (in a different building) to the cheese vat. The make room is attached both to a brine room equipped with a Coolbot, shelving and a brine tank and to a pack room for office work and for wrapping and packing cheeses for market/shipping. Across the road is a beautiful, poured concrete, 380 square foot cheese cave buried into a hill and set up for active and passive climate control. We have approximately 2500 pounds of cheese aging now, of two different varieties, that will need affinage and marketing in 2017.
Our farm strives for integrity, environmental responsibility and fun at all levels. Our electricity is supplied by grid-tied solar; we use horse, tractor and hand power on the farm; and our hot water (including in the creamery) is wood-heated.