Bear Butte Gardens

Job Position Announcement

Employer: Bear Butte Gardens

Position: Diversified Organic Farm Manager Apprenticeship

In search of one motivated individual who is looking to enhance their long-term knowledge in the field of Diversified Organic Gardening/Farming, and in receiving journeyman status by entering into a Registered Apprenticeship Program through Bear Butte Gardens and the Department of Labor.

Bear Butte Gardens is a USDAorganic certified small family farm owned and operated by Michelle and Rick Grosek. Our goal is to provide fresh and nutritious farm produce to our local customers near Sturgis, South Dakota.

Upon hiring, this apprentice will earn an hourly wage while gaining the skills necessary to operate a successful farm. This apprentice will become proficient in: vegetable planning and production, product distribution and marketing, equipment maintenance, farm structure building and maintenance, farm administration, the National Organic Program, FSMA compliance, livestock planning and production, farmland planning and production, and beekeeping.

The goal of this program is to endow the participant with lifelong knowledge and skills leaving them not only with Department of Labor certified Journeyman status, but also with the skills necessary to run a successful farm. The education and experience gained by this apprentice will qualify the apprentice as a candidate to fill a long-term farm manager position through Bear Butte Gardens.

This apprentice will begin making an hourly wage their first day with a graduating scale based on their increasing competencies. Wages begin at $9.50 per hour and will increase as the apprentice becomes competent with specific topics and skills, up to $18 per hour upon completion of this apprenticeship program. This apprenticeship program begins upon hiring and lasts for 2,000 hours of paid employment over a period of approximately 18 months. The number of hours per week will vary depending upon the season, ranging from approximately 30 hours per week during summer months to approximately 5 hours per week during winter months. There is high potential for the apprentice to be hired as a regular employee at completion of the apprenticeship.

Apprentice requirements: must be willing and able to physically perform farm work, must be willing and able to commit to 2,000 hours of employment, must be willing and able to learn about organic farm management, and must be willing and able to work in extreme weather conditions. Desired characteristics include: self motivated and self starter, strong work ethic, life-long learner with a strong desire to read and research related topics, strong organizational skills, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Prior knowledge of or experience with organic gardening/farming is not required, but would be beneficial.

Because farm work tends to be seasonal, it is likely that during the winter months you may need to find additional employment. We have partnered with the local Departments of Labor to help you find meaningful employment during the winter months. We are striving to provide year-round opportunity for candidates as we expand our services.


January 2021 - Accept Applications (until position is filled).

Late January 2021 - Review all applications and resumes.

Late January 2021 - Begin round one interviews. These interviews will be conducted via phone calls. This round of interviews will be with applicants meeting minimum requirements. Target time duration for each interview is about 20-30 minutes.

Early February 2021 - Begin round two interviews. These interviews will be conducted via Google Meet, Skype, FaceTime, or similar. This round of interviews will be limited to about the top five to eight applicants. Target time duration for each interview is about 45-60 minutes.

Late February 2021 - Begin round three interviews. These interviews will be face-to-face, on-farm at Bear Butte Gardens. This will also include a farm tour, a hands-on working session, and a homework question. This round of interview will be limited to about the top three applicants. Target time duration for each interview is about two-three hours. The working session will include working side-by-side with Rick and/or Michelle on a typical job task. The same taskwill be used for all applicants. The homework question will be assigned upon invite to a round three interview.

Early March 2021 - Make final selection and offer job to selected applicant. Upon acceptance of job offer, we hope to begin employment as soon as possible.


The following is a list of competencies that are covered by this apprenticeship.


  • Tractor and Implements
  • Use and Care of Tools
  • Weather (e.g. heat, cold, wind, etc.)
  • Roadway & Transportation
  • Agritourism
  • Electrical
  • Farm Buildings and Shops
  • Working with Livestock

Vegetable Planning and Production

  • Planning
  • Seeds and Transplants
  • Soil Fertility
  • Tillage and Field Preparation
  • Irrigation
  • Weed Control
  • Pestand Disease Control
  • Harvesting
  • Post-Harvest Product Handling

Product Distribution and Marketing

  • Social Media
  • Fair/Booth Attendance
  • Off-Farm Presentations
  • Product Distribution to Restaurants/Food Stores
  • Farmer's Markets
  • CSA
  • On-Farm Direct Sales
  • Website and Online Sales

Equipment Use and Maintenance

  • Vehicles, Tractors, Implements
  • Portable Fencing
  • Hand Tools, Power Tools, Etc.


  • Business Planning
  • Financials
  • Record Keeping
  • Employment & Labor

National Organic Program

  • Knowledge and Understanding of Organic Rules
  • Implementation and Practice of Organic Methods
  • Inspection Process
  • Record Keeping


  • Knowledge and Understanding of FSMA Rules (GAP Training)
  • Implementation and Practice of FSMA Methods
  • Implementation/Maintenance of GAPS Equipment On-Farm


  • Poultry
  • Small Ruminants (Sheep/Goats)
  • Large Ruminants (Cattle)
  • Livestock Guardian Dogs

Farmland Planning and Production

  • Tree Shelter Belts
  • Silvopasture
  • Orchards
  • Hay Production
  • Pasture and Grazing
  • Hydrology

Farm Structure Building and Maintenance

  • Sheds and Buildings
  • Fencing
  • Livestock Shelters
  • Poultry Tractors
  • Cleanup


  • Knowledge and Understanding of Apiary Methods
  • Use and Maintenance of Beekeeping Supplies and Equipment
  • Harvesting and Extracting Honey


How To Apply:

Since this is an apprenticeship position in coordination with the Department of Labor and Regulation, all applications must be submitted through the SD Department of Labor and Regulation website.

If you have any questions or problems with the SD Department of Labor and Regulations website, please feel free to contact us directly.

Some photos of work on the farm: