Alderspring Ranch employment opportunity; this is a paid position.
We’re looking for one person that can wear three hats: a backcountry horse packer, camp tender, and cook (only very simple meals required) for our summer range riding crew. The job includes dismantling our backcountry camp and packing it on horseback to new locations every one to three days, putting up temporary hotwire enclosures, taking care of a string of horses, and cooking very basic breakfasts and dinners for riding crew. You would have 1-2 hardworking but fairly unskilled interns/employees to help you. The job is rotational with 7-8 days on followed by 3-4 days off. The location is on our remote central Idaho rangeland, with the country varying from rolling sagebrush hills in the low country to steep timbered mountains in the higher reaches of the range.
We’re looking for a hardworking, positive person with good people skills and a love for teaching and mentoring young people. We keep a clean and minimalistic camp with no drunkenness, drugs, smoking, or foul language.
Link to apply is at bottom of announcement!
Submission Deadline: Midnight March 31, 2021
Via online application (link below).
Organic Grass Fed Beef
May, Idaho USA
Alderspring is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate based on gender, ethnicity, orientation or creed.
Position: Packer/Camp tender/Cook
Position quantity: 1.
Duration: Seasonal (early to mid-May through July 31), with possibility of rehire in subsequent years
Pay: Fair wage DOE (depending on experience). Average hours are 50 per stint, with stints a total of 7-8 days, followed by 2-3 days off. These trip lengths may vary depending on terrain and relief crew.
Housing while on the job: Wall tent, cook shack or light bedroll under the stars.
Fringe: Housing in wall tent at headquarters for 2-3 days off. There, the applicant will have access to community kitchen, hot shower, outhouse. Beef to eat. There are no other benefits associated with this position. Workmen’s compensation insurance is required by law, and Alderspring complies.
Job Description: This position offers support for Alderspring’s summer grazing of 400-450 head of cattle on the Hat Creek Allotment. Camp shall move on an average of every 1-2 days to support stock and crews as they graze over 800 miles during the course of the summer. Weather is highly changeable and snow can be seen on any day during the grazing season, as well as 90 degree dry heat. Rattlesnakes, cougars, wolves and bears are abundant (Alderspring has a policy of non-lethal relationship with all of the above unless if human life and limb is in danger). There is no consistent cell service on the Alottment. Applicant must take Alderspring’s packing mini-course, wilderness emergency first aid and survival course, and the handgun practicum (these are all paid).
Percentages are estimates, and may vary:
- Packer: 35%. Each day, or every other day; Break camp of 4-6 tents. Stow kitchen and camp gear in panyards (panniers) and/or pack-boxes, and/or mantie up using standard proven pack hitches. With a pack/saddle string of 6-7 horses, catch, check shoes (re-shoe as needed), tack up with decker and sawbuck pack saddles, lash cinch, load and balance gear for a 2-4 mile usually trail-less journey to the next camp location. Must be able to do all the above, (or learn parts of it), and navigate in mountain backcountry terrain with no trails and few landmarks with maps and/or GPS. Supervise camp helper. Unload gear at new location.
- Camp Tender: 25%. With the above, set and take down camp in a leave no-trace manner. Set up horse hot-wire, fence charger. Set up cattle night pen with hot wire around water source for 400-450 head of cattle for protection from wolves. Energize both. Ensure that water source is running and established to water 450 head and 20 head of horses, at a minimum of 2000 gallons. Set up domestic drinking water crew source and filtration device. Set up kitchen and lanterns. Repair any of the above if necessary.
- Cook: 20%. Prepare a given menu to feed 3-5 hungry range riders on their return to camp. Meals will be simple with focus on energy, protein and fat. Wash dishes, leaving no trace of food particles. Secure camp and food supplies against bears. Morning, cook a breakfast on a given menu with a large pot of coffee for the same. Clean with no trace as with the night meal, and repair gear as necessary. If moving that same day, pack up kitchen, and prepare to go back to item one: Packer.
- Civilized duty: 20%. Pack empty camp coolers and trash out of camp to drop-point where there is a gooseneck and truck. Drive out in 4-wheel drive to headquarters. Unload gear and horses and curate both. Place horses on pasture, checking shoes as you do so. Care for broken gear. Take time off. After time off, return to ranch for town vehicle. Purchase the grocery list in Salmon or Challis ID. Prepare to pack in. Load gear and victuals on truck, fresh horses, and head back out to current drop point. Navigate by trail (or no trail), recognizing landmarks along the way to the latest camp location, relayed by satellite phone by the current camp tender.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:
- Proficiency supportable by references or work background in horsemanship, wilderness horse packing using the gear mentioned above, and backcountry camping utilizing wall-type tents.
- Cooking proficiency desired (if not this, the crew will be the one firing you). This is not some gourmet dude cooking outfit with fluffy Egyptian cotton sheets.
- Valid US driver’s license.
- Alderspring will train as needed to meet the specific requirements of their systems of packing, camp tending and cooking. Applicant must stick to systems, but input on how to make them better is welcome.
- Map reading abilities and/or GPS experience desired.
- Applicant must bring their own clothing, including cowboy boots, hat, slicker and chinks if desired. Must be prepared for weather extremes. Personal kit allowed is extremely minimal and all you’re allowed to bring on the range is what will fit on your own saddle horse (not on the packhorse—reserved for camp gear). In other words, large bedrolls will NOT be permitted on the range, although are welcome at headquarters. This is not a chuckwagon or truck camp—we’ve stripped it down to fit on horseback.
- Attitude (happy, likes to work on a team, willing to learn & teach) will take preference over all work experience and skill levels. Must be supportable by references or work experience.
- Camp cooky/packer is a position on which all of the success of Alderspring’s grazing program depends. We are looking for someone who has integrity, is solid, who loves the stock and the people on the crew. This person has to be gritty, reliable, and an early riser.
Alderspring is a drug and alcohol-free workplace. We avoid foul language. Tobacco is not permitted on the range due to wildland fire hazard.
About Alderspring Ranch: The ranch is a profitable 1650 deeded acre ranch with a 46,000 acre grazing permit that has been in operation for 28 years under the ownership and direct management of the Glenn and Caryl Elzinga family. We live and work our own ranch. We run between 400 and 600 cattle on the ranch and permit with an emphasis on rotational stewardship grazing with little equipment input (there is currently NO heavy equipment on the ranch, and it is a human and animal powered operation). Irrigated ground is around 450 acres under 5 pivots, 5 wheelines, and 5 K-lines. Rangeland is dry, from 4000 to 9500 foot elevation with 55 miles of fence and about 15 miles of pipeline for stockwater. Alderspring finishes 400 head of cattle a year on a 100% grassfed organic operation that entirely markets all of their own beef to brick and mortar stores and through their webstore at Alderspring.com. More about the ranch can be seen on Instagram at Alderspring_ranch or Facebook at Alderspring Ranch
The byword of Alderspring and our beef finishing program is: “For 28 years, handcrafting wellness and flavor while regenerating wild landscapes.” Applicants with an interest in fulfilling that vision of providing excellent and good food to our customers while restoring the ecological integrity of our rangelands will be given preference.
US citizenship is required due to workmen’s compensation requirements and COVID-19 border restrictions.
To apply, visit the link below!
We look forward to your application!
Glenn and Caryl Elzinga