Learn valuable real-life and animal skill sets straight from the horse's mouth. And the pig's. And the cow's. And the
donkey's, the sheep's, the goat's, the rabbit's, the goose's, the duck's, and the chicken's mouth, too. But most of all, you'll learn tons of instantly applicable
animal and real-world skills from Jen Vickery, the founder of Tomten Farm and Sanctuary.
Talk the talk, walk the walk and learn more than you could imagine.
All the while making a daily difference and
enjoying what is certain to be
one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
Here at Tomten Farm and Sanctuary, we're committed to both animals and humans. I (Jen) believe there is no better way to
make the most of my lifelong career of training and teaching animal behavior than by sharing that knowledge and experience with the next generation.
In addition to those teaching skills, I think you'll agree…
my twenty years as a successful business owner,
my past experience mentoring
numerous interns and my thirty-plus years spent in a wide variety
of equine environments set our internship apart from the herd.
My equine experience started well before before the founding of Tomten Farm and Sanctuary. In addition to having
the honor of spending the previous ten years working in rescue, my lifetime horse experience includes meeting the
tough demands of being a barn manager and the detail oriented discipline of working as a professional show
groom for morgan and hunter-jumper barns on the A-circuit. I have ridden in various disciplines including saddle
seat. In college, I rode stock seat and hunt seat while competing on the intercollegiate varsity team. I have enjoyed
the thrill of having thoroughbreds on the racetrack and been caught up in the fierce competition of riding and
competing with top barns in A-circuit horse shows. I have also found time to continue my lifelong learning
ambitions in many clinics on-the-flat, over fences and in natural horsemanship.
It is that wide range of knowledge that guides me as I now dedicate much of my time
and attention toward directing and achieving Tomten Farm and Sanctuary's mission:
helping animals, helping humans and making dreams come true one life at a time
through rescue, sanctuary, adoption and education.
That mission reaches far beyond the animals in our immediate care. It also includes a commitment to help
knowledge-hungry students gain the exposure, real-life experience and confidence they need to make a difference
and prepare to successfully venture forth into the rewarding world of animal-related careers.
"… I will be forever grateful for everything Tomten Farm and Sanctuary has brought
into my life."
Unlike your average animal-related internship, at Tomten I had the chance to learn not
only valuable hands-on skills with a variety of animals from an expert instructor, I was also mentored in the business and
management aspects of running a 501(c)(3) non-profit. I was encouraged to advance my equine skills by working with various
horses from sensitive thoroughbreds, to bossy ponies, to reliable schoolmasters. Each one taught me something new. In
addition to the hands-on work required to physically run the farm, Jen coached me in how to maintain communication with
Tomten's Facebook followers, how to help volunteers master basic equine skills and what it took to market and effectively
represent Tomten at events including Down and Dirty Work Days and Public Farm Tours. My internship not only increased my
confidence, it taught me valuable life skills that will surely help me in future jobs. I will be forever grateful for
everything Tomten Farm and Sanctuary has brought into my life and hope to one day give back to the community like Jenifer
is doing by offering this wonderful opportunity.
If gaining knowledge and experience, making a difference in animals' lives,
learning how to handle responsibility and developing a strong work ethic
is more appealing to you than a big weekly paycheck, our unique hands-on,
volunteer (unpaid) internship program could be for you.
Here are just a few of the many experiences you will enjoy while enhancing your knowledge base:
√ Your own private tour and personal tutor every day—a behind-the-scenes look and participation in the
development and day-to-day workings of a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Rescue and Sanctuary.
√ The chance to gain extensive animal husbandry experience working with a wide variety of livestock. From
everyday chores, to hands-on animal care including, but by no means limited to, the potential to assist in animal handling and training.
√ Learning how to plan, implement and promote programs, events and procedures as well as marketing,
social media and various types of administrative work. Interns participate in all!
√ Done right, you should leave with a solid understanding of multi-species animal care and behavior, safety
-oriented handling and basic training skills, farm and barn management and the basic business savvy that
will help make you an asset to any organization, no matter what aspect of the animal industry you pursue.
WE'VE INTERNED, SO WE KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO SUCCEED.
IS THIS YOU?
- Do you have a deep, deep love of animals and a sincere desire to make a difference?
- Do you have a strong work ethic, a thirst for knowledge a strong dedication to reaching your long-term goals?
- Do you like to be busy? Are you flexible? Are you motivated? Do have the ability to take initiative and happily
work independently sometimes and as part of a team other times? That's a must since many days you will
find yourself side-by-side with our Founder, Board members and/or TF&S volunteers. Volunteering at our
Public Farm Tours and other events may also be encouraged.
- Are you willing to put down your phone and work harder than you ever expected? Tolerate heat, rain, mud,
blisters, sunburn and abide by our strict no-smoking, no drug use and courtesy/respect policies?
- Are you able to accept that 'you don't know what you don't know,' that 'there is always more to learn,' and
that there are good reasons for adherence to established policies and routines?
IF YOU ANSWERED YES TO ALL OF THE ABOVE, KEEP READING:
— You should know that riding is not part of this internship (although for the right student limited under
-saddle opportunities could be available) but going above and beyond, connected animal care, handling and
training of a variety of species as well as assisting in the development of our growing sanctuary is.
— Participants can expect to hay, grain, water, muck, handle, groom animals of different breeds, ages and
temperaments and gain as much knowledge and skill as their open mind and commitment allow. But that is not all....
— We absolutely love to teach and mentor our interns and we block out several hours each week toward
providing quality instruction on a multitude of levels. In exchange, we expect dedication, enthusiasm,
professionalism, honesty, respect, flexibility, and hard work. We look forward to introducing participants to
natural horsemanship and offering the daily opportunity to work with our equines (and other animals) via lessons and solo time.
DO YOU QUALIFY?
If you are 16-years old and up, have great desire and a work ethic to match, you are eligible. Whether you are
seeking an opportunity to build your resumé before you apply to college or to build it up before you graduate from
college, this is for you. Consideration will also given to graduates of any age interested in gaining knowledge and
know how. Upon successful completion of our internship program, letters of recommendation/competency from
Tomten Farm and Sanctuary to future employers, college admissions officers, etc. will be available.
Limited animal experience is ok (everyone starts somewhere!) and we thoroughly enjoy helping others improve
their skills, learn animal behavior and husbandry. BUT applicants absolutely must have a sincere passion for
animals, learning, and making a difference. You can expect to have an immediate impact on approximately 50
animals and complete your internship competent, confident and proud of all you have accomplished.
Our 300-hour program can be creatively scheduled. Days are flexible but for the consistency of our animals, we
cannot accept internship applications from anyone who is available less than 20 hours per week.
Send us a letter telling us about yourself: why you may be interested in a Tomten Farm and Sanctuary Internship
and what your own dreams and future goals include. Include a resumé if you have one, name and contact info for
three references (teachers, past employers, riding instructors, etc.), and tell us what your desired start date and
availability is. Under age 21 applicants will require signed parental approval. Successful applicants will be required
to submit our standard liability release form and provide proof of health insurance. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.
Tomten Farm and Sanctuary
P.O. Box 85
Haverhill, NH 03765
BONUS: The more driven you are, the greater your opportunities and as a growing organization, there are many.
Share your dreams and let's go after them together!
Your Teacher, Supervisor, Mentor
Tomten Farm and Sanctuary Founder, Jenifer Vickery
- Equine Studies Major, Cazenovia College, NY
- BA, U Mass Amherst
- Graduate Studies, Boston University
- Since 1998 owner/head trainer, Pawsitive Dog Training Center, Boston
- Past volunteer & board member of a Massachusetts equine rescue
- Author of several equine and canine media articles