Cheesemaking Apprenticeship at Grass-based Sustainable Dairy

Cherry Grove Farm is a grass-based dairy, rotational grazing on 240 certified organic acres in Central New Jersey, just outside of Princeton. A sustainable approach is taken to managing pastures and all animal husbandry. With the milk of our small herd, we work hard to turn it all into the tastiest cheese possible 4 -5 times a week, and this is where we need your help. We are seeking a cheesemaking apprentice for a year commitment ideally, starting as early as May.

You will be exposed to the world of farmstead cheesemaking from the ground up. Learn cheese processes – pasteurizing, safety protocols and HACCP familiarity, handling the curd, basic milk/cheese chemistry, plus the crucial work of affinage. While some work will be side by side with our Cheesemakers, it’s expected you will be given many tasks to be done independently once you’ve been trained and will work one short day a week on your own.


We sell products through our on-site farm store, and wholesale our award-winning cheese to a variety of gourmet stores & restaurants in the New York/Philadelphia area. We also attend several regional farmers markets.

There will be hard hours on your feet and menial tasks. It can be repetitive and mundane. Sanitation is key. No prior experience is required, but experience with food prep, cheese work or familiarity with farm life is encouraged.

But it’s not all scrubbing and flipping – you will learn not only cheesemaking, but also skills in the direct-marketing and how-to of wholesale dairy. Attending a regional farmers’ market will be part of your week. You will also spend time learning the essentials of wholesale work, cutting and packaging orders for delivery week-to-week. You will also be expected to attend and help prep for events occasionally. All of these are fun ways to meet the people who eat and appreciate your work, as well as being a good way to make connections within the local farming and sustainability community.

You should have your own car and a valid drivers license.

Stipend: We provide a $700/month stipend plus on-farm housing, and a 30% staff discount on all products sold in our farm store. Milk and cheese will be available to you too, of course. Apprentices are expected to work about 50-55 hours per week.

1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens