Job Opportunities

Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery is HIRING!

Farmstead Cheese Maker

Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery is a small, farmstead goat creamery in east-central Illinois. We have been making small-batch artisan goat milk cheese since 2005. We milk 75-80 goats seasonally (March-December), and produce approximately 14,000 pounds of cheese per year including fresh chevre, bloomy rind and raw milk cheeses. Our herd and dairy products are certified “Animal Welfare Approved.”  Champaign-Urbana is a diverse yet small college town within two hours’ drive of Chicago, IL and Indianapolis, IN.

We seek a passionate, meticulous, and creative person to join our cheese making team, beginning March 1, 2018.  Prior cheese making experience is preferred.   

Primary Responsibilities include:

  • Perform all steps of cheese making and cheese packaging for sale
  • Participate in determining cheese production schedules and recipe refinement
  • Manage natural rind aged cheeses and cheese caves (affinage)
  • Assist with overall facility operations and systems management
  • With cheese making team, develop seasonal marketing strategies (wholesale versus retail)
  • Maintain accurate, detailed records based on Standard Operating Procedures
  • Maintain hygienic conditions
  • Prepare and organize cheeses for farmers’ markets, CSA and other sales outlets
  • Sell cheese at farmers’ markets and other retail outlets 

Desired traits include:

1) Possessing acute attention to detail and quality

2) Appreciative of the “zen” of cleaning

3) Ability to grasp both the technical and artistic elements of cheese making

4) Pride in a job well done

5) Ability to work in a small team or alone (self-directed)

6) Ability to troubleshoot as challenges arise (resourceful)

7) Willingness to participate in basic facility maintenance

8) Dedication to maintaining hygienic working conditions in accordance with food safety regulations

9) Ability to stay focused during repetitive and sometimes tedious tasks.

The position is seasonal and workload varies by season (very busy March-August-40-50 hrs. /week; less busy September-December-20-30 hrs./week). Pay is hourly ($12-15/hour) and commensurate with experience. Benefits include health insurance and workers compensation.

As time and interests permit, there are other employment opportunities at the farm including goat milking, orchard management and help in farm store and with agri-tourism activities.   

Please submit a letter of intent (who you are and why you are interested in this position) along with a resume and three professional references (name, email and phone and how they know you) by January 5th.   

Leslie Cooperband, Co-Owner 

Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery

4410 N. Lincoln Ave. Champaign, Illinois 61822