McDowell Farm School

If you're looking for a unique opportunity to increase your farm knowledge and teach students through experience, then the McDowell Farm School is looking for you!

The mission of the McDowell Farm School (MFS) is to inspire curiosity, teach problem solving, and empower community connections through regenerative agriculture. Our 3 day, 2 night programs put students on the farm providing a unique opportunity for learning, questioning, and experience through working in our gardens, caring for our animals, and cooking meals.

McDowell Farm School is a 40 acre farm on the 1140 acre Camp McDowell, adjacent to the Bankhead National Forest near Jasper, Alabama. About an hour northwest of Birmingham.

About McDowell Farm School

McDowell Farm School is a non-profit teaching farm in Winston County, Alabama. We are the only residential, farm-based education program in the Southeast. Our mission is to inspire curiosity, teach problem-solving, and empower community connections through sustainable agriculture. We engage student curiosity and lay a strong foundation for meaningful inquiry-based learning. Instructors encourage careful observation that leads to evidence-based problem-solving. We do not ask students what they want to be when they grow up, we ask them what problems they want to solve and teach them the skills they need for their future!

Focusing on where our food comes from, our standards-based curriculum is centered around all types of learners and differentiated for grades K 12. Our classroom extends beyond the walls of our teaching kitchen, beyond our 40 acres of gardens and barns, and even beyond the 1140 acres of forests, streams, and canyons of McDowell. We turn the world into our classroom and our place of discovery.

The Employee Experience

Instructors teach and explore with the students in order to foster a sense of community, as well as create an appreciation and understanding of where our food comes from and the environment around us. Farm School staff assist with vegetable production and animal care, teach established lesson plans, lead night programs, and aid in program development.

Our goal is for you to leave the McDowell Farm School feeling like you've grown.  We want to challenge you to become a better educator and farmer through experience, but also through professional development and reflection.  We feel our work is fun, but also extremely important and challenging at times, and strive to create an environment where our employees feel supported and passionate about the work we are doing.  

Ideal Candidate

Our ideal candidate will:

  • Have a demonstrated respect and affinity for children and a desire to help them learn and grow in an outdoor environment.
  • Have a genuine desire to expand their education and agricultural skills, and eagerness to share their love for the environment.
  • Have the following characteristics: enthusiasm, maturity, initiative, sense of humor, flexibility and team spirit.
  • Be familiar with the outdoors and sustainable agriculture.
  • Be 21 years or older and have a college degree or comparable experience in a related field.
  • Possess CPR and First Aid certification.

Room and Board

Included as part of your compensation are on-site housing and dining hall meals in all of our three kitchens.  Seasonal Instructors are also provided basic staple items at their community house and have access to farm veggies/eggs /and goat milk.  

All instructors have private bedrooms, a shared bathroom, a community kitchen, a living room, laundry machines, and large porches with rocking chairs as well as access to all of Camp's 1140 acres of canyons, pastures, and creek!

Employee Perks

Access to Pro Deals

Discount at Camp Store

Access to Farm Veggies / Eggs / Goat Milk

Getting Here and Getting Around

Bringing your own personal vehicle is not necessary, but definitely not frowned upon.  Provided housing is a short walking distance to all of the farm's spaces and a bike is always a bonus for moving around camp.  

The nearest airport to the The McDowell Farm School is in Birmingham (hour away) and transportation can be provided to and from by our staff.  

Public transportation is not an option in our area, but as you are sharing the space with over 20 other seasonal instructors, someone is always up for giving a ride to town or around camp

For Fun

We are located on 1140 acres of some of the most beautiful canyons in the South.  Hiking and exploring just within our own property could fill up your weekends, but if that isn't enough, we are backed up to the Bankhead National Forest and Sipsey Wilderness.  Camp McDowell is also located on Clear Creek where employees have access to sandy beaches and secluded river hangs.  Feel free to borrow a canoe and explore Clear Creek or even Smith Lake.  

Camp McDowell is also home to the Alabama Folk School.  Try your hand at pottery or foraging on one of our Folk School Weekends.  Instructors get discount rates for attending and can also attend free Folk Concerts on some weekends during the season. 

Camp McDowell is also an hour from Birmingham (Mountain Biking / Climbing / More Hiking / Civil Rights Institute / McWane Science Center / Many Music Venues / Sporting Events)

How to Apply

In order to apply, send your resume to Scotty Feltman -  farmschooldirector@campmcdowell.org

Also, feel free to reach out by phone if you have any questions before applying!

Additional info for international applicants


Contact McDowell Farm School