Internship Opportunities

The volunteer internship program at Heartland provides a unique opportunity to connect with rescued farm animals and the diverse community we serve while acquiring valuable knowledge of the various aspects of a farm animal sanctuary. Apply today and you too can contribute to Heartland Farm Sanctuary’s life-changing work. Learn more below.

Farm Animal Shelter Intern

Heartland provides high-quality, specialized care, hope and healing for farm animals who have suffered abuse, neglect, and have nowhere else to go. Many of our rescued residents experience safety and compassion for the very first time after walking through our sanctuary doors.

Humane Education Intern

Through our humane education programs, participants of all ages learn to foster compassion and respect for all living beings. By learning how we provide sanctuary, enrichment and high-quality care to our residents, participants also develop skills to be compassionate members of their own communities.

Experiential Therapy Intern

Heartland's experiential therapy programs address the individual needs of participants and inspire compassion for all people and animals. Through interventions such as creative expression, caregiving, journaling, innovative problem-solving and games, and in partnership with our rescued farm animal residents, we’re able to address the social and emotional needs of kids.

Internship Information

The hard work and dedication of Heartland Farm Sanctuary interns has been a vital part of our work since Heartland Farm Sanctuary began in 2010. Your commitment helps us rescue and care for farm animals and provide therapeutic and educational programs to youth and adults in Dane County and beyond.

Internships are available in the following departments: Farm Animal Shelter, Humane Education and Experiential Therapy. Specific responsibilities and qualifications vary by department. For more information, please check the description for the position that you are applying for.

Heartland Farm Sanctuary does not provide housing for interns at this time. 

Interns are responsible for buying and preparing their own food. Out of respect for the animals and work that Heartland Farm Sanctuary does, all staff and interns are asked to adhere to a vegan diet while on the sanctuary grounds.

Interns have the option to volunteer full-time (40 hours per week), 30 hours per week, or 20 hours per week. Scheduling varies by department.

Most Heartland Farm Sanctuary internships are available year round. Positions are filled on an ongoing basis as applications are received. Summer positions fill quickly, so, if you’re interested in these months, be sure to contact us well in advance.

Why Spend Summer In Madison?

Madison is a vibrant capital city often named one of the nation’s finest communities. It offers plentiful activities to enjoy year-round, from exploring natural, historic, and architectural marvels to attending a riveting arts performance or athletic event.

    • Check out the over 300 vendors at the farmer’s market on the Capitol Square. Largest producer’s only farmer’s market in the U.S.
    • Visit the Thai Pavillion at the Olbrich Botannical Garden
    • Check out the restaurants and shops on State Street
    • Go paddle boarding or kayaking on Lake Wingra
    • Listen to a concert at the Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota
    •  Go to a Madison Mallards baseball game
    •  Go to a Concerts on the Square performance held on the Capitol lawn
    •  Bike on the trails through Madison and around the lakes

Change Lives With Your Gift

Your tax-deductible donation to Heartland Farm Sanctuary allows us to care for farm animals in need and operate our unique people programs that inspire compassion for all beings.

Farm animal shelter internship

Through our Shelter Internship Program, you will connect with many species of rescued farmed animals in a safe, peaceful environment where people and farm animals can come together to heal, grow and have fun. This internship provides a unique opportunity to gain experience with farmed animals and learn the basics of what it takes to operate and maintain a shelter.

We value diversity and strongly encourage individuals of every race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and ability to apply.

To apply: Read through the internship details below and click the “Apply Now” button to download our fillable PDF application. Please email completed application to our Shelter Director, Alecia.Torres@HeartlandFarmSanctuary.org, and Shelter Assistant, Stephanie.Weis@HeartlandFarmSanctuary.org.

Internship Details

Time requirements include:

  • A commitment of between 20 and 40 hours per week
  • A commitment of one to three months
  • An ability to work evenings, weekends and holidays
  • Comfortable working with and around farm animals, including pigs, birds, etc.
  • Able to work in harsh/all weather conditions
  • Able to perform strenuous labor, including lifting, for extended periods of time
  • Flexible and open to performing a multitude of tasks
  • Detail oriented
  •  Able to work collaboratively with a number of different supervisors and volunteers, including children, individuals with special needs, etc.
  • Able to work independently while supporting a larger team effort
  • Willing to follow all safe animal handling protocols as explained
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Dependable, including reliable transportation to the Verona and Stoughton sanctuary locations
  • Committed to the mission and values of Heartland Farm Sanctuary
  • Stall, shelter and habitat cleaning and enrichment
  • Feeding and watering animals, including fresh food prep
  • Basic animal grooming
  • Assisting with animal health checks, including vet visits
  • Shelter errands as needed
  • General shelter maintenance projects, etc.
  • General grounds maintenance
  • Guided research and creative project options
  • Opportunities to learn from and interact with our rescued farm animal residents in a beautiful setting
  • Meeting and working with like-minded people for a common purpose
  • Opportunity to participate in educational presentations and tours
  • Gaining experience beneficial for future sanctuary employment

Humane Education internship

What is Humane Education?

Our world is changing, and our children need the tools to adapt and thrive in their changing environment. Humane Education offers a different approach to how children see and access the world, themselves and the environment. With concerns of children becoming disengaged, isolated and limited in their capacity to be creative problem solvers, Heartland offers a solution. Through the four elements of Humane Education, Heartland is teaching kids how to: 

  1. Acquire Knowledge by preparing them to be enthusiastic and effective researchers who are able to obtain accurate information about interconnected local and global challenges and discern facts from opinion and conjecture.
  2. Think deeply by developing critical systems, strategic and creative thinking skills.
  3. Make compassionate and responsible choices by fostering wonder and appreciation for the natural world; empathy for people and animals; and commitment to doing the most good and the least harm.
  4. Focus on solutions by providing opportunities to collaboratively engage in problem-solving; implement ideas; and assess and improve upon them.

By learning how we provide sanctuary, enrichment and high-quality care to our rescued residents, through our unique camps, classes and clubs, kids develop skills to be compassionate, problem-solving members of their own communities.

To apply: Read through the internship details below and click the “Apply Now” button to download our fillable PDF application. Please email completed application to us at Info@HeartlandFarmSanctuary.org.

Internship Details

  • Commitment of either full or half days during our summer programming (June 20th- August 19th). Information on our summer program offerings and sessions can be found here.
  • Assume responsibility of the safety of campers.
  • Use first aid when needed and handle emergency situations quickly and calmly.
  • Welcome campers on the first day of sessions and help them build community with staff and each other.
  • Assist teaching staff with class and project preparation at the start of the day and clean-up at the end of each day.
  • Assist with monitoring Early Bird drop-off, Lunch Bunch and Late Pick-Up.
  • Assist campers with animal care activities.
  • Provide opportunities for campers so that each individual participant experiences success during camp.
  • Assist with other duties as assigned.
  • Have fun!
  • Desire and ability to work with children and animals
  • Ability to relate to one’s peer group
  • Good character, integrity, and adaptability
  • Enthusiasm, sense of humor, patience, and self-control
  • Ability to work in harsh/all weather conditions
  • Commitment to Heartland Farm Sanctuary’s goals and programs
  • No previous animal experience necessary
  • Gain leadership experience for future employment
  • Opportunity to learn from and interact with our rescued farm animal residents

Experiential therapy internship

What is Experiential Therapy?

Experiential therapy isn’t “typical” therapy. Instead, it’s the ability to approach the needs of the participant in a way that allows them to express themselves through exploration, authenticity, compassion, creativity and the development of experiences where a real sense of belonging can occur. At a time when kids are feeling more cooped up and isolated than ever, Heartland’s unique experiential therapy program gives them a foundation for healing and connection.

Heartland’s Therapeutic Programs:

Through interventions such as creative expression, caregiving, journaling, innovative problem-solving and games, and in partnership with our rescued farm animal residents, we’re able to address the social and emotional needs of kids. Some examples of what our therapists address: increasing coping skills, regulating and expressing emotions, practicing self-advocacy, building social skills and setting boundaries—all with the intention for our therapy participants to go on to become involved with our humane education camps and classes, and/or volunteer at our sanctuary to become active members of Heartland’s community

By learning how we provide sanctuary, enrichment and high-quality care to our rescued residents, through our unique camps, classes and clubs, kids develop skills to be compassionate, problem-solving members of their own communities.

To apply: Read through the internship details below and click the “Apply Now” button to download our fillable PDF application. Please email completed application to our therapy team at Therapy@HeartlandFarmSanctuary.org.

Internship Details

  • Commitment of either full or half days during our summer programming (June 20th– August 19th). Information on our summer program offerings and sessions can be found here
  • Assume responsibility of the safety of campers.
  • Using first aid when needed and handling emergency situations quickly and calmly.
  • Welcoming campers on the first day of sessions and helping them in building community with staff and each other. 
  • Co-facilitating group therapy.
  • Assisting therapists with policy and procedure writing.
  • Working one-on-one with camp participants who have unique needs.
  • Assisting campers with animal care activities.
  • Providing opportunities for campers so that each individual participant experiences success during camp. 
  • Sustainability involvement—rain garden development.
  • Creating inclusive environments for both experiential therapy sessions and seasonal programming.
  • Assisting with other duties as assigned.
  • To have fun!
  • Desire and ability to work with children and animals.
  • Good character, integrity and adaptability.
  • Innovative and creative thinker.
  • Enthusiasm, sense of humor, patience and self-control.
  • Ability to work in all weather conditions.
  • Commitment to Heartland Farm Sanctuary’s values and mission as well as to its programs.
  • Previous animal experience is a plus!
  • Gain leadership experience for future employment.
  • Develop knowledge of creating a therapeutic environment.
  • Opportunity to learn from and interact with our animal residents.
  • Ability to work with children ages 5-17 in a unique learning environment.

You can help Heartland with your donation today!

Your gift - of any amount - helps us provide care for farm animals in need and operate our unique people programs that inspire compassion for all.