By Lisa Marie Stahl
When someone looks at a colony's occupations, they normally classify them in two categories: Farming and ranching. This would be the best overall description, but a closer look would show you the many unnamed professions which make a colony a functioning organization.
Every colony has a large community garage. Our garage includes a blacksmith shop, a car wash, and is also used as a car park during the winter. There is one guy who is shop foreman, who's responsible for taking care, repairing and keeping up all the colony's cars, trucks and tractors. The foreman works with several guys younger than he, who are being trained to be mechanics.
Another guy is in charge of the blacksmith shop. Usually, he, too, will have a helper or two. The blacksmith does machine work such as lathe work and manufacturing such as building stainless steel rails, calf sheds, and augers.
The carpentry shop is where all the families' furniture is produced. It's four walls are covered with patterns from bed fronts and backs, to mirror frames and coffee cup holders for a car. Again, one of the older guys is in charge of the carpentry shop and has four to six guys whom he trains in this league.
Following the carpentry shop you'll find the plumber shop. This is where the plumber stores his supplies in organizers, each of them labeled. In one corner you'll also see a small homemade straw broom factory and in another corner a shoe repair center. One guy is responsible for these three jobs, with the flexibility of being able to get help from several of the young men of his choice if he needs help with a project. Eventually, a younger member will be taught these trades as well, to be passed on.
Next, you'll come across the electrician shop. This is where the colony generator is. It also stores all the electrical supplies and equipment. The electrician normally works alone but as he ages he'll ask for a helper whom he can train to take over the practice.
Now we'll move on to the livestock. Normally, every colony will have several hundred head of ranch cattle. But this is not true in all situations; it depends on the type of land the colony sits on.
Our colony does have ranch cattle and also about a half a dozen horses. As always, there is a foreman who is in charge of this operation. He has two main guys helping him year round.
Our three milk cows are milked twice daily by the youngest adult member.
The colony's supply of poultry is taken care of by one guy. He feeds and raises them until they are old enough to be butchered, which is an event in which everybody is included.
The field boss is responsible for the colony's land. He gives the guys jobs from seeding to fertilizing to picking rocks. He is responsible for making sure all the guys have jobs and are kept busy.
One step above the field boss is the colony's secretary. He is in charge of the colony's financial status. He pays all the colony's bills and does all the paperwork.
A colony's foundation is its ministers. They are in charge of the colony spiritually and govern over all the members.
In each job I mentioned above, the younger males were a part of. The same guys don't always work at the same jobs, though. Every winter they switch places and work with the new job the colony elders place them in. This way they each get to try out ALL the jobs and eventually discover their weaknesses and strengths. As they become older and a brother of the church, they get to have a permanent job. Once they are up in years they also have the right to resign or retire, enabling someone with the proper strength and ability to take over.