Farm Manager

Duke University's Campus Farm is looking for an experienced grower and educator to manage the one-acre vegetable and fruit farm in Durham, North Carolina. Position details below. 



Qualified applicants please send resume and cover letter to with subject line “Farm Manager Application.”

Position Summary

The Farm Manager is responsible for furthering the mission of the Duke Campus Farm in two primary areas: 1) increasing access to local, organic, and sustainable food on campus, primarily from the Duke Campus Farm; and 2) growing the farm’s role as an educational resource that provides the Duke community with opportunities to engage with the study and research of food, economics, agriculture, human culture, and the environment through academic inquiry and extracurricular activities.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

Farm Operation & Produce Sales

  • Manage the daily operations of the Duke Campus Farm, including but not limited to crop planting and harvesting, soil management, pest management, and irrigation.
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with customers. Seek input from buyers regarding crop selection and provide advance notice regarding expected harvest times and crop volumes.
  • Organize the harvest, preparation and delivery of farm produce to customers, including campus eateries, CSA, Duke Farmers’ Market and others.
  • Maintain detailed tracking of crop selection, planting locations, crop volumes, and crop revenues (volumes, prices and eateries).
  • Maintain a record of valuable information and “lessons-learned” from farm operations.

Employee Management

  • Manage student employees, including staffing, supervision, and performance development of summer interns, Work-Study students, and in-kind student volunteers (from Students for Sustainable Living, Nicholas School Apprenticeship Program, etc.) throughout the year.
  • Oversee and support Farm Fellow in communication and community outreach responsibilities including: workshop series creation and implementation; dissemination of events and information through websites, blog and social media; advancing the sustainable food system research agenda at Duke and beyond; and expanding academic offerings and connections to the farm.
  • Seek advice and consulting from individuals knowledgeable about organic farm operation, crops, pest management, and other aspects of organic farm operation, including managing paid consulting contracts as need arises for expertise.

Student Engagement & Academic Integration

  • Collaborate with faculty across schools and departments to support a vibrant discourse on food, agriculture, environment, ethics, health and related subjects, including integration with curriculum.
  • Promote and guide experiential learning on site at the farm and ensure that the farm is a vibrant living laboratory for students and courses at Duke by overseeing community workdays, guiding academic projects, and assisting with research projects on the farm as desired and appropriate.
  • Oversee the development and operation of additional extracurricular educational programs such as an alternative spring break, pre-orientation programming and supporting creation of Sustainable Food Systems certificate.

Strategy and Administration 

  • Assume primary accountability for leadership and direction of the Duke Campus Farm in developing project goals and strategy, including of expansion of food production and educational programming.
  • Engage and update key constituencies at Duke in the operations and expansion of the farm as necessary.  Foster, promote, and strengthen interactions among various Duke departments engaged with the farm, including but not limited to Office of the Executive Vice President, Sustainable Duke, Duke Dining, the Office of Student Activities and Facilities, Office of the Duke Forest, and customers. Publish Annual Report and quarterly updates of farm’s progress for stakeholders.
  • Convene meetings and organize membership of the advisory board of the Duke Campus Farm and seek advice and support from this diverse body of stakeholders.  Provide updates to the board regarding the farm as necessary.
  • Maintain knowledge of leading sustainable food programs in higher education and best practices in campus farm operation to guide the direction of farm development and enhance opportunities for academic inquiry into food issues at Duke.

Accounting & Budgeting

  • Maintain detailed accounting of expenditures and revenues for the farm, including regular evaluation of farm accounts and available funds.
  • Invoice customers in a timely fashion and ensure that all revenues are collected.
  • Develop fiscal year budget for the farm based on anticipated operational expenses and expected capital improvements and expansion.
  • Work closely with staff of Sustainable Duke in the application and reporting process for The Duke Endowment sustainable agriculture grants.
  • Other administrative accounting and payment responsibilities as necessary.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Work requires communication and analytical skills normally acquired through a 4-year college education.
  • Academic background in agricultural or food studies preferred.
  • 3+ years experience growing produce with sustainable practices.
  • 2+ years experience in project and employee management.
  • Proven ability to multitask, consistently meet or exceed deadlines and goals, and work effectively with diverse groups and individuals.
  • Must be self-directed, organized, attentive to details and enthusiastic.

Please send resume and cover letter to with subject line “Farm Manager Application.” 

 Emily Sloss

Farm Manager, Duke Campus Farm

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina
Publicaton Date: 
Monday, September 30, 2013 - 12:00am
Company Name: 
Duke Campus Farm
Job Type: