Farm Manager & Educator

Location: 
St. Louis, Missouri
Publication Date: 
Thursday, January 3, 2013 (All day)
Company Name: 
EarthDance Farms
Email: 
molly@earthdancefarms.org

EarthDance is seeking an experienced individual to fill the full-time role of Farm Manager & Educator.  EarthDance is a non-profit,peri-urban teaching farm with a nine-month, part-time (15-25 person) apprenticeship program.  EarthDance is entering its 5th growing season and is looking forward to growing on 1+ acres to satisfy a 45-50 person CSA and two markets/week.  EarthDance is located on the historic Mueller Farm in north St. Louis County, Missouri.

Requirements

●      Driver’s license

●      Ability to lift 50 lb regularly

●      Good written and verbal communication skills

●      Reliable communication via internet and phone

●      Passion for the sustainable agriculture movement

●      Enthusiasm for educating beginning farmers

 Experience

●      Three years of farm management experience

●      Supervisory experience

●      Familiarity with tractors, irrigation, cover cropping, and pest management using organic methods

●      Familiarity with crop planning and CSA production

●      Experience in farm record keeping and using Microsoft Excel

●      Experience with farm-based equipment

 Desired (not required)

●      Teaching experience

●      Experience constructing and growing in a hoophouse / high tunnel

●      Volunteer coordination

●      Construction

●      Machine maintenance

 Job Description

 The EarthDance Farm Manager/ Educator will oversee farm operations on 1+ acres of the Mueller Farm to support the production needs of a 45-50 member CSA and two farmers markets/week using organic methods and good land stewardship. A significant part of the Farm Manager’s responsibilities will also be carrying out on-farm education for EarthDance apprentices and volunteers. The Farm Manager will work closely with the Farm & Community Education Coordinator to ensure that the training objectives of the EarthDance Organic Farming Apprenticeship program are being met, including leading field walks, assisting with enrichment session preparation, and carrying out on-farm demonstrations. The Farm Manager will train and supervise the Assistant Farm Manager – Americorps VISTA, in addition to managing the first- and second-year apprentices during field work days. The Farm Manager will report to and work closely with the Founding Director. The Farm Manager will be committed to the mission of EarthDance, and wholly dedicated to sustainable farming methods and embracing our community’s involvement.

 

The complementary goals for this position are to provide a staff person who can effectively:

 ●             Serve as a mentor and educator to beginner farmers

●             Optimize mixed vegetable production on 1+ acres of the Mueller Farm

 Education Responsibilities

1      Assists in developing a schedule of workshops / enrichment sessions for the farm apprentices (in collaboration with Farm & Community Education Coordinator).

2      Assists in leading the workshops / enrichment sessions, which may include demonstrations on the farm, guest speakers, hands-on activities, and extension staff.

3      Conducts daily field walks with apprentices to teach seasonal concepts, identify pests and diseases, and answer questions.

4      Writes and sends out a weekly email field report to farm apprentices, Board, and CSA.

5      Supervises group work days on the farm with the help of the Assistant Farm Manager and/or Volunteer Coordinator.

6      Communicates with Assistant Farm Manager what needs to be accomplished during work shifts.

7      Supervises group work days in the North County Tech greenhouse with the help of the Assistant Manager and third-year apprentice who serves as greenhouse manager.

8      Create curriculum materials (e.g. Powerpoint slide shows and handouts) as needed for enrichment sessions.

9      Leads Organic Pest & Disease Management Field Day and assist with Food Safety Workshop

10    Act as a resource for program information for project partners, grant proposals, community members, EarthDance staff, and the media as required.

 Production Responsibilities

1      Develops and implements a production management plan consistent with organic standards to achieve harvest goals for vegetables, flowers and herbs to serve 45-50 CSA members and two markets/ week.  Includes a propagation schedule, harvest goals, crop selections, plans for rotations & sequencing of plantings, cultivation, pest and disease management, harvesting, and soil fertility.   The former Farm Manager has completed a planting and greenhouse propagation schedule for the season and the spring/summer seed order to give a head start on the season.  This is of course subject to change per the incoming farm manager’s input.

2      Implements the above schedules.

3      Assists in outlining and designing CSA program for 2013-14.

4      Records, itemizes, and submits receipts for operational expenses.

5      Places orders for seed and farm supplies. Researches and orders tools and farm equipment in accordance with budget. Helps procure donations of farm tools, services, and supplies.

6      Works with irrigation specialist to plan, modify and/or expand irrigation system for production on farm.

7      Oversees harvest and post-harvest handling.

8      Creates weekly To-Do list for the soil’s and the crops’ needs as part of the field update email.

9      Identifies outside personnel to perform tractor maintenance as needed.

10    Performs or ensures entry of data pertaining to harvest, CSA distribution, wholesale sales, planting, greenhouse seeding, seed source, farmers’ market sales, pest and disease management, fertility input application and other information as needed in compliance with organic record keeping standards and per EarthDance’s needs.

11    Complete wholesale sales using existing chef email database to advertise available produce to local buyers (e.g. restaurants and grocers) and coordinate delivery and payment for produce.

12    Creates Farm and Apprenticeship update for bi-monthly Board Meetings.

13    Attend Farm Operations or Site Plan meetings as needed.

14    Property maintenance as needed (mowing).

 TIME REQUIREMENTS: Approximately 40 hours/week. Includes 3 weeks of paid time off annually, preferably taken during the winter (the week between Dec 24th – Jan 1st, plus two additional weeks).

 OTHER REQUIREMENTS

●          Cell phone communication

●          Frequent computer and internet access

●          Reliable transportation or the ability to navigate the public transportation system

●          A valid driver's license is also required.

 OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:

●          Position may include some travel to farming conferences during off-season for professional development activities.

●          Position may evolve as the capacity of the organization and staff grow; EarthDance recently acquired the 14 acre Mueller Farm, approximately 7 acres of which are tillable. There is space for additional endeavors to be cultivated, which may include but not be limited to: fruit trees and other perennial crops, chickens, bees, greenhouse products, etc.

 SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: Manager will oversee 1 full-time Assistant Farm Manager, 4-6 part-time second year apprentices, and 15-35 part-time farm apprentices (and volunteers as needed).

 COMPENSATION: Compensation commensurate with experience. Full health insurance is included. Includes 3 weeks of paid time off annually, preferably taken during the winter (the week between December 24th – January 1st, plus 2 additional weeks).

 TO APPLY: To apply for this position, please send a resume, cover letter, and 2-3 references to:

Molly Rockamann, Founding Director, at molly@earthdancefarms.org. Position open until filled.

Start date may be as early as January 14, 2013