Texas: Paul Quinn College seeks Farm Manager

6 Apr

Location: Dallas, Texas

Job title: Farm Manager and Director of Agricultural Programs

Organization: Paul Quinn College, 3837 Simpson Stuart, Dallas, TX 75241

This is a unique opportunity for an entrepreneurial and creative individual who is interested in helping to build a sustainable food/social entrepreneurship program at the oldest historically black college or university (HBCU) west of the Mississippi River.

Paul Quinn is a private, HBCU, founded by a small group of African Methodist Episcopal preachers in Austin, Texas, April 4, 1872. Since 1990, the College has resided on 147 acres of beautiful rolling hills and trees just south of downtown Dallas. The mission of the College is to provide a quality, faith-based education that addresses the academic, social, and Christian development of students and prepares them to be servant leaders and agents of change in their communities. Academic excellence lies at the heart of the College’s mission, along with the values of integrity, service, leadership, accountability, fiduciary responsibility, and an appreciation of cultural diversity.

Our working organic farm will be a key resource for both the College and community. The success of this venture is critical because the community surrounding the College is a food desert.  Even though the school, and its surrounding community, is a mere eight minutes from downtown Dallas, there are no legitimate grocery stores or healthy dining options within a five mile radius.  The College is undertaking the creation of the organic farm to provide quality and nutritious food for both its students and the surrounding neighborhood.  The farm includes (1) a production garden that will begin providing food for the campus, local restaurants and families from the community this fall and (2) educational gardens used to demonstrate and teach lessons in agriculture.

Job Description

Paul Quinn College is seeking a reliable, hands-on, experienced farm manager/program director to lead our Agricultural Program and run the day to day operations of our urban farm. The cultivated area of the farm is approximately two acres (the site has been converted from the school’s former football stadium), divided between a smaller student-run educational garden and a larger production field. All of our farm practices will follow organic recommendations and emphasize overall sustainability.  The Director of Agricultural Programs will be responsible for: (1) managing the production and education gardens; (2) oversight of volunteers, interns and apprentices working on the farm; (3) coordinating the distribution of farm products to Paul Quinn’s various constituencies; and (4) servicing the relationship with our corporate partner.

However, in addition to being a farm, Paul Quinn is a college and educational center for the community, making this job opportunity distinct from many typical farm jobs. The Director of Agricultural Programs will play an important role coordinating educational projects involving the farm that will require strong skills in leading, supervising, and communicating with groups of youth and adults. Some assistance in managing farm tasks and infrastructure is available from the Site Manager; however, the Farm Manager is the only full time position dedicated to our Agricultural Program. Duties will include:

Garden Management

  • In coordination with Paul Quinn staff, create and carry out an annual farm plan that meets the needs of Paul Quinn’s many programs and constituencies. Duties will include crop planning, placing seed orders, daily planting, weeding, harvesting, irrigating, soil amendment, and all other farm tasks.
  • Coordinate and oversee the distribution of farm production to end-users, including providing produce to Paul Quinn students, Dallas restaurants and the Highland Hills community.

Volunteer, Student, Intern, Job Corp Oversight

  • Train and direct students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, volunteers, seasonal farm staff, and interns in doing the seasonal work of the farm.

Coordination of Educational Projects

  • Assist with the coordination and implementation of educational projects involving the garden.
  • Lead individuals and groups of many ages in contributing to the work of the farm.
  • Support the involvement of Paul Quinn College courses in the life of the farm.

Servicing Corporate Relationship

  • Maintain regular contact with corporate partner.
  • Ensure that relationship with corporate partner is strong and thriving.

General

  • Prepare and present for approval an annual budget and capital improvement plan for the Agricultural Program
  • Work closely with Management Team on planning, coordinating, budgeting, and operating the Agricultural Program
  • Prepare weekly reports on the status of the Agricultural Program for the President of the College.
  • Assist with raising funds, including helping with grants, for investment in the Agricultural Program

Paul Quinn College is growing and expanding. This is a great opportunity for a passionate person to jump in at a time when we are ready to explore and develop programs that reach beyond our current scope. We are working on many new programs and systems, and are eager to have a Director of Agricultural Programs contribute to the conversation.

Job Schedule

The hours and days required by this job vary with the season and the cycles of work on the farm. This is a full-time, year-round position with significant seasonal variation (40+ hours each week from April – November, with a reduced winter schedule). A seasonal outline is below:

April – May: 40+hrs per week*, Tuesday – Saturday (Sun and Mon off)

  • Tuesday – Friday: farm work and educational programs
  • Saturday: Open Farm Day and volunteer crews

June – November: 40+hrs per week*, Wednesday through Sunday (Mon and Tues off)

  • Wednesday – Friday: farm work and educational programs
  • Saturday: Open Farm Day and volunteer crews
  • Sunday: Quinnite Farmer’s Market

*The successful candidate must be willing to work the necessary hours to manage the farm in the growing season, recognizing that this is often more than a typical 40 hour week. Staff, student, and volunteers will contribute to the work of the farm, but final responsibility rests with the farm manager.

December – March: flexible hours*

  • Develop annual program and farm plans and budgets, fundraising, seed and bulk orders, start greenhouse work in March

*To balance the long hours of the growing season, the Director of Agricultural Programs will have a flexible work schedule in the winter. Some work can be done from home, and specific scheduled time is limited. Vacations of more than a day or two must be taken during this time.

Qualifications and Compensation

Minimum qualifications for this position are:

  • Experience managing an organic farm, from annual planning and seed ordering to all aspects of caring for the farm through the growing season
  • Experience managing the distribution and sale of farm products (CSA, wholesale, farmer’s markets etc)
  • Experience with educating and supervising workers on the farm (volunteers, interns, staff, students, etc)
  • Excellent administrative, communication and organizational skills
  • A strong work ethic and the ability to work independently, with minimal oversight
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel
  • A flexible work schedule
  • Non-smoking while on site
  • A Bachelors Degree from a four-year, degree granting institution is required and a Masters Degree is preferred.

Additional skill areas (not required as minimum qualification, but desired in a strong applicant):

  • Mechanical aptitude for maintaining and operating standard farm equipment (mowers, weed whackers, small tractor, etc)
  • Carpentry and “fix-it” skills: handy enough with tools and basic carpentry practices to build and fix various items around the farm

Compensation: Commensurate with experience  Position Type: Full time with benefits.

Position Length: One year renewable basis

To Apply

Application deadline: Open until filled

Position Starts: As soon as filled

Contact: President Michael Sorrell c/o Special Assistant Cecilyn Bryan, 214-379-5577.  Send emails with resume and cover letter to both: cbryan@pqc.edu and: president@pqc.edu.

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