Oregon: West Linn-Wilsonville School District seeks Farm Manager Intern

1 Nov

The West Linn Wilsonville School District is seeking an experienced farmer to work with the district on the development of a 10 acre farm-to-school site.  For the first time, the district is looking for an intern farm manger to help farm district owned land in order to produce vegetables to be incorporated in the district’s lunch program. The West Linn Wilsonville School district is located south of metro Portland in Clackamas County Oregon and serves approximately 8,400 students each year. This is a unique opportunity to join the burgeoning farm-to-school movement in Oregon.  In 2008 the Oregon Legislature established a statewide Farm to School Program in an effort to improve the community’s knowledge about and attitudes toward agriculture, food, nutrition and the environment. Farm-to-school programs have shown to increase children’s participation in school meal programs as well as their overall consumption of fruits and vegetables. Farm-to-school programs also increase statewide market opportunities for farmers, ranchers, food processors and food manufactures. Since the establishment of the Oregon farm-to-school program two years ago there has been unprecedented growth in school district purchasing of local food. A growing number of farm-to-school and school garden educational programs have also been established.

The Project:

The West Linn-Wilsonville school district CREST program is currently using a half acre portion of a 10 acre district owned parcel of land and existing infrastructure to educate and engage students in sustainability topics and research as well as to grow produce to supply the WLWVSD nutritional services program. Students will have the opportunity to participate in the planning, planting, care, harvesting and preparation of farm products that will be served in all 13 of the district’s schools. Potential exists for future expansion of cultivation onto more acreage as the project develops.

Requirements:
 
WLWSD is looking for a highly motivated self-starter willing to make a 3 year contractual commitment to the project. This person should have at least three seasons experience as a farm intern and be looking to take that experience to the next level as an intern farm manager. In exchange for the compensation mentioned below the intern farm manger will spend 20 hours a week performing manual work associated with the planting cultivating and harvesting of crops and maintain adequate records as well as 5 hours a week helping to maintain the property.
 The intern farm manger will work closely with the director of the OSU Extension Service Community and Urban Horticulture program as well as the director of the CREST program, both of whom will serve as mentors on the project. The intern farm manager will also attend various OSU Extension sponsored classes as a part of their educational training.
 
Compensation:

1. On site living accommodations (1900 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2 bath home)
2.  All utilities paid (water, electric, garbage, maintenance, home insurance).
3.  Insurance through the WLWV School District
4. Based on available water, additional land may be available for the intern farm manager to use
    for his/her own crop or livestock production pending negotiation.
5. Mentorship of Extension professionals and access to Extension sponsored classes.
6. Potential exists for OSU graduate credit if already enrolled in an accredited OSU agriculture graduate program.
 
Basic Crest Resident Intern Farm Manager Duties Include:

1. Works with OSU extension mentors and nutrition services to determines type amount
     and location of crops to be cultivated
2.  Teaches farming techniques, proper maintenance and use of farm equipment and farm safety
      to WLWSD students.. 
3. Prepares soil, plants cultivates and harvests crops.
4.  Irrigates crops and maintains irrigation equipment.
5.   Coordinates with Nutrition Services to select and plan crop rotation
6. Grows transplants in Greenhouse
7.   Operates farm vehicles, tractors, trucks and forklift, power tools, weed whacker, mower, etc.
8.  Comfortable servicing, making minor repairs and maintaining farm equipment and structures
9. Works with mentors to make arrangement for the harvesting, post-harvest handling
      and selling of crops to nutrition services
10.  Cares for livestock.
11. Collects, maintains and provides data to district staff regarding the crops cultivated, irrigation
      process, yields, accounts receivable and products sold.
12.  Orders and maintains records of supplies necessary to operate the farm.
13. Interacts with Grant Requirements as appropriate.
 
Preferred Qualifications:
 
-Bachelors Degree or equivalent experience in Agriculture or related field.
-Knowledge of local food systems and sustainable agriculture.
-Interest in expanding experience working on farms to managing farm operations.
– Physical strength, endurance and stamina for manual labor, ability to lift 50lbs.
-Demonstrated ability to operate hand tools, tractors and heavy farm equipment.
-Dependable, self-motivated, able to work independently when necessary
   and use sound judgment as well as  establish effective and productive working relationships
  with co-workers and groups with diverse interests and perspectives.
-Excellent organizational skills and experience maintaining adequate and detailed farm records.
-Excellent understanding of farm products, farm marketing and selling techniques
 and market prices.
-Experience working with students, the public and district personnel.
-Experience maintaining and repairing farm buildings and equipment and knowledge of safe farm
 practices.
-Experience growing specialty crops.
– Ability to work with others, stay organized, follow written and verbal
  instructions and compete tasks on time.
-Strong computer competencies using adequate software programs for record keeping and project
  management.
-Valid Oregon drivers’ license and clean driving record.
-Background Check required.

To Apply:
 
1. Submit a cover letter and resume to Bob Carlson- West Linn-Wilsonville School District
    CREST Environmental Center: [CarlsonB@wlwv.k12.or.us]
 
2. Cover letters should be brief and include a brief description of the following:
-Education and work experience
– Documentation of pertinent qualifications such as experience as a farmer/farm manager
– Resume
– Three References
 
Please answer these additional questions on a separate page:

1. How would you establish a crop management strategy on this site?
2. How would you go about implementing sustainability, wellness, leadership, and global citizenship into your position as farmer manager? 
 
Deadline for Applications:

November 22nd, 2010. Interviews will take place throughout November. Candidate selection will occur on or before December 15th.

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