New Jersey: Grow it Green Morristown seeks Farm Manager

29 Jan
Grow it Green Morristown is seeking a reliable, hands-on, experienced farmer-manager to run our urban farm. The cultivated area of our farm is approximately one-half acre. All of our farm practices follow organic recommendations and emphasize overall sustainability, but we are not certified organic. The Farm Manager will be responsible for managing the Urban Farm at Lafayette for food production and education, training and oversight of volunteers and interns working on the farm, and coordinating the distribution of farm products to Grow it Green Morristown’s various constituencies.

However, beyond being a farm, The Urban Farm at Lafayette is an educational center for the community and the 4,700 children of the Morris School District, making this job opportunity distinct from many typical farm jobs. The Farm Manager 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 Board members of Grow it Green Morristown; however, the Farm Manager is currently the only full time position within our organization. Duties will include:

Urban Farm Management

Create and carry out an annual farm plan that meets the needs of Grow it Green Morristown’s many programs and constituencies. The plan shall include at minimum:

  • Annual Farm Budget
  • Crop Production Plan
  • Farm products sales and distribution plan
  • Farm maintenance plan
  • Greenhouse operation plan
  • Farm Related Programs plan for community classes and events
  • Farm staffing plan that seeks to incorporate volunteer and intern labor/ education
  • Ensure that all daily farm-related tasks are completed including daily planting, weeding, harvesting, irrigating, soil amendment, and general maintenance.
  • Coordinate and oversee the distribution of farm production to end-users, including providing produce to the children of the Morris School District and Interfaith Food Pantry, providing produce for sale at market, and providing produce to Grow it Green Morristown’s community programs, among others.
  • Manage the compost operation; maintain garden infrastructure (irrigation, fences, tool repair…), and daily care for the farm animals and farm landscape as needed.

Volunteer, Student, Intern, Job Corp Oversight

  • Train and direct students, volunteers, and seasonal interns in doing the seasonal work of the farm.
  • Lead individuals and groups of many ages in contributing to the work of the farm.

Educational and Farm Programs

  • Work with the outreach coordinator/ Urban Farm Organizer on out reach efforts to teachers within the School District to find effective ways to use the farm as an educational resource to supplement classroom work.
  • Develop and implement farm and agriculture related training and education programs for adults in close collaboration with the Board Member designated as the Urban Farm Organizer
  • Help coordinate educational opportunities into the farm schedule
  • Help develop and implement educational programs with the clients of the Interfaith Food Pantry and the Youth Council of the Community Soup Kitchen
  • Work with and assist local service groups (such as Boy/ Girl Scouts) with service projects at the Urban Farm

General Management

  • Work closely with the Board Member designated as the Urban Farm Organizer on planning, coordinating, budgeting, and operating the Urban Farm at Lafayette
  • Prepare monthly reports on the status of the Urban Farm for the Grow it Green Morristown Board
  • Assist with raising funds, including helping with grants, for investment in the Urban Farm
  • Represent Grow it Green Morristown and its agricultural programs at relevant conferences and events.
  • Supervise all farm related interns and volunteers

Grow it Green Morristown’s programs are 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. Can you teach backyard gardening workshops for adults? Lead youth in developing small business ventures from farm products? We are working on many new programs and systems, and are eager to have a Farm Manager contribute to the conversation.

Job Schedule

This is a seasonal based position.  The hours and days necessary to complete the job requirements are expected to vary with the season and the cycles of work on the farm. 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. The position will be full time from April 1st through November 1st.  The shoulder seasons of early spring and late fall will be part-time as follows: March 15th – 31st and Nov. 1- Dec. 15.  From June 15 through September 15 the farm must be staffed on weekends; outside of this date range, the Farm Manager must be available for one day on the weekend.  This position is an outdoor job and requires the ability to work in a variety of weather conditions, including very hot and humid weather.  On days where outdoor work is impossible, the Farm Manager may be asked to participate in office related work or reschedule a workday.

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
  • 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
  • Must be able to pass a criminal background check and submit to fingerprinting.
  • Must be able to lift 50 lbs. and work under potentially difficult physical conditions.
  • Must be dependable, organized, flexible and have a sense of humor.
  • Must be a self-starter and work with little supervision – many times the Farm Manager may be the only person at the site
  • Must be personable and like working with all kinds of people including children and out diverse community members
  • Must have own transportation (NJ Transit train station is located within one mile of the Urban Farm)

Additional skill areas (not required as minimum qualifications, 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
  • Experience working with chickens and honeybees
  • Spanish speaking is a plus

Compensation: Commensurate with Experience

Position Length: One year

Application deadline: open until filled

Position Starts: March 15th , 2011

Email a resume and a cover letter describing your relevant experience to Samantha Rothman (sam@growitgreenmorristown.org)

 

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