Pennsylvania: Urban Nutrition Initiative seeks Farm Manager

13 Apr

Urban Nutrition Initiative (UNI): Farmer/Youth Development Position Opening (2-3 Acres in Philly)

Organizational Mission and Overview:

The Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative (AUNI) is program of the Netter Center for Community Partnerships at the University of Pennsylvania to engage, educate and empower youth, university students, and community members to promote healthy lifestyles and build a just and sustainable food system. Based in West Philadelphia, the UNI Youth Development Program provides paid internships to approximately 60 high school students during the school year and 100 students during the summer. UNI empowers teen interns to explore and identify solutions to the problem of urban American health disparities via their placement in either peer nutrition education or urban agriculture worksites.

UNI is looking to expand their mission by growing on more urban land with more youth, and subsequently has procured, in partnership with Fairmount Park, Bartram’s Gardens and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS,) a three acre site to implement the youth development and employment model within a Community Food Resource Center.

UNI is seeking a Farm Manager to take charge of the overall planning, implementation, organization, and management of farming activities at Bartram’s Gardens in South West Philadelphia. This individual will work closely with the Project Director to implement a Community Food Resource Center which includes the following elements:

  • 2 acre production vegetable farm
  • Philadelphia Green and City Harvest: Green House and Hoop House
  • Community Garden
  • Community Education Kitchen (Phase 2)
  • .5 acre Orchard

Specific Roles and Responsibilities:

Farming / Site Development

(1)                Develop a comprehensive crop plan

(2)                Till, prepare, and organically farm annual vegetables on a two acre plot, manage a 60 X 30 foot greenhouse, provide consultation for community garden, plant and maintain perennial fruit crops.

(3)                Implement seasonal strategies for crop rotation, integrated pest management, soil amendment, composting, irrigation, cover cropping, tillage, propagation, transplanting, cultivation, harvesting…etc.

(4)                Build infrastructure: production systems, greenhouses, sheds and fences.

(5)                Participate in the overall short-term and long-term planning and development of Bartram’s Farm operations.

(6)                Provide day-to-day management of all farm facilities and equipment, including maintenance, repair, and replacement and the procurement of necessary equipment, tools, and supplies for on-farm operations within approved budget.

Youth Development/ Worksite Supervisor:

  • Supervise and lead a group of 8-10 youth, 10-20 hours a week in an after-school, weekend and summer youth development program focused on food justice, and food production from seed to plate.
  • Plan and implement weekly lessons that highlight the connections between nutrition/health, farming, science, personal growth and the food justice movement
  • Attend weekly Youth Development Team Meetings and Monthly UNI staff meetings.

Community Programs:

  • Co-Lead volunteer and students groups in community work days
  • Co-Manage and facilitate farm production outlets including: Farmers Markets, CSA, Mobile Veggie Bike.
  • Coordinate City Harvest Donations and relationship with food cupboards and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) programs.

Budgeting / Financial Management

  • Develop an annual farming budget linked to the Bartram’s Farm management plan and in consultation with the Project Director.
  • Monitor farm progress against annual budget and provide monthly progress reports of revenues and expenses.
  • Assist with financial development of Community Food resource center: Grant Writing Experience (preferred)


Qualification, Skills and Knowledge Requirement:


  • Applicants must have experience farming multi-acre land and demonstrate extensive experience with organic growing techniques including: composting, irrigation, crop rotation, integrated pest management, soil amendment, cover cropping, tillage, propagation, transplanting, cultivation, harvesting..etc.
  • Applicants must have prior experience working with teenagers, as well as interest in community service, the environment, and multicultural teambuilding. Key attributes include the ability to motivate a group of young people while fostering their potential, being open to one’s own personal growth, and the capability to uphold the standards of the community. We are looking for people who enjoy working on a team as well as independently, who are dependable, organized, flexible, and have a sense of humor. We are seeking individuals whose own background and experiences reflect the rich diversity of the youth who participate in the program.

Specific Qualifications

  • 3 to 5 years of farming experience (greenhouse experience is essential)
  • Post-secondary degree (Bachelor’s preferred)
  • Minimum of 2-3 years working with teens (youth development preferred)
  • Effective written, verbal, and electronic communication skills
  • Competence in using computer technology as a management tool (e.g. Excel, Word, Power Point, Google Docs (preferred).
  • Strong leadership, teamwork, and interpersonal skills with proven ability to work with diverse audiences and collaborators.
  • Valid PA State driver’s license or equivalent.
  • Creativity, energy, motivation, and positive enthusiasm.
  • Must be available to work some evenings and Saturdays

We offer competitive salaries commensurate with experience. To be considered, interested applicants must submit a cover letter and resume Be sure to include “Farm Manager” in the subject line. Supplemental links to videos, articles, or blogs of your work is strongly encouraged but not necessary. No telephone inquiries or recruiters please. Replies will only be sent to qualified applicants.


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