The Seed Farm Hiring Production Manager – Pennsylvania

Greenhouse in the Sun - The Seed Farm
The Seed Farm is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in eastern Pennsylvania that is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of farmers. Working closely with partners such as Lehigh County and Penn State Extension, our organization provides training for individuals interested in farming for profit, and assists beginning farmers in establishing sustainable farm businesses on our agricultural incubator farm.

Since our first training season in 2010, Seed Farm training program graduates have gone on to start or manage fifteen local farm-based businesses, and four farms have been launched on our agricultural incubator. Please visit our website and Facebook page for more information about our organization and programs.

The Seed Farm Production Manager Job Summary: We are now seeking a full-time, year-round Production Manager to take the lead on the organic production and marketing of vegetables, cut flowers, and herbs on approximately 1 acre, as well as to assist with the upkeep and maintenance of our 42-acre site,equipment and infrastructure. Produce will be primarily marketed through an on-farm cooperative farm stand, a small CSA, a few restaurant accounts, and hunger relief organizations. The Production Manager will primarily work independently, but with help with weeding and harvesting from a small crew once or twice a week, and with management support from the Program Director. This is an ideal position for a person who has apprenticed on one or more farms, and is now ready to take on a management role.  As The Seed Farm is an educational and working farm, the Production Manager can expect to engage with a wide diversity of program participants, volunteers, and farm visitors.

The Seed Farm Production Manager will report to the Program Director. Responsibilities include:
  • Develop crop plans for certified organic production, including soil fertility, pest, and weed management plans, for diversified annual vegetables, cut flowers, and herbs on approximately 1 acre.
  • Purchase seeds, supplies, and equipment according to budget and in accordance with National Organic Program standards.
  • Manage greenhouse operations in a shared greenhouse setting. Start seedling trays in greenhouse for field production and annual plant sale. Conduct greenhouse management, including spring cleanout, temperature and humidity control, irrigation, and greenhouse hygiene.
  • Conduct field operations, including tractor-powered tillage, seeding, transplanting, tractor cultivation, hoeing and handweeding, pest/disease management, irrigation, harvesting, and post-harvest handling.
  • Conduct season extension activities, including high tunnel and low tunnel production; and curing and storage of winter storage crops.
  • Conduct marketing activities, including communications with restaurants and other buyers.
  • Manage cooperative, “honor system” farm stand on site by coordinating produce orders with other incubator farmers, stocking the stand, and general upkeep.
  • Harvest and pack weekly CSA and restaurant orders. Make deliveries of shares and orders.
  • Assist Program Director as needed with applications for organic certification and GAP certification.  Keep records of field operations, harvest, and sales data.  Help compile documentation for organic and GAP certifications.
  • Assist with site upkeep, equipment maintenance, and infrastructural improvements. Duties include mowing, cover crop seeding, farm carpentry projects, barn cleaning, and trash disposal.
  • Supervise small crew of employees, volunteers, and/or CSA shareholders of various ages and abilities.
  • Assist as needed with workshops, demonstrations, lessons, and meetings.

Desired qualifications:

  • Two or more years of organic or low-input/sustainable vegetable production experience, including tractor operation and use of implements commonly used for vegetable farming.
  • Greenhouse and high tunnel management, including plant propagation and season extension.
  • Computer skills including spreadsheets (Excel) for crop planning.
  • Must be able to work independently, be very self-motivated and have a solid work ethic.
  • Successful candidates will have a sense of urgency toward farm work, but balanced with a sense of humor and the ability to go with the flow. Must be able to stay calm and professional, even at high stress times.
  • Must be able to take direction and constructive criticism, as well as problem-solve independently.
  • Must be able to work in most any weather and lift and carry 50 lbs.
  • Crew supervision/team leadership a plus.
  • Applicants must have a valid driver’s license and clean driving record.

Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Salaried position. Benefits include health insurance, paid vacation and holidays, and free veggies. This is a year-round position, with a slightly seasonally variable work schedule. The Production Manager can expect to work around 30 hours/week in the winter months, and 40 to 55 hours/week in the spring and summer months.

To Apply for the Production Manager Job at The Seed Farm:  Please email a cover letter, resume and three professional references to: Amy Cook, Program Director, at amy_cook@theseedfarm.org.  Applications will be reviewed as they are received, so please submit applications as soon as possible.

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