Crown Point Ecology Center in Ohio is looking for an Apprentice Farmer for the 2014 Season
Seasonal position, 30 weeks, flexible start time between late March/early April, and lasting until late October/mid-November
Organization Description: Crown Point Ecology Center (CPEC) is green space that matters – a biologically diverse living laboratory that serves to demonstrate practical applications of ecology. The 115-acre property in northeast Ohio (10 miles northwest of Akron, and 25 miles south of Cleveland) is a regional model for sustainable agriculture and environmental education. CPEC believes that ecological land stewardship encourages structural and social change through local food production, positive impacts on the environment, health of all citizens, and local economic development. Learn more and see pictures at www.crownpt.org.
Position Summary: In the 2014 season, the farm crew will consist of the farm manager, assistant farm manager, and four apprentices. The Level 1 Apprentices will work with experienced farm staff in growing, maintaining and harvesting produce on Crown Point’s certified organic eight-acre vegetable farm, which serves a 160-share CSA, the Akron-Canton Food Bank, and other accounts. Level 1 Apprentices can expect to gain many of the basic skills necessary for eventually managing their own organic vegetable farms. In turn, apprentices are expected to work hard for the benefit of the Crown Point farm.
A strong work ethic, a sense of working quickly and efficiently, a desire to learn new skills and increase speed and efficiency, and a good sense of humor are essential for this position. Apprentices must be able to withstand challenging weather conditions; do repetitive, tedious tasks; and be able to “go with the flow,” as plans often change quickly in farming. Good teamwork skills are also essential, including good communication skills and the ability to stay calm, professional, and focused in a fast-paced, sometimes stressful environment.
People with a demonstrated interest in making a career out of farming are especially encouraged to apply.
Essential Duties and Learning Objectives:
Other responsibilities may be assigned as necessary.
Field and Greenhouse work
Uses tractors and hand tools to till, plant, cultivate, irrigate, apply nutrient and pest management measures, and harvest production areas. Tends greenhouses, cares for farm equipment, tools and supplies. Cleans/organizes work areas. Upholds Crown Point’s organic certification.
Harvest, Post-Harvest, and Sales
Harvests, washes and packs crops for distribution to all accounts, according to established standards.
Keeps records of produce distributed through each avenue.
Maintains safe working and safe food environment.
Assists with Crown Point’s annual spring plant sale production and sales.
Education, Management and Outreach
Participates in Apprentice educational activities, including instruction in tractor operation and maintenance, greenhouse maintenance, working visits to other farms, completing special projects, field walks, and more.
Trains, supervises and directs small groups of CSA sharers and volunteers on farm tasks.
College degree or equivalent in a relevant field (biology, earth science, cooking, business) helpful.
One or more seasons growing vegetables, either in a garden or on a farm helpful.
Experience with farm equipment and machinery helpful.
CSA or other marketing experience helpful.
Experience cooking/eating/preserving diverse fresh vegetables helpful.
Minimum Requirements (please do not apply for this position if you do not have the following qualifications):
High School diploma or equivalent required.
Has and maintains a valid driver’s license.
Some experience (paid, volunteer, or hobby) doing outdoor, physical work (e.g. gardening, landscaping, carpentry, trail work, outdoor-based camp counselor, etc.) is required.
Has a work history of showing up, on time, and ready to work, day after day after day.
Listens carefully and follows directions. Communicates clearly and effectively, and asks questions when clarity is needed.
Works well alone or on a team.
Multi-tasks and works quickly and efficiently. Delegates tasks and supervises others in a professional, courteous manner in what is usually a fast-paced and sometimes stressful environment.
Thinks independently, and demonstrates good problem-solving skills.
Can help create a community-focused environment that supports the Crown Point mission and its guiding principles, and promotes a positive, healthy work environment for all farm and CPEC staff.
Cheerful and has a sense of humor!
Working Conditions/Physical Requirements:
Hours will vary, based on the weather, season, and requirements of activities. Approximate hours during the light time of the season (roughly, the beginning of the season (late March/early April) and end of the season (late October/early November) will be 8 hour days, Monday through Friday, with a half-hour lunch break.
Approximate hours during the majority of the season (roughly, mid-April to mid-October) will be 9 to 11 hour days, Monday through Friday, with a 10 minute morning break and an hour-long lunch break.
Apprentices are expected to work every Saturday morning between April 26, 2014 and July 19, 2014 from 7:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m., although this schedule could lighten if the workload allows. Saturday work schedules will lighten after July 19, likely to 1 or 2 Saturdays per month.
Rotating schedule of weekend (Saturday and Sunday) greenhouse maintenance is required, approximately once a month. This work usually does not take a great deal of time, but does require the apprentice to come in two or three times a day to check and water in the greenhouses.
Work requires physical exertion and activities such as stooping, bending, lifting and pushing/pulling heavy equipment. All apprentices must be able to lift and carry at least 50 pounds.
Farm work goes on, even when it is cold, wet, windy, hot, etc. Apprentices must dress appropriately and be ready to work under challenging weather conditions.
Farming is not without risk. Slip and fall accidents, back injury, equipment-based injuries, etc. can happen. Apprentices are encouraged to get their own health insurance.
This is not a punch-card-and- time-clock kind of job. There will be times when apprentices will be expected to stay a little late to finish up a job, or arrive a little early, to get a jump on a task. It is for this reason that applicants who do not have reliable transportation, or who have secondary jobs should carefully consider if they will have the flexibility required for this position.
$275/week, paid on the 15th and 30th each month, via direct deposit.
Produce from the farm for personal use, in accordance with farm policy.
Educational opportunities, including informational lectures, weekly field walks, occasional farm tours at other farms, and possibly more.
Six paid vacation/sick/personal days, to be scheduled in advance whenever possible.
Three paid “working visits” to other area farms, in order to expand the apprentice’s exposure to other agricultural enterprises.
Please read through this job description carefully. If you meet all minimum qualifications, email email@example.com
Detailed résumé that highlights your qualifications for the Level 1 Apprentice position.
Application form, found on our website:www.crownpt.org.
Optional: a cover letter that fills in any gaps not answered by your resume and application form.
Upon review of the application materials, the farm manager will contact the top candidates to schedule a 2-3 hour working visit and interview, at which time candidates can see the farm, work with the farm managers, and both candidates and managers can determine whether it would be a good fit. Depending on scheduling, the working visit and interview may take place on different days. If you are applying from a distance and are unable to do a working visit, please let Amy know when you send your application materials.
Crown Point will accept applications and schedule working visits/interviews until the open position is filled.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your interest in Crown Point!