Farm Manager Wanted US Virgin Islands

Ridge to Reef Farm in St. Croix (US Virgin Islands) is seeking experienced, reliable, hardworking, and dedicated individuals for leadership roles in our growing organic farm business for 2014. Below is a description and application directions for Farm Production Assistant Manager. Please see our website for other listings.

Farm Production Assistant Manager

Job Description:

A production-focused technical position on a small production team! Includes a great deal of responsibility in growing a wide range of certified organic annual and perennial produce for a 100+ member CSA, farm to school, agritourism visitors, and the VI Locally Grown Co-op. Includes all stages of production, processing, and distribution supporting the R2R Organic Management Plan. Applicants should have a strong background in plant propagation and production systems, a firm grasp on organic disease and pest control,  advanced competency of using standard farm tools and equipment, and be willing and capable of leading staff and volunteer groups in accomplishing farm tasks. There is potential for upward movement in our growing farm enterprise.

Start Date: Immediate. 3-season minimum contract (about 1 year of winter, summer, and fall seasons).

Application Deadline: Position open until filled.

Compensation: Pay scale is commensurate with experience, length of seasonal contract, bonus scale, & on or off-site housing options. Includes 2 weeks paid vacation and 2 weeks unpaid vacation per 3-season contract. On-farm residency work trade package available (see below).

General Roles & Responsibilities:

Develop and implement a plan with Farm Director on a certified organic vegetable farm operation that includes servicing and expanding our existing 100-member CSA, adhering to National Organic Plan (NOP) standards

Management of contracted staff, farm apprentices and interns, and some work-trades and volunteer groups

Conduct and manage all production-related tractor work and landscaping (including proper equipment storage and scheduled maintenance)

Assist with harvests, manage post-harvest handling and ensure product quality control (includes harvests for CSA, V.I. Locally Grown market, market stands, restaurant and special orders and farm events)

Execute produce deliveries (in conjunction with CSA/Market Manager)

Assist Farm Manager in: weed management, fertility management (cover cropping, compost, crop rotation, etc.), pest and disease management, and irrigation design, maintenance and management (from an entirely off-grid system of rain water catchment and wells)

Grown in compliance with organic certification requirements

Maintain a clean, safe, and organized work environment

Report progress bi-weekly in manager/director meetings; communicate and coordinate regularly with Farm Director

Participate in community/staff chores and clean-ups during non-visitor times; participate in Community Meeting coordination (monthly)

Follow Ridge to Reef Farm’s Non-Discrimination/Harassment Policy

Minimum Qualifications: 

2-3 years professional farming or horticulture experience; 1 year management experience

Commitment to organic agriculture, Community Supported Agriculture

Demonstrated experience in all stages of crop production

Ability to lift at least 50lbs and perform work outdoors in all weather conditions

Excellent people skills and ability to take direction in execution of farm plan with Farm Director, Manager, and CSA Coordinator

Clean driving record and criminal record; no substance abuse

Desired Qualifications:

1 or more years farm management experience

Experience farming in the tropics, sub-tropics or hot temperate areas

Experienced operation of tractors and other farm equipment

Excellent communication skills and leadership qualities

Residency Option: Resident package available for work trade includes rustic on-farm accommodations with mini-stove and solar power/water, seasonal produce from the farm and orchards, kitchen bulk staples (rice, beans, flour, sugar, etc). Also includes access to the community center, including industrial kitchen (propane stove), wireless Internet, and phone, and bathhouse with showers and flush toilets.

TO APPLY

E-mail info@visfi.org with the subject line: “Ridge to Reef Farm Assistant Farm Management Job Application.” Please include a cover letter (including a brief description of your farming or relevant background), current resume, the contact information for at least 3 references and brief answers to the following questions:

1. If selected, are you able to start by July 15, 2014?

2. What is your preferred length of contract?

Why do you want this job?

Are you prepared for 42 weeks of field work?

*Please note that applicants without the basic Minimum Qualifications as listed above will not be considered for this position. Please adhere to this as we are a small farm with limited time to review applications. Those without the minimum qualifications should look into our intern and apprentice programs listed periodically on our website.

About Ridge to Reef Farm and St. Croix:

An estimated 99% of the food consumed on St. Croix is imported, yet the island is relatively suited for agriculture with a rich agrarian heritage dating to pre-Columbian times. Fortunately, recent advances in the local food system including government, community, and consumer support have been made. We and other farmers believe that St. Croix, currently enjoying resurgence in small farming, has the potential to become a model for organic food production locally and globally. While it’s small size (84 square miles) intensifies its problems, it also enables change at a rapid pace. We work diligently to be a part of that change for the better.

Ridge to Reef Farm, currently only USDA certified organic farm in the territory, is located in the relatively undeveloped and remote northwest quarter of St. Croix, U.S.V.I, (i.e., the “rain forest”). At our primary 100-acre site, 5-7 acres of land are currently in vegetable production; the remainder is a combination of orchards, pastures and forests.  We also manage a nearby 20-acre historic mango orchard, and plan to expand production to additional satellite sites on the island with a mix of fruits and produce.

We supply a 100-member CSA program with fresh organic produce and tropical fruit, in addition to weekly market-stands and restaurant sales. The farm has many visitors, agritourism events, multi-week educational farm retreats, tours, farm-to-table guest chef donation dinners, farm stays, and educational workshops. In addition to produce, the farm has shorthair sheep (25) and pigs (3-10) for meat production, and rotating flocks of chickens (40-200) for eggs and meat.

There are a number of recreational possibilities at Ridge to Reef Farm, and the views of the countryside, rainforest, surrounding farms and ocean are quite idyllic. There are hiking trails, dirt roads for walking/running (mostly hilly terrain), and the beautiful west end beaches of St. Croix, with opportunities for snorkeling, paddle boarding and diving. At 17 degrees latitude, we enjoy a semi-tropical climate with semi-defined rainy and dry seasons.  More information about St. Croix can be found at http://www.gotostcroix.com.

Questions? Please call 340.220.0466 and leave message (we get poor reception here and check calls daily) or email info@visfi.org.

Ridge to Reef Farm | Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute

USDA Certified Organic, Virgin Fresh! Growers

2010 National Geographic Geotourism Challenge: Global Finalists

2011 EPA Environmental Quality Award Winners

2012 Taste of St. Croix, 1st Place, Local Fare