Farm Production Manager Job in Vermont

Sweetland Farm

Farm Description

            Sweetland Farm is a diversified family farm in Norwich, Vermont. Started in 2012 on conserved prime agricultural soils on the banks of the Ompompanoosuc River, Sweetland currently crops 8+ acres of sustainably grown vegetables, which supply a 150-member CSA, several restaurant accounts, and a weekly farmers’ market. The rest of the 200 acres of farmland consists of actively managed hay fields, pastures for livestock, a young orchard, perennial fruit and vegetable crops, and woodlot. In the course of the next few years on the land we will be growing our CSA business to 200+ members, increasing our wholesale markets, bringing new land into production, expanding our hay-making capacity, and increasing our pastured meat production. Sweetland Farm is known for its high quality and bountiful vegetable CSA, healthy animals, thoughtful care of the land, and commitment to creating meaningful agrarian experiences for customers and employees. We aim to create a stimulating, interesting, and upbeat workplace for our farm team.

Farm Production Manager Job Description

We are seeking a highly motivated and responsible individual with significant diversified farming experience who will work closely with the head farmer to ensure the success of our farm business. The Production Manager will take lead roles in greenhouse work, vegetable planting, cultivation and harvest for our CSA, as well as animal care, pasture management, chicken processing, orchard care, and hay production. The Production Manager is an essential part of our core farm team and is expected to think and work like a professional farmer; attention to detail, an efficient and strong work ethic, the ability to identify and carry out big-picture projects, the skills to operate and maintain a range of tractors and implements, an inquisitive nature about improved methods, great communication skills, and the capacity to operate with autonomy or effectively lead a small crew are essential attributes.

Farm Production Manager Job Details and Responsibilities

The Production Manager is responsible for a working knowledge and supervisory/lead role of the following:

  • Greenhouse care; mixing potting soil, making soil blocks, seeding/potting on, watering, fertility management, pest scouting, organization, hardening off, record keeping
  • Field seeding & transplanting; prepping beds (rototilling, laying plastic, spreading fertilizer, laying drip tape), use of 1-row Jang or Earthway hand seeder, handling/planting fragile seedlings, use of waterwheel transplanter, watering in, methods of crop-rotation plan/field maps/cover cropping, record-keeping
  • Cultivation; hand (scuffle hoes, hand-weeding) and mechanical (basket weeder, flame weeder, tine weeder, sweeps).
  • Tractor work; equipment hookup, adjustment and use of implements (disc harrow, chisel plow, rotovator, basket weeder, tine weeder, sweeps, brush hog, mower conditioner, tedder, hay rake, baler, bucket/forks on loader, etc)
  • Fertility analysis and implementation of nutrient management plan (includes use/application of fertilizers, compost/manure, and seasonal cover crops)
  • Harvest, wash and pack/display; proper handling of harvested crops in field and processing, attention to detail/quality control
  • Animal care; portable electric fence setup and trouble-shooting, maintaining permanent fences, feeding/watering livestock, monitoring for health, administering medicine or basic vet care as needed
  • Chicken slaughter/processing (once a month on farm June-October, roughly 130 birds/batch)
  • Training, overseeing and motivating field crew, volunteers and interns

Qualifications

The Production Manager must have familiarity with a range of diversified farm systems, plant and animal physiology, and soil fertility. Minimum 2 years experience of vegetable production, including tractor driving and implement use, especially mechanical cultivating. Proficiency in basic mechanical and carpentry skills. Crew leading experience. Strong organizational and interpersonal skills. Must be able to lift 50 pounds and drive a manual transmission. The successful Production Manager will embrace the varied and intense work of a diversified farm, have an insurmountably positive attitude, communicate well with a small, close-knit team, work closely with the head farmer to implement a production plan, and be able to manage production pressure and crew dynamics during the height of the growing season.

Farm Production Manager Job Remuneration & Schedule

This is a full time (40+ hours per week, plus shared weekend coverage) position. Commitment from April through October required at a minimum, with possibility for part-time season extension. Starting hourly wage ranges from $11-15/hour, depending on skills and experience. Affordable on-farm housing in our beautiful new timber-frame farm labor house is available. We are hiring for the 2018 growing season, but for the right person this could be a long-term position.

To Apply for the Farm Production Manager Job

Please send a resume and letter of interest to Norah Lake at: sweetlandvt@gmail.com

To learn more about farming jobs and internships or to post an opportunity on beginningfarmers.org, go to: http://www.beginningfarmers.org/internship-and-employment-opportunities/

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