Position: DeLano Farms CSA Manager at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo, MI.
Summary of Position: The DeLano Farms Manager position is a regular, full-time position with responsibilities including, but not limited to, overall management of the DeLano Farms with emphasis on the development of a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) model. Responsibilities include crop production, planning and management, staff supervision, budget management, planning, and shareholder relations. This position will work with KNC educators in providing opportunities for the public to experience and learn about sustainable agriculture. The DeLano Farms Manager reports to the Vice President of Education of the Kalamazoo Nature Center and works closely with the all KNC staff. The position is full-time year round with a seasonally variable work schedule and will be required to be on-call with the farm at all times.
- Develop and implement a management plan for a financially sustainable CSA operation, following the DeLano Farms Master Plan, to eventually include 500 shareholders.
- Oversee the production of crops on a commercial scale.
- Oversee care and welfare of a small stock of animals.
- Work closely with KNC education staff to provide the public with experiences to build their understanding of sustainable agriculture.
- Recruit, manage and supervise permanent and seasonal CSA staff.
- Assist with marketing and the management of shares, including shareholder relations.
- Assist with production of a regular newsletter.
- Prepare, oversee and manage CSA operating and capital budgets.
- Plan, manage and participate in planting, cultivation, irrigation and harvesting.
- Direct special projects including fencing, irrigation, carpentry and other capital projects.
- Help train seasonal CSA staff in safety regarding use of equipment and facilities.
- Participate in administering the apprenticeship and volunteer programs, train and oversee seasonal farm crew and volunteers in everyday tasks with help from the Assistant Farm Manager.
- Work with other farmers to help support the local agricultural economy.
- Work effectively and cooperatively with other KNC staff.
- Participate in KNC’s green initiative, help promote KNC membership and support KNC fundraising staff and efforts.
- Complete special projects as assigned by the Vice President of Education.
Abilities and Skills: The DeLano Farms Manager must possess a strong appreciation for farming, the land and the extraordinary agricultural and cultural history of the Kalamazoo Nature Center. The DeLano Farms Manager must enjoy working with people and must be able to work independently with a minimum of supervision. This person must able be willing to learn new skills through professional development opportunities in order to meet the broad range of tasks that will be assigned to the position.
- 3-5 years commercial-scale organic vegetable crop production preferred
- Demonstrate ability in labor, infrastructure, equipment, business management and experience in marketing helpful.
- Ability to communicate effectively with the public required
- Understanding of CSA and agricultural principles, whole-farm planning, crop rotation, soil enhancement methods, soil science, and general ecological principles also required.
- Experience with maintaining a small stock of animals.
- Must have a good attitude, with a willingness to be flexible and a commitment to achieving the goals of the DeLano Farms while supporting the mission of the Kalamazoo Nature Center
- Strong interpersonal, oral & written skills and the ability to work independently and as part of a diverse team
- Detail oriented
- Creative and high energy
- Able to work on rough terrain in all weather conditions
- Able to lift 50 pounds
- Computer literacy
The DeLano farm is a part of the 1,100 acres owned by the Kalamazoo Nature Center, a not-for-profit organization which is open to the public. The DeLano Farms Manager will work closely with the land management staff to integrate farm practices into the previously established land management plan. Interpretive and educational programs will be developed to utilize the CSA and associated lands to inform visitors about the farm’s history and the role of agriculture in our society. In addition, management decisions will reflect sound resource protection and management principals. As a result, the DeLano Farms Manager must possess excellent people skills, and be able to adjust to farming methods and practices that are not normally found on a typical farm. The DeLano Farms Manager may also be required to assist with other non-CSA farm tasks.
Salary and Benefits:
Starting salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. This position also includes an excellent fringe benefits package with group health insurance, vacation and sick pay, option to enroll in a flexible spending account and a company matching contributions to a simple IRA. On-site housing is also available.
How to Apply:
Please submit by: May 17, 2010 a resume, cover letter, three references & your salary requirements to:
Jenn Wright, Vice President of Education
Or mail to:Kalamazoo Nature Center, Attn: Jenn Wright, 7000 N. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49009
For a complete job description, see: www.NatureCenter.org <http://www.naturecenter.org/