Organic Farm Manager Job at Crown Point Ecology Center Near Akron, Ohio - Full-time, Exempt position, 40+ hours/week - Responsible To: Executive DirectorOrganization 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 at www.crownpt.org. Position Summary: Manages the production and distribution of food and plants while maintaining or improving soil fertility. Responsible for CSA program, Annual Plant Sale, and Farm Apprentice Training Program.
- Seeding and planting
- Weeds, insects, and other pests
- Greenhouse and high tunnel production areas
- Harvest and post-harvest methods
Hires, trains and supervises:
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) sharers
Coordinates farm sales
Responsible for writing a weekly e-newsletter during the growing season
Speaks to groups on topics related to sustainable agriculture
Assists with fundraising and/or grant writing connected to the farm program
Participates in staff and designated committee meetings
Essential Duties and Responsibilities: (Other duties may be assigned as necessary.)
1 Plan the Certified Organic Farming program.
a Plan for CSA, schedule sharers for work shifts, create end of season survey, collect responses and compile acquired data
b Annual Organic Plant Sale: includes (but not limited to) variety selection, amounts, field location, and timing.
c Plan for Foodbank and other donations
d Prepare, plant, cultivate and harvest production areas. Tend greenhouses, farm equipment, tools and supplies.
e Manage a soil fertility plan that includes crop rotations, green manuring and composting.
f Record weather data, soil and plant inputs, in addition to disease and pest conditions. Submit findings to organic certifying agency.
g Submit annual Organic System Plan to the organic certifying agency. Seek out government funding for reimbursement of organic certification costs.
h Project figures to create yearly farm budget.
i Maintain a farm timeline/activity log that documents specific tasks.
j Research problem statements and solutions for grants to support the farm.
k Assist with future planning.
2 Coordinate Harvests and Sales.
a Determine when and how much of each crop to harvest and distribute through the CSA, various hunger relief agencies, and/or Farmers’ Market. Maintain records of amounts of produce distributed through each avenue.
b CSA: Arrange partnerships with other local farmers to offer CSA sharers a wider variety of products.
c ANNUAL PLANT SALE: Provide plants, plant labels, signage and any other required support. Use past years’ data to refine amount and variety of plants grown. Come up with new possible sale items, particularly those that don’t require much labor. Make sure everything gets done that needs to get done by the rest of the staff and volunteers.
3 Educate relative to sustainable agriculture.
a Educate, train, supervise and direct Assistant Farm Manager, Farm Apprentices, CSA sharers and farm volunteers on farm tasks and organic farming methods
b Assist in recruiting volunteers for the farm.
c Coordinate orientation for CSA sharers.
d Write the weekly CSA newsletter and contribute to the Interconnections newsletter, and other publications, as needed.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture or related field preferred.
- In lieu of an agricultural degree, basic agronomic knowledge in the areas of soil science and nutrient management, botany, agro-ecology, entomology, permaculture gained from studying, on-the-job experience, attending classes, workshops, or conferences.
- Minimum 3 years experience with CSA/diversified vegetable farming
- Experience with basic organic farming requirements and techniques
- Experience managing, leading, and teaching groups and individuals
- Proficiency with hand-tools
- Proficiency with farm equipment and machinery required. In particular: rototiller, spader, chisel plow, disk harrow, manure spreader, flail mower, tine weeder, and tractor-drawn seeders. Must be capable of changing out 3-point hitch implements and operating implements on trailer hitches.
- Experience with season extension (high tunnels, low tunnels, etc.) preferred.
- Knowledge and experience in permaculture, brambles and other small fruit, livestock, and other enterprises of agriculture helpful.
- Grant-writing experience helpful
- Capable of creating, implementing, and evaluating action plans
- Proficiency with Microsoft Word and Excel. Capable of learning new computer-based programs quickly.
- Communicates clearly and effectively both orally and in writing.
- Educates novices on the philosophy, methods and tasks of organic farming.
- Multi-tasks, delegates jobs and supervises others with patience in a fast-paced, environment. Understands the importance of efficiency and can prioritize when completing tasks against the clock.
- Helps create a community-focused environment that supports Crown Point’s mission and its guiding principles.
- Is both detail-oriented and has a big-picture vision of successful, sustainable farm systems.
- Maintains a valid driver’s license.
Working Conditions/Physical Requirements
- Flexible hours based on requirements of activities and projects.
- Weather occasionally creates challenging working conditions.
- Work requires physical exertion and activities such as stooping, bending, lifting and pushing/pulling heavy equipment. Must be able to lift and carry 60 lbs.
- As with any farm activity there are risks that include using equipment and dealing with the elements
- As much as possible, creates a safe working environment for employees and volunteers.
- Embodies and has a personal commitment to the four pillars of Crown Point – Spirituality, Social Justice, Community Building and Sustainability.
- Patient, and capable of putting oneself in the place of another.
- Excellent work ethic.
- Sense of humor essential.
- Able to work effectively with a diverse group of trained and untrained people.
- Able to give and receive positive feedback as well as constructive criticism.
- Can strike a balance between the educational portion of the job (training apprentices) and getting the farm work done.
- Flexible and open to change.
Prepare a resume, contact information for three references (one of whom must be a supervisor from a volunteer or paid position), and a cover letter that addresses how you have the skills, knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics necessary to excel in this position. Email application materials to Nancy Wolf, Executive Director at email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Preferred start for the position is as soon as possible.