Wage: Minimum of $12/hour, depending on experience, 40 hours/week for the growing season.
Other Benefits: Health insurance provided. Meals provided and shared staff housing available. Paid Time Off (a combination of vacation time & sick leave) earned.
Duration: Beginning March 19th, and continuing through the end of October, 2015, with the potential for further employment beyond October (a possibility, but not a guarantee at this time).
Contact: Rick Stern, Social Studies and Agricultural Studies teacher: (406) 858-2339 x.250
Organic Gardener/Farmer Job Description:
Montana Academy is a boarding school working with “troubled” teenagers from around the country. We have developed a small organic farm on our campus that serves two main purposes: 1) To provide our students with the experience of being involved in producing some of their own food; and 2) To supplement the food produced in our kitchen with as much fresh, local, organic produce as we can grow and harvest.
Our Organic Gardener/Farmer will have the responsibility for overseeing all agricultural activities in our school’s greenhouse and vegetable, herb, fruit, and ornamental gardens. Given our population of students, we need an Organic Gardener/Farmer who wants to be a positive role model for teenagers and is passionate about sustainable agriculture. This is a fantastic opportunity for an aspiring farmer to learn how to manage a farm while helping provide our students with the opportunity to grow ever more food for our community.
It’s also a great chance to help some of our students to earn a very valuable and tangible sense of accomplishment. The right candidate will have a good sense of appropriate boundaries with talented, yet immature teenagers (many of whom come to us with fairly serious substance abuse issues). The Organic Gardener/Farmer must be willing to build relationships with our students, and also to say “no” to them when the occasion calls for it.
An ideal candidate would have a fair amount of experience with organic gardening and/or farming. Some experience working with teens or children would be beneficial. The ideal candidate would be generally handy, with some carpentry experience, etc. We are looking for an energetic person who is a self-starter while also being open to direction.
Agriculturally, we are located in a challenging place to grow food. With 40 frost-free days and the occasional -40 degree night most winters, our little valley does not yield many tomatoes, and even fruit trees have had little luck here. We have a student-built, timber-frame greenhouse, another more conventional greenhouse, and we expand the size of our gardens every year. We have had great luck growing greens, root crops, and brassicas, and are looking for an Organic Gardener/Farmer with confidence and a willingness to experiment in season extension.
The Organic Gardener/Farmer will have two days off per week – Tuesday and Wednesday – and will have varying hours on the other days. Our sole agricultural goals, for now, are to grow food for our own consumption and plants to beautify our campus. The Organic Gardener/Farmer may also have the opportunity to work with students in the kitchen on food preservation and preparation.
Please feel free to contact Rick Stern by phone or e-mail for more information and details about how to apply for the position. To get a better sense of the work of our school, please visit our website: www.montanaacademy.com