Farm Manager

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Job purpose The role of the Farm Manager at MEVO is to ensure an abundant farm season for the dual purpose of creating a sustainable revenue stream and providing experiential education to accomplish the organization’s mission. MEVO’s mission is “to be the model for the creation of scalable ecological solutions that inspires and empowers people to take action for a better future”. The farm manager embodies our mission on the farms by inspiring change in the way we relate to and treat our food, our bodies, and by extension, our planet. Summary The Farm Manager is responsible for the production and maintenance of all annual and perennial crops at MEVO farm locations: Fresh Roots Farm and Lovewell Farm. This includes all aspects of vegetable, herb, and fruit production, from creating a crop calendar, selecting and sowing seeds, optimizing soil health, managing pests holistically, harvesting, processing, marketing, and, at times, preserving produce and developing value added products. The Farm Manager will identify and pursue profitable revenue streams and keep organized and up to date financial records of sale to submit to the Treasurer and Executive Director. The Farm Manager oversees the operation of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, Farmer’s Market, wholesale accounts & other market streams. This includes creating a price list, filling orders, regular communication with customers, and arranging pick up and delivery of produce. In addition, detailed records, regarding crop yield, plant quantities and qualities, weather, etc., will be taken throughout the season and are essential for the improvement and growth of farm operations. These records are summarized in an end of season written report or presentation to MEVO staff and the Board of Directors. Other responsibilities include working with chefs in preparation for farm to table fundraiser dinners and planning and executing on-farm building projects such as building a greenhouse, tool storage area, etc. The Farm Manager is responsible for the training and efficient application of MEVO’s farm staff, interns, and volunteers in the accomplishment of on farm work & farm related tasks. Spring, Summer, and Fall interns undergo formal training which the Farm Manager and Executive Director work together to plan and execute.This includes 2-3 educational trips for the Summer Farm Crew, totaling about 10-12 days. The Farm Manager plays a strong role in the development of educational programming and shares responsibility for the education of groups of all ages and backgrounds such as school groups, scouts, and corporate service trips. Administrative Work includes: crop planning and scheduling, responding to farm-related emails, marketing produce, ordering/acquiring materials (new and used), farm systems design, further personal education and research of farming methods in an effort to problem solve and improve practices, strong participation in planning and executing farm to table dinners, educational workshop content creation, and outreach to other groups to arrange tours, workshops and volunteer opportunities. The Farm Manager must communicate clearly and tactfully with both the County of Bergen Park Manager and private landowners about relevant on-the-ground plans, occurrences and requests. Responsibilities Field Production Management • Organizing farm goals into long, medium, and short term objectives and creating weekly/daily worklists & schedules based on these goals • Creating a Crop Plan for each farm season including Financial Objectives, Crop List, Direct Seeding and Transplanting Chart, Crop Calendar, and Task Management Charts • Ordering/buying/seeking donations of seeds, materials, and tools • Developing and implementing a fertility program to enhance soil and compost vitality • Overseeing bed prep, seeding, up-potting, transplanting, watering, maintaining, and harvesting of all crops while continuously evolving methodology for maximum efficiency and improvement of soil/crop health • Washing, packing, and curing/storing crops for market/CSA/restaurants • Winterizing fields and infrastructure (tarping/cover cropping) • Keeping digital records of harvest, pest activity, disease presence, weather, seeding specs etc. • Self evaluation of farm season in terms of production, methodology, impact and success through oral presentation or written document • Managing on-farm composting • Building new and maintaining existing infrastructure including hoophouses, tables, fences, refrigerator, irrigation, etc. • Implementing “Lean Farm Principles”: keeping all areas on the farm neat and orderly - greenhouse, storage areas, fridge, etc. • Operating and transporting MEVO machinery - including pick-up truck, trailer, 4 wheel and 2 wheel tractor safely • Communicating with the MEVO beekeeper in regards to their needs for caring for the bees, harvesting, jarring, storing, and marketing honey, and keeping the shared equipment and storage area neat and orderly Marketing and Sales • Managing all aspects of CSA: o Conceptualizing CSA offerings/structure including working with additional farms/food artisans o Recruiting CSA members, making sure expectations and logistics are clear o Creating a weekly CSA Informational Sheet - varieties, uses, recipes etc. o Overseeing harvest, washing, and packing of shares 1-2 days per week o Occupying CSA stand and training others to do so o Coordinating pick up with CSA members for missed pick up o Communicating upcoming events to CSA members o Cultivating a positive and personal relationship with CSA members • Managing Ramsey Farmers’ Market stand: o Registering for market participation, communicating with the market manager regarding market attendance, and keeping an excellent working relationship with the market manager, vendors and customers o Product selection, presentation, pricing, packaging, and signage o Setting up stand in aesthetic, thoughtful and efficient manner o Creating standard operating procedures for the Farmer’s Market and training MEVO market staff in market responsibilities o Keeping track of earnings and payment methods including using Square mobile payment device, keeping adequate change, and tracking product sales o Serving customers in a professional, efficient, and friendly manner o Assisting Executive Director in the execution of the MEVO & Ramsey Farmers’ Market Compost Club Program including: ? Assisting with compost training ? Serving compost club members at market • Managing Wholesale Accounts o Communicating availability and pricing to customers o Arranging sale, pick up and delivery of produce o Sending invoices and recording payments through Square o Optimizing current sales outlets to sell more products to current customers o Developing new sales outlets if supply consistently outweighs demand o Maintaining a professional and positive relationship with customers Internship Program & Staff, Intern and Volunteer Management • Leading by example demonstrating healthy workplace discipline, ownership of farm responsibilities, and professional transparency • Creating a cohesive team-oriented and supportive work environment for staff, interns and volunteers • Serving as Farm Crew Leader for Spring, Summer and Fall Interns including: o Co-planning internship content & structure with Executive Director o Interviewing prospective Farm Crew interns with Executive Director and conducting mid-internship & exit interviews o Managing and training interns to accomplish daily tasks consistent with schedule and quality of work expected o Keeping interns motivated, learning and working efficiently with both space to learn independently and feedback to improve o Structuring & guiding daily/weekly intern reflection circles with Crew leaders and Executive Director o Co-organizing and overseeing trips to VT and ME with Summer Crew Leaders (including transportation of crew) o Ensuring safety of all people who visit & work on the farm • Managing Paid Farm Staff o Leading paid farm staff in the accomplishment of the daily worklist with ease and efficiency by: ? Empowering paid staff to take ownership of the farm and worklist through transparent daily/weekly discussion of farm objectives and goals. ? Delegating tasks clearly to paid staff so they are able to step into a strong leadership role for interns and volunteers • Managing Volunteer Events (1-2 times per week) o Leading or delegating the management of volunteer events, ensuring staff have a comprehensive understanding of the work for the day o Creating a work list and schedule for volunteer events by consulting Volunteer Coordinator for expected volunteers - ages, quantity, etc. (age & ability appropriate jobs for all) o Clear and formal introduction and conclusion to the day, including photo documentation (especially group photo) and gracious send-off o “Signing in” volunteers by obtaining liability form, contact info and recording hours of volunteer work o Providing educational tour to all new volunteers o Reflection of volunteer event with MEVO staff in regards to accomplished work and experience of volunteers Education & Outreach • Teaching on-site Earth Fair programming for elementary school level students, including training interns in our curriculum • Updating and creating curriculum and programming with Executive Director, Board Members, and MEVO staff • Representing and speaking on behalf of MEVO and the Fresh Roots Farm Program at special events Hours • March 1st - December 15th: 40-60+ hours per week, including 2 weeks of Summer Intern Training and about 11 total days on trips with Summer Interns • December 15th - Late February: 20-30 hours per week Compensation • $35,360-$41,600/yr depending on experience Job Requirements • Bachelor’s Degree • Ability to work physically hard • Intermediate knowledge of food & cooking Highly Valued • Experience in leadership & education roles • Experience with operating farm machinery • Knowledge of building & power tools • Ability to drive large vehicles with a trailer This is not a standard Farm Manager position! This is a position in a not-for-profit which is exposed on a daily basis to a diversity of people and demands leadership and ease of communication. It requires a person who is varied in their capabilities and willing to wear the hats of educator, farmer, mentor, crew leader, and environmentalist. This position is for someone who not only wants to grow high quality produce, but equally wants to inspire and teach people of all ages to deeply consider their impact on their bodies, their community, and the planet. Passion and dedication for the work and the MEVO community is a must, and equally as important is the capability to create structure to accomplish the varied and continuous work required to manage a working farm with a strong social mission.