Organic Farm School: Growing farmers, food, and community
Located in Clinton, South Whidbey Island, Washington
Farmer-Instructor positions available
The Organic Farm School (OFS) is expanding and seeking candidates for two full-time farmer-instructor positions. Successful candidates will be excited and qualified to mentor aspiring farmers in how to start and manage their own farms while managing the OFS student farm as a working farm and outdoor classroom. We seek one farmer-instructor specializing in poultry, livestock and hay production and one farmer-instructor specializing in annual vegetable and seed crop production.
The primary responsibilities of these positions include:
• Educational training of aspiring farmers in the classroom and in the field (45%)
• Management of the farm’s infrastructure, production and marketing. This includes the cultivation of diverse certified organically grown crops and/or livestock and the distribution of them through multiple outlets (45%)
• Providing leadership in the on-going development, implementation and evaluation of the OFS farmer training program and training farm (10%)
Qualifications and experience
The farmer-instructor positions require strong educator, farmer and organizational skills. The ideal candidates will be experienced in teaching and mentoring, will have owned and operated a successful farm business and will be highly organized. Flexibility, sensitivity, strong communication, time-management and people skills are essential. These positions also require the ability to work well independently and as part of a team, a knack for negotiating conflict, and the capacity to promote efficient working relationships and learning. In addition, the candidates should be creative, self-directed solution-seekers who can identify opportunities and take initiative for expansion within the organization.
The following are required:
• Minimum 3 years experience in agricultural production as a farm manager
• Minimum 2 years professional experience teaching or leading trainings.
• Broad foundation of knowledge and experience related to organic farming including both theoretical and practical perspectives.
• Direct experience developing and managing complex on-the-ground operations.
• Understanding issues related to new farmers
• Strong and dynamic public-speaking skills, outreach and recruitment experience
• Developed leadership and team management skills
Responsibilities of the positions
Educational training of aspiring farmers in the classroom and in the field
• Assist in the recruitment, selection and orientation of new farmer-trainees
• Continually refine and develop the OFS farmer training curriculum, focusing on small-scale commercial organic production, marketing and small farm business management
• Prepare and present the curriculum to farmer-trainees
• Train and guide farmer-trainees in farm tasks and co-management of the student farm
• Evaluate farmer-trainee progress and offer constructive guidance
• Provide leadership in creating a positive social environment for farmer-trainees
Management of the OFS student farm’s infrastructure, production and marketing:
• Develop production plans for crops and/or livestock and forage
• Develop and implement a farm marketing plan that includes CSA, farmers market and wholesale outlets
• Efficiently implement the production plan with farmer-trainees
• Research and implement soil improvement and climate-friendly farming practices
• Use organic best-management practices to grow healthy and productive crops and livestock
• Harvest and distribute farm products
• Maintain and develop the farm’s equipment and infrastructure to effectively support the production goals of the program
• Maintain accurate records as needed and manage organic certification
• Solicit and manage collaborative farm research projects with regional partners to enhance the educational potential of the farm
Administration of the OFS farm and education program:
• Communicate and collaborate effectively with other staff, program partners and the public
• Create annual and long-term work plans and budgets for the farming and educational aspects of the OFS
• Manage farm and education budgets including tracking expenses and income
• Provide quarterly progress reports and an annual report to the OFS Board in collaboration with the Director
Compensation and schedule
• Salary commensurate with experience (min. $36K/yr)
• Full-time equivalent with increased workload Mar.-Oct. and decreased workload Nov.-Feb.
• Major holidays and 15 days personal time off (appropriately timed for minimal disturbance of program)
The Organic Farm School is an Equal Opportunity employer. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status or sexual orientation, in accordance with federal and state law. We offer a competitive salary and the opportunity to join an organization whose mission is to build sustainable local food and farm systems through education and training.
Please familiarize yourself with our program by visiting http://organicfarmschool.org.
Qualified candidates please send a cover letter and resume to email@example.com. We will begin screening applications as they are received, and will continue to review applications until the position is filled. Position ideally starts September 1 (flexible). As part of the cover letter, please indicate whether your strengths are based in poultry, livestock and hay production or annual vegetable and seed crop production. We appreciate all documents sent in PDF or Word format and look forward to receiving your information.