Farm Manager for Project GROWS (Augusta County, VA)

About Project GROWS
Project GROWS (PG) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational farm with a mission to improve the overall health of children and youth in Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County, Virginia. We connect children to nutritious food through 1) hands-on, garden-based education and 2) access to healthy local food. Project GROWS cultivates 4 acres of mixed vegetables and perennial fruit on our 10-acre farm in the rolling hills of Augusta County, Virginia where we grow 50,000 pounds of food each year. Half of our produce is donated or used in educational programs, and the remaining half is sold to CSA members, at farmer’s markets, and wholesale to restaurants. Project GROWS manages a 25-member Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and two local farmer’s markets (North Augusta and Waynesboro farmer’s markets). In addition, PG partners with the Boys & Girls Club and Staunton Health Department to provide a “mobile” farmer’s market serving low-income families. We partner with 22 local organizations annually to serve 4,200+ youth with gardening, nutrition, and cooking education.
JOB DESCRIPTION
Project GROWS is looking for an exceptional candidate to fill the role of farm manager. The farm manager will oversee and run all day-to-day farm operations. An interest and enthusiasm for garden-based education is a highly important aspect of this position. The farm manager works with the Project GROWS’ team to facilitate educational tasks on the farm as well as manage volunteers and oversee all sales and donations. The farm manager will possess strong experience and knowledge of ecological, year-round vegetable production, experience managing a team of workers, a demonstrated aptitude to engage and cultivate new relationships within our community, and a strong, self-motivated work ethic.
JOB RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Oversee all vegetable and fruit production (50,000 pounds annually) on the 4-acre farm, with attention to nutrient management and organic practices. Production is year-round and includes a heated greenhouse, hoop house, and field production
  • Provide weekly supervision and scheduling activities for 1 to 6+ workers including a part-time farm assistant, workers from the Office on Youth, seasonal interns and staff, and volunteer and service groups
  • Oversee farm maintenance including facilities, machinery (BCS walk-behind tractor & attachments, riding tractor, farm truck, hand-tools), and cropping systems
  • Develop and monitor irrigation systems and hand-water as needed, including creating and managing a watering schedule for greenhouse, hoop house, and production fields
  • Coordinate basic plumbing, electrical, and construction work as needed
  • Work with Executive Director to create annual production and sales goals, develop system of record keeping and management, and an annual farm budget
  • Oversee 18-week CSA and mobile farmer’s market (June through September) including customer communication (weekly newsletter providing recipes and cooking tips)
  • Assist PG staff in managing farmer’s market as needed, including 1 to 2 Saturdays per month for the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market (as part of staff rotation) May through September
  • General clean-up of garden beds, paths, and disposal of trash
  • Assist Education Coordinator with hands-on garden based education including providing the EC with weekly list of potential farm tasks that match with educational goals
  • Assist in leading farm tours and occasional workshops, as well as speak at conferences
  • Other general tasks as requested by Executive Director

The ideal candidate will be willing to make a long-term commitment and possess the following qualifications and experience:

  • Excellent communication and leadership skills
  • Ability to work well with variety of customers and community members, including youth from diverse backgrounds
  • A minimum of 2 years farm/greenhouse management experience or 5 years farm work experience
  • Detail-oriented with considerable attention to order, cleanliness, and an ongoing commitment to improving systems
  • Experience with machinery and power equipment including BCS walk-behind tractor with attachments, riding tractor, drip irrigation, and hand tools
  • Knowledge of the principles of soil biology, no-till crop production, permaculture, growing perennials, using cover crops, utilizing living mulches, incorporating stale/false seed beds, composting, soil testing, and/or other ecological/organic growing methods is a plus.
  • Building/construction experience is a plus
  • Experience and desire to work with and teach apprentices and youth on a daily basis.
  • A track record of success working in a cooperative team environment requiring a high level of planning, communication, and documentation
  • A desire to produce food of the highest nutritional, culinary, and ecological quality
  • A desire to continue to learn and grow as a person and farmer. Continuous personal development is encouraged and supported at Project GROWS
  • Willingness to work outdoors in all types of weather, under potentially strenuous conditions
  • Ability to juggle multiple relationships, projects, and responsibilities
  • Email communication (timely and proper etiquette), knowledge of Google Drive, Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint a plus

Other Requirements:

  • Cell phone communication
  • Frequent computer and internet access
  • Reliable transportation
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds
  • Criminal background checks will be required for final applicants

TIME REQUIREMENTS

Approximately 40 hours/week, with some seasonal fluctuation. Some evenings and weekends are required during the growing season and for special events.
COMPENSATION

This is a salaried position that may range from $30,000 to $33,000 commensurate with experience. Annual evaluation of sales and production goals will determine salary increase over time. Benefits include: a produce farm share and 3 accrued weeks of paid time off annually, preferably taken during the winter (the week between December 24 and January 1st, plus two additional weeks).

TO APPLY

Please send a resume, cover letter, and 2 farming-related references to Jenna Clarke, Executive Director, at jenna@projectgrows.org

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