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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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A New Year for the VBFRC

On January 18th, 2017, partners of the Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition gathered at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, VA to network, share progress on current work, and discuss the future of the Coalition.

Since our last meeting in May 2016, the Coalition has been hard at work addressing various topics relevant to beginning farmers and ranchers in Virginia. Our critical action teams have held marketing training events for producers and service providers, created brochures to advertise land transfer resources, and spoken with military veterans across the state in an effort to begin a Virginia chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition. Our evaluation team has been working with our partners to gain feedback on our current and previous Whole Farm Planning programs. Our seven 2015-2016 Mini-Grant projects have concluded, and six new projects have just begun.

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We were happy to have our 2015-2016 Mini-Grant project leads join us to participate in a panel discussion. Each lead shared highlights from their projects and lessons they learned over the last year. Advice offered by these leads will be useful to our 2017 Mini-Grant project leads, as well as organizers of other projects that our Coalition partners hold across the state.

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Our partners then spent the afternoon brainstorming and discussing the interesting things we learned during the meeting, how we can work better together to achieve our goals, and what we want to see happen for the Coalition in 2017.

So what exciting things do we have happening in 2017?

  • Six new mini-grant projects happening all across the state
  • Targeted work addressing: direct marketing, military veterans, land access, and stewardship best practices
  • Farmer mentoring/networking opportunities connecting you with other experienced and beginning farmers and ranchers
  • Webinars presented by a number of service providers and Coalition partners working in all areas of agriculture
  • Blog posts written by Coalition partners on various Coalition and agriculture-related topics
  • Continued updates provided through our website and social media accounts

 

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Livestock Manager Position (Meadowview, VA)

Livestock manager and general homesteading, in association with the Harvest Table Restaurant and with the continuing Animal Vegetable Miracle project.
The job has two main components: roughly half of the time taking care of livestock, cattle and sheep, and the other half helping with more general homesteading type work: gardening, weeding, clearing new land, building projects, tractor work, etc.
The main role of the job is livestock management, with the person being primarily in charge of a small starter herd of Dexter cattle, which we currently building (we started with 6 heifers, now have 13, probably will double that number at a stable end point). The person will oversee management of about 40 acres and work toward improving the pastures, for which we do rotational grazing and grass finishing. The person would be in charge of all of these aspects– cattle routine health, rotations, pasture management, hay in winter, breeding protocol, etc. The ideal candidate would have experience with cattle and possibly rotational grazing systems. Secondarily, we have a herd of Icelandic sheep, and the person would be partially responsible for them as well. Third, we would like to have someone who would help with yard/garden/homestead duties for our home and garden, basic things like planting, weeding, harvesting, pruning, weed-eating, etc.
The job includes housing and household utilities. It would have to be someone who is independent, a self-starter, and enjoys solitude (the housing site is near the animals).
Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, resume and contacts for references to: Steven Hopp at: Info@harvesttablerestaurant.com

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Apple Orchard IPM Manager Positino Open in Central VA

We are a family owned and operated grower/packer/shipper of fresh apples, peaches and nectarines. Our family has operated our farms for over 100 years and it’s not uncommon to see three generations working together during the summer months!
We are currently searching for a full-time person to manage and administer our spray program. We are not just looking for another employee, we need someone with a strong work ethic and the skills to match! We like to work hard, get along and treat everyone with respect and authenticity. We’re ideally looking for someone who makes this their last career move and grows long-term with our operation.
In this role, you will work closely with a Partner and Owner as you make daily decisions involving which chemicals are most appropriate for each crop, while implementing IPM and economic factors in the decision making process. We use environmentally friendly integrated pest management practices with timed interventions to minimize the amount of spraying needed for quality fruit in our humid climate. Candidates should have extensive knowledge and experience in pest control involved in the growing of high quality apples and peaches.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Scouts orchards and monitor crops for insect pests and plant diseases.
  • Monitor weather and degree days relating to insect’s pests and plant diseases.
  • Be onsite to administer the spray program and answer questions from applicators.
  • Work with staff and senior management to accomplish all tasks.
  • Insure compliance with all applicable government agencies.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualification and Requirements:

  • 1-3 years’ experience operating or managing a spray program on apples or peaches with a history of success.
  • Ability to be dynamic in a fast-paced environment.
  • Self-starter, independent personality, ability to multi-task and manage both short and long-term goals.
  • Exceptional computer skills, specifically Microsoft Excel
  • Great organization with excellent planning and scheduling abilities.
  • Bilingual in Spanish is a plus!

 

For more information, please contact:
Caryn Wong
Joe Produce Search
916-365-9881
caryn@joeproduce.com 

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Plenty! in Floyd, VA, is advertising for Farm Interns

 

Plenty! is a non-profit organization whose mission is to nourish people and community by growing and sharing food. Plenty! Farm is home to the Plenty! Fresh Food Bank as well as the center for several food sharing programs and educational gatherings. Plenty values freshness in programs and generosity in giving and receiving. Plenty! is a welcoming and inclusive community. The farm rotates 2 acres and a 2100 sq. ft. high tunnel through mixed annual and perennial vegetable and fruit production using organic management on river bottom soils. (For more information about Plenty!,please visit www.plentylocal.org). Floyd is a creative community in the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering abundant recreational and cultural opportunities.

Plenty Farm! is seeking interns beginning in late March through the season to early November. Plenty! is seeking at least one intern for the entire season. A second intern position may be broken into smaller periods to accommodate s c h o o l s c h e d u l e s a n d o t h e r commitments. Certain work periods as well as some rotating evening and weekend assignments are required and will be discussed during the selection process. Plenty! is willing to work with students to tailor their intern experience to gain school credit.

Application: Applicants must provide contact information for three references, a cover letter, and a resume. Interview required and a farm visit strongly encouraged.

Application materials should be submitted to Rachel Theo-Maurelli, Farm Manager, at communityventures@cox.net or mailed to 192 Elephant Curve Rd., NW Floyd, VA 24091. You may also make phone inquiries at 540-556-2233.

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Catawba Sustainability Center 2017 Farm Incubator Program

The Catawba Sustainability Center’s Small Farm Incubator Plots program aims to incubate and grow viable, independent farm businesses and to serve as a model new-farmer program by providing access to land and resources in a low-risk environment.

Program Goals

  • Accommodate up to 8 new growers and small farms
  • Build infrastructure necessary to fulfill mission and serve as a model agricultural development organization
  • Provide educational opportunities and skills training
  • Support the local economy and local food system

The Catawba Sustainability Center (CSC) is establishing “Land-Use Agreements” with new and established farm businesses to utilize a portion of designated farmland to grow produce. The Center is committed to developing the incubator program, facilitating learning opportunities, and ensuring that land is available annually for new participants. All participants must follow the CSC’s Land Use Protocol and new farms must participate in one of the Catawba Sustainability Center’s training programs.

 

2016 Catawba Sustainability Center Growers’ Rates

ITEM ANNUAL FEE UNIT
¼ Acre Land w/access to water for 1 growing season $50.00 ¼ Acre
Equipment Fee: Usage and Maintenance $25.00 ¼ Acre
Pre-Season Land Preparation: Tractor Disk* $50.00 ¼ Acre
Total for All Services: $125.00  

*Optional: Land Preparation must be requested by April 14, 2015.

 

Requirements for New Farm Participation

  1. Complete program application and associated paperwork and submit to CSC – Applications can be submitted year round, but at least 30 days before farming activities will begin. You may arrange a site visit at any time with CSC management.
  2. Participate in a farming education program:
    1. CSC Training Program: Growers Academy, Midsummer Sustainable Gardening
    2. VA Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Coalition Beginning Farmer modules
    3. Other equivalent experience or training
  3. Once accepted, you will be invoiced. Payment is due immediately upon receipt.
  4. Pre-season land preparation will occur between April 1 and April 14, weather permitting.
  5. Meet with CSC management at the Center for site orientation.
  6. Submit a preseason garden plan to CSC management for approval. The plan should include planned crops (including varieties), plans for rotation, and cover crop scheme.
  7. Farming can begin once payment is received, and can continue until December 1. For alternative arrangements, please contact CSC management.

 

Other Farmer Responsibilities:

  • Attend CSC Farm Incubator Orientation prior to farming: Early April – date TBA.
  • Abide by Catawba Sustainability Center Land Use Protocol and Standards (attached).
  • Develop and implement a plan to control weeds within your plot.
  • Provide gasoline for roto-tiller and lawn mower and gas/oil mix for weed eater for use on plot.
  • Clean and return tools and equipment to designated storage areas after use
  • CSC provides a roto-tiller, push lawnmower, a handheld weed trimmer, and push weed trimmer for grower use.
  • Mow and/or maintain walkways and fence row around plot according to maintenance schedule.
  • Use drip irrigation or provide irrigation equipment
  • Be available for at least one educational tour/demonstration during the growing season.
  • Attend occasional meetings at the farm with CSC management.
  • Plant cover crops in between cash crop plantings and for overwinter. Cover crop should be sewn by October 6, preferably in late September.
  • Submit to CSC Management, a signed liability waiver for all persons entering CSC property.
  • If growers’ plot is left unmaintained or is abandoned, CSC staff will mow the plot and seed with a cover crop. To cover these costs, the grower will be charged a fee of $100, issued by an invoice from Virginia Tech .

 

For questions, please contact:
Adam Taylor
Catawba Sustainability Center Manager
540-588-0283
adamht@vt.edu

 

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Full Time Farm Position Available at Mount Pleasant Foundation

Mount Pleasant Foundation is seeking a farmer with experience in pasture-based animal husbandry and/or market garden oriented vegetable production.

Mount Pleasant is a private, historic plantation located in Surry County, Virginia just across the James River from Colonial Williamsburg. The mission of the foundation is to maintain a highly diverse, sustainable agriculture operation that preserves and promotes the heritage breeds of livestock and heirloom cultivars of plants that were endemic to early American life in the lower Chesapeake.

Currently, two full time farmers are employed to manage breeding and grazing programs for our livestock on 70 acres. They are also responsible for a 1 acre kitchen garden site with a small orchard and apiary.

We are seeking to add a third farmer to our team as the number of programs and the amount of acreage under the foundation’s management continue to grow. Given the diversity of our operations, the daily work and overall responsibility of a prospective candidate will vary according to their skillset and experience.

Compensation:

Hourly, with overtime. Expected pay is $12-15/hr commensurate with experience.

Work Schedule:

Year-round. A typical work week will range from 35-50 hours, depending on the season.

Housing:

Available to qualified candidates, upon request.

Qualifications:

-A minimum of two years of farm experience in vegetable or pastured livestock production

-A valid driver’s license

-Physical ability to lift hay bales (up to 75lbs) and feed bags (50lbs)

-Willingness to work in inclement weather

-A strong work ethic and ability to self-direct

-The ideal candidate will have the initiative and the skillset to run one or more programs within farm operations.

 

If interested, please send a letter of interest, resume, and list of references to Dea Keen at mppfarmemployment@gmail.com no later than February 16, 2017

For more information, please visit our website

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Internship Opportunities at the Allegheny Mountain Institute

There are two internship opportunities available at the Allegheny Mountain Institute for next year.

Urban Farm Intern – Staunton, Virginia

The Allegheny Mountain Institute is hiring a Farm Intern for the AMI Urban Farm at Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton, VA. The Urban Farm Intern will work under the mentorship of the Farm Manager to carry out all aspects of fruit and vegetable production, including crop planning, planting, harvesting, post-harvest processing, and sales. He/she will receive extensive training in market garden production techniques, organic methods, and permaculture design and will have the opportunity to take on significant responsibility. This is a paid full-time educational internship from February 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017. To apply go to https://form.jotform.com/62944595846170

 

Garden Education Intern – Staunton, Virginia

The Allegheny Mountain Institute is hiring a Garden Education Intern for the Urban Farm at Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind in Staunton, VA. The Garden Education Intern will work closely with AMI Urban Farm staff to carry out on-farm classes, work study programs, Farm to School nutrition education, workshops, and events. He/she will receive extensive training in garden-based education from experienced horticulture educators and have the opportunity to collaborate on curriculum and lesson planning. In addition, the Garden Education Intern will participate in weekly farm operations including planting, harvesting, and post-harvest processing. This is a paid full-time educational internship from February 1, 2017 through November 30, 2017. To apply go to https://form.jotform.com/62944187768170

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Small Farm for Sale near Eggleston, VA

Small Farm for Sale near Eggleston, VA

Great opportunity to buy an organically maintained farmstead of 8.63 acres near Eggleston, Virginia, surrounded by larger farms/ranches and the Jefferson National Forest. Five-minute walk to the New River; 25-minute drive to Virginia Tech. Lush pasturage and some woodland. Large two-story bank barn, quality-built in 2010, with comfortable living quarters in part of the upper floor. Building is wired for both conventional electricity and a whole-building generator. Land has been rotationally grazed organically since 2006. I raised heritage dairy cows, halter-trained for sale as gentle milkers, and heritage meat rabbits. This also is a great property for goats, llamas/alpacas, all types of poultry, berries, herbs, terraced vegetable gardens, grapes, etc. Tons of organic compost ready for use. Excellent well with 1000-gallon, below-ground holding tank and a pressure tank. Superb Blue Ridge Mountain views from the top of the property with several lovely housing sites and septic approval. Much of the property is SE-facing slope, so is excellent for solar power generation and earth-sheltered building. Price recently reduced to $109,900. Land-use tax exemption. See and read more about many of the features of this beautiful property in several different slide shows and a page of description at www.paradisefarm.weebly.com and contact Joanne Wolfe at 540-235-2400 or wolfe.media@pemtel.net for more information or to view.

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Farmstead for Rent in Southwest Virginia

Renters wanted for an intact, five-acre Appalachian farmstead in Southwest Virginia. Available for lease to qualified tenants. Two-story farmhouse has utilities, public water and barns, dairy, smokehouse, sheds, and hand-dug well.

The property is surrounded on three sides by streams, fertile soil for gardening and grazing, and access to trails. Close to higher education centers and shopping, yet secluded in a forested surrounding. Part of the rent offset if lessee is willing to do carpentry labor and host tours of hands-on vintage farming methods.

Applicants must be organized, dependable and hard working. References required. Call 276-762-7500 for further details.

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