Farm Manager, Gather New Haven

Gather New Haven is seeking a full time farm manager to oversee the operations and planning activities on the seven farm sites in New Haven.

This organization unites two nonprofits, New Haven Farms and the New Haven Land Trust. These organizations have been leaders and innovators in New Haven’s urban environmental movement. The New Haven Land Trust (NHLT), Connecticut’s first urban land trust, has served the community for nearly 40 years by acquiring and stewarding over 80 acres of nature preserves city-wide and by supporting 55 community gardens throughout New Haven’s diverse neighborhoods. NHLT has grown significantly over the last five years to include programs for young environmental entrepreneurs and a marine and coastal exploration summer camp on Long Island Sound. New Haven Farms (NHF) was formed eight years ago with its innovative Farm-Based Wellness Program (FBWP) that partners with medical centers to engage people with diet-related chronic disease risk factors in learning about nutrition and gardening at one of seven farm sites across New Haven.

Gather New Haven has a growing commitment to racial equity and community leadership and is taking strides in cultivating broader inclusion and community ownership among its stakeholders. A large part of the organization’s work takes place in bi-lingual settings, with Spanish and English as the predominant languages. Gather New Haven strives to be a leader for advancing community engagement and focusing the resources of nature to support community health and well being.

Job Overview
The Farm Manager is responsible for planning, organizing, and managing farm operations on seven sites throughout New Haven, and managing two non-production garden sites through a partnership with the Connecticut Mental Health Center. The Farm Manager is responsible for all aspects of the organization’s farm operations, including participating in the development of strategic priorities, annual operating goals and budgeting for the farm; general maintenance and care for the sites; production of food for the Farm Based Wellness program, and weekly Farm
Stand; and management of farm staff and volunteers. The Farm Manager will be responsible for the annual growing of safe, nutrient-dense, culturally appropriate, and organically-grown produce. The Farm Manager is responsible for business management which includes the collection of all production and sales records related to the farm. The Farm Manager will supervise the students joining the farm track of the Growing Entrepreneurs program, including during the Youth @ Work period (Summer) where they work 25 hours per week. The Farm Manager will participate in annual planning related to farm needs, and will represent Gather
New Haven as needed. Key focal points for this position include professional and sustainable operation of urban farms, advocacy for urban agriculture and equitable food system development, public health, environmental sustainability and community development.

Farm Management Responsibilities

  • Create and implement an annual work plan and crop plan for the farm sites in consultation with various stakeholders;
  • Manage farm activities, including planting, harvesting, washing, packing, distribution of produce, pest control, soil testing and fertility management, irrigation construction and maintenance, greenhouse maintenance on Gather’s seven farm sites.
  • Maintain fresh produce and tool storage spaces for the farms.
  • Ensure produce yield is high quality, consistent, and plentiful and order supplemental produce from other farms when necessary to provide produce for the FBWP during the 18-week program season (June- October).
  • Generate at least $12,500 in farm sales, between but not limited to seedling sale, farm stands, and wholesale sales to a limited set of restaurants and local non-profits.
  • Manage Saturday Farm Stand and open volunteer day June through October at 613 Ferry Street.
  • Track material donations and purchase/acquire equipment and supplies for the farms.
  • Develop plans for infrastructure developments for each farm site and implement new urban farming strategies as needed;
  • Assure produce donation is collected weekly from Bishops Orchards, (June- November) and managing the relationship with Bishops Orchards.
  • Provide timely reporting for vehicle maintenance management needs to ensure suitable and safe operation.
  • Manage the CT Mental Health Center contract for the care of two small garden sites and weekly therapeutic garden class for residents.

Financial and Budgetary Responsibilities

  • Write an annual budget in collaboration with Executive Director for all farm sites;
  • Document all expenses and work within the agreed upon annual farm budget;
  • Maintain accounts with local restaurants/food retailers for wholesale a revenue stream.
  • Submit all documentation for maintaining the organization’s FNS/ current authorization to accept SNAP/EBT and complete all record keeping and data entry necessary for any matching grant funding, etc.

Supervisory and Volunteer Management Responsibilities

  • Hire, supervise, train and schedule paid farm employees: Seasonal Farm Apprentice, Growing Entrepreneurs in Farm track, Farm Caretaker, and Garden Captains.
  • Schedule and facilitate regular assessments and evaluations with all staff supervised and develop individualized plans for their skill/career development.
  • Schedule, coordinate and facilitate 3-5 weekly farm volunteer shifts March – November.
  • Track and document all farm operations, including staff and volunteer hours.
  • Work to build a welcoming and positive atmosphere at all the gardens.

Partnerships and Community Development Activities

  • Serve as a community resource for urban agriculture and farmers markets.
  • Build/ maintain community support and trust with community members at all farm sites.
  • Maintain and develop relationships with the SCSU Sustainability Office and student garden through providing technical assistance in the form of advising student workers, supporting the procurement of supplies, hands-on education at Gather farm sites.
  • Inform and co-lead the design, scheduling and facilitation of agricultural workshops throughout the year.

Organizational Responsibilities

  • Attend Gather New Haven staff meetings.
  • Work collaboratively and contribute to Gather New Haven’s strategic focus and planning.
  • Participate annually in the professional development and evaluation process with the Executive Director around organizational and personal goals.
  • Develop relationships and partnerships with individuals and organizations as relevant to our mission.

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience in urban agriculture and food production.
  • Capability to manage all aspects of small scale organic vegetable production in an urban setting.
  • Familiarity with and culturally and linguistically reflective of the New Haven community in which they will be working.
  • Ability to lift 40lbs.
  • Desire to work outside in all weather conditions (heat, rain/snow, cold, poor air quality), sometimes engaging in repetitive tasks.
  • Experience with and passion for coaching/mentoring in a farm/garden setting.
  • Able to work as part of a small and close-knit team: coordinate, collaborate and delegate as appropriate.
  • Demonstrated capability to supervise, lead and cultivate and learn from the talents and skills of others.
  • Strong written and spoken communication skills.
  • Legacy/sustainability oriented – strong documentation and record-keeping skills.
  • Inquisitive/ proactive in finding solutions to obstacles and very attentive to detail.
  • Flexibility to adapt to the frequently changing daily tasks.
  • Excellent time management skills and ability to manage multiple projects and priorities at the same time.
  • A valid driver’s license and ability to drive manual transmission (or willingness to learn).

Strongly Preferred

  • Bilingual (English/Spanish).
  • Experience managing a annual diversified vegetable crop plan for upwards of 10,000 lbs.
  • Knowledge of and experience in integrated pest management (IPM), organically managing soil fertility, and other organic growing practices.

Position Classification and Schedule
This is a full-time, year-round exempt, salaried position. Expected working hours vary by season. This position typically works a Tuesday-Saturday schedule with occasional brief tasks on non-working days. This position will be supervised by the Executive Director.

Compensation
This is a salaried and benefits-eligible position. Salary range is 45,000-50,000 annually. Benefits include sick days, vacation, and holidays (federally recognized holidays as well as 3 floating holidays for non-federally recognized days of observance), and employer-sponsored medical health insurance. Workers compensation insurance is also provided. Staff are entitled to a share of farm-grown produce during the farming season.

Application Details and Hiring Process
Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to brent@gathernewhaven.org. If applicants have additional questions about the position, they should feel free to email Brent Peterkin directly at brent@gathernewhaven.org.

  • Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. We will review applications on a rolling basis until the position has been filled.
  • We will begin initial screening/phone calls to applicants in December and January as applications come in. You may be asked to provide references at this point.
  • Finalists will be invited to an interview with staff.
  • The ideal date for the selected candidate to start January 25, 2021 in order to overlap with the outgoing Farm Manager during the on-boarding process.

Cover Letter guidance: Your cover letter should respond to the following questions and include reference to all relevant paid and unpaid life experience: 1) Why are you interested in this position? Why do you think you would enjoy/do well in the job? 2) What experience do you have gardening/growing vegetables (including home gardening, community gardening, helping relatives growing produce, etc.) 3) How do you think working with us will help you achieve your professional and personal goals? 4) What is your connection to urban gardening/food production in Connecticut? Or why is this important for you and for New Haven?

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