Farm Manager, Urban Farms, Ohio

REPORTING RELATIONSHIP: Strategic Projects Manager

DIRECT REPORTS: Site Leads (2), Seasonal Farm Assistants, Community Voluneers, Interns (when applicable)

STATUS: Full Time, Exempt

PROJECT SUMMARY:

Urban Farms of Central Ohio, an initiative of Mid-Ohio Foodbank, transforms vacant sites in underserved neighborhoods into thriving farms that provide communities with increased access to fresh produce, jobs and job training, and opportunities for civic engagement.

Currently, UFCO operates two five acre sites in Columbus, Clarfield Farm and Wheatland Farm. Both farm sites use intensive, organic growing practices, and high-tunnels for season extension to grow high-quality produce for a variety of beneficiaries and/or market buyers. The farm sites also benefit the communities in which they’re located in by being a space for education, job readiness training, and civic engagement.

 

POSITION SUMMARY:

The Farm Manager will be responsible for the planning, organization, supervision, and administration of activities on Clarfield Farm and Wheatland Farm. The Farm Manager will be responsible for implementing the short and long term business plans, which includes continuing to develop the farm’s infrastructure, processes, and systems. The Farm Manager will oversee all aspects of  vegetable production, the operation of four high-tunnels and seedling start greenhouse, produce marketing and distribution, and facilitate on the farm training and educational programming with the Program Manager. The Farm Manager will also be responsible for recruiting, managing, and leading support staff, interns, and community volunteers.

 

PRIMARY DUTIES:

  • Manage farm business by creating, implementing, and managing annual farm plan including farm budget, operation, production, marketing, sales, and distribution plans in accordance to business plan.
  • Develop labor and work plans. Direct, coordinate, and manage farm worker activities including Site Leads, Seasonal Farm Assistants, interns, and community volunteers.
  • Operate, maintain, and enhance farm infrastructure, equipment, and materials to manage and improve sites, including a greenhouse and high-tunnels.
  • Oversee produce marketing and the distribution of produce through multiple streams, including restaurants, farmer’s markets, CSA, and farm stand.
  • Participates in, when necessary, and leads daily farm-related tasks including planting, weeding, harvesting, irrigating, and general maintenance.
  • Collect and maintain all records to prepare monthly reports on the status of the urban farms for supervisor and Mid-Ohio Foodbank leadership, and to comply with organic certification requirements.
  • Work closely with supervisor to plan, coordinate, budget annual operations and special projects, for urban farm sites.
  • Build and maintain relationships with local community residents and stakeholders, volunteer groups, local restaurants and buyers, community advocates for anti-poverty and health initiatives, and philanthropic entities.
  • Assists with general Strategic Initiative activities, including the identification and assessment of future sites, and development and implementation of educational and training programs.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

 

EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE:

Education and Certifications: High School Diploma/GED required. Associates Degree or two years of college preferred. Candidate must have a valid Driver’s License. Food Safety Certification (provided by Mid-Ohio Foodbank).

Experience:  Three-five years of sustainable vegetable production experience required.  Experience working on a farm during its early stages of development is strongly preferred. Knowledge of managing a small to mid-size sustainable, natural farm operation with both machinery and hand tools, from annual planning to all aspects of caring for the farm. Experience in leading and managing staff and volunteers, with a variety of experience levels. Creativity and flexibilty in finding and implementing soultions to challenges as they arise on the farm. Experience in marketing produce to customers.

Skills/Competencies:  Strong interpersonal, written and oral communications skills, proficiency in Microsoft Office. Ability to manage time to both operate the farms while also growing and improving them. Must have strong organizational and planning skills, excellent attention to detail, ability to prioritize and multi-task, problem solving skills, and be a self-starter.  Ability to develop relationships with  the farm team,  business owners and volunteers. Understanding of community food security and passion for food justice and social change to contribute to the growth and evolution of the project.

 

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