Jul 28, 2021
The Resource Conservation District is also seeking an Assistant Farm Manager to join our team! Please read the full position description below and follow the directions to apply if you think you would be a good fit!
ASSISTANT FARM MANAGER
Reports to: Farm Director
Direct Reports: 1-5 Part Time Employees
The Assistant Farm Manager position is located at Wild Willow Farm & Education Center in San Diego’s South Bay. Wild Willow Farm is owned and managed by the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County (RCD). This position is an at-will position and the employee serves at the pleasure of the Executive Director of the RCD. All RCD employees are required to work collaboratively and to serve as a positive role model for other employees by supporting the mission, vision, and values of the RCD.
The Assistant Farm Manager upholds Wild Willow Farm’s mission to create space for biocultural diversity and inspire people to connect to food, land, and each other. The production fields of Wild Willow Farm are the learning and demonstration grounds for implementing regenerative farming practices to grow nutrient dense food utilizing efficient methods that prioritize the health of the farmers, the soil, and surrounding ecosystem.
The Assistant Farm Manager is responsible for supporting the Farm Director in the efficient and effective operation of Wild Willow Farm. This includes, but is not limited to, assisting with planting, care, and maintenance of 1 acre of vegetable production, 0.5 acres of orchard, and various herbal and flower gardens throughout the property. This position also assists with general farm maintenance, supervision of staff, interns, and volunteer groups, community engagement, sales, and record keeping.
This position requires a 32-40 hours per week commitment and is funded through donations and revenues from classes, events, and the sale of produce, herbs, and flowers.
General Field Production and Instruction
- Provide general farming support to maintain crop production, maintenance, and harvest activities.
- Coordinate and lead groups of volunteer interns in field activities as needed.
- Coordinate independent efforts with Farm Director to ensure priority tasks are met first.
- Work with Farm Team to identify areas for production and maintenance/labor requirements.
- Manage farm’s composting system and develop a plan for production of compost to add to the marketing value stream and sustain farm production needs.
- Assist with maintaining health of farm’s apiaries and bee products to add to the marketing value stream and sustain farm’s educational needs.
Farm Staff Leadership
- Provide support, supervision, and training to Farm staff including monthly one-to-one supervisory meetings.
- Assist with coordination and facilitation of bi-weekly WWF staff meetings.
- Assist in training and managing farm intern program.
- Assist with monitoring farm program and agricultural budgets, approve operational and program-related expenditure, and ensure staff and contractor compliance with personnel policies.
- Assist in conducting annual performance reviews with farm staff to ensure that goals are met.
- Oversee produce sales and deliveries to various outlets including CSAs, restaurants, private events, on-farm sales, and/or farmers markets.
- Collaborate with Farm Director to design and implement annual field production plans for crop planning, propagation, and market. Production includes vegetables, herbs, fruit, and flowers.
- Coordinate with Farm Director on appropriate sales channels and the development of the crop plan to ensure needs for sale outlets are met.
- Work with Farm Director to identify locations for production and maintenance/labor requirements.
- Prepare weekly harvest sheets for the farm’s sales outlets as needed.
- Communicate with customers in a timely manner.
- Maintain records of harvest and crop trends.
- Lead implementation of harvest techniques that are efficient, safe, and promote plant health.
- Oversee harvest days by delegating and managing appropriate harvest, processing, and packaging standards to staff, interns, and volunteers.
- Ensure harvests are in compliance with established SOPs.
- Be cognizant of farm budget and advice on procurement needs for harvest, processing, sales, and delivery.
- Assist with coordinating efforts of volunteers, interns, and staff to complete farm tasks during public volunteer hours.
- Assist with coordinating and leading special volunteer events, such as corporate volunteer groups.
- Communicate farm values and safety reminders to volunteers and visitors.
- Oversee tool and equipment stewardship. Coordinate with instructor(s) on day-of tool use and activity space needs.
- Ensure fields for volunteer tasks are safe and accessible for volunteers.
- Maintain a roster of both active and former volunteers.
- Cultivate an engaged volunteer team.
- Empower and nurture experienced volunteers to take initiative, be creative, and embrace leadership.
- Identify engaged participants to further discuss, and promote, farm programs and opportunities.
Outreach and Community Engagement
- Coordinate with staff to upkeep the farm’s social media accounts and contribute to other communications efforts, such as email, newsletters, and campaigns targeted at a variety of farm supporters and audiences.
- Contribute to partnership development and relationship building by attending external events and meetings, as needed.
- Ensure the farm is a safe and welcoming environment for all staff, interns, students, and visitors.
- Provide general support for WWF programming, as scheduled, including: instruction, hosting farm events and classes, leading tours and trips, and representing the organization at community events.
- Desire to embrace the mission of the RCD to protect and conserve natural resources.
- Knowledge of, and experience with, regenerative farming practices, including a practical understanding of:
- Principles and practices of regenerative agriculture, including principles of soil health, water conservation, and integrated pest management.
- Common farm equipment, including seeders, tilther, harvest equipment, etc.
- Plant growth and maturation.
- Irrigation system set-up, repair, and scheduling.
- Ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds and perform physical tasks associated with farm work.
- Be in possession of a current California’s Driver’s License and auto insurance, as well as reliable transportation.
- Experience in first aid.
- Attention to detail in the field and customer relationships.
- Must be willing to maintain a flexible work schedule, working weekends and evenings when needed.
- Ability to work independently in an outdoor setting during various weather conditions.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
- Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, plant science, or equivalent experience
- Farm experience and familiarity with regenerative farming practices
- Ability to work with and manage a diverse set of people, teaching and coaching students, interns, and volunteers.
- Ability to utilize technology for efficiency, communication, productivity, and coordination.
- Ability to work independently to prioritize tasks, multi-task, and keep projects moving forward.
- Ability to work collaboratively to achieve a shared set of goals.
- Patience, perseverance, and drive.
- Self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
After successful completion of a 90-day probationary period:
- Health insurance compensation in lieu of health care (pro rata if less than 40 hours per week.)
- Participation in RCD 457 retirement plan.
- Monthly phone stipend.
- Ten paid holidays and thirteen days of paid time off (PTO) in your first year of service, rising to eighteen days after the first year (pro rata if less than 40 hours per week).
To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and references to the Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County, c/o Gregg Cady at Gregg.Cady@rcdsandiego.org with “Assistant Farm Manager” in the subject line. For additional information, please contact the RCD by phone at 619-562-0096 or visit our website at http://www.rcdsandiego.org
The RCD is an equal opportunity employer. We considered qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, medical condition, disability, marital status, or protected veteran.