Duke Campus Farm Field Education Manager Position

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Field Education Manager

Duke Campus Farm Durham, North Carolina

Preference given to applications received before March 16th

About the Duke Campus Farm:

The Duke Campus Farm is a one-acre working farm, now entering its eighth season, that provides sustainably-grown produce and food systems education for Duke and its surrounding communities. Our mission is to catalyze positive change in the food system through academic engagement and through the joys and hard work of growing real food.

In collaboration with our undergraduate and graduate student farm crew, academic courses, and research, we grow and harvest for Duke’s dining halls, local restaurants, and our Community Supported Agriculture program. More important than the thousands of pounds of food that we grow, however, are the opportunities the farm provides for engaging and reimagining the ways we cultivate, access, value, and think about food.

About this position:

Under the direction of the Duke Campus Farm Program Director and in collaboration with our Assistant Program Manager and our student farm crew, this position is responsible for the daily, weekly and season-long management of a one-acre diversified vegetable operation and educational farm. This position coordinates all aspects of on-farm production, supports and empowers student employees, and serves as a public face of the farm to the campus community.

The Field Education Manager is the primary person responsible for production, providing day-to-day and season-to-season continuity for on-farm production. The Field Education manager works closely with our student crew to accomplish tasks, and supports them in taking on increasing responsibility at the farm as the season progresses. The ideal candidate would end each season with a student crew in possession of the discernment and skills to 1) identify farm priorities 2) make significant contributions, both independently and collaboratively, to the farm’s production operation and 3) teach and communicate what they know to others.

As a young program, we strive to consistently reflect upon staff roles and responsibilities to ensure we’re best serving the strengths and needs of individuals and the program as a whole. The Field Education Manager’s responsibilities are therefore subject to some change over time. Qualified candidates are passionate about our larger mission, and highly motivated to teach and inspire college students about sustainable agriculture.

This position will pay $36-41,000, depending on experience, in addition to Duke’s benefits package which includes paid vacation and sick days, health, dental, vision and 401k options.

Production Responsibilities include:

Bed prep and soil fertility management – build and support healthy soil ecologies using compost, cover crops, well-timed tillage, bed prep using a combination of hand tools and our walk-behind tractor; test and track soil fertility; minimize tillage where possible etc.

Integrated Pest Management – build and maintain a plant-positive environment through insectaries, crop rotation, etc.; minimal applications of organically-approved sprays as necessary. Harvest, post-harvest handling and delivery – maintain regular and open lines of communication regarding produce availability; harvest, wash, pack and deliver produce to campus dining facilities and CSA customers; coordinate weekly CSA member pickup and staff pick up when necessary.

Propagation – seedling production using organic practices in heated high tunnel, as dictated by crop plan.

Equipment maintenance - maintain tools in good working order, sustain the level of functionality and organization needed to keep the farm running smoothly

Record keeping - track farm inputs, crop performance, and sales to help refine crop plan and support crew participation in understanding, maintaining and strengthening farm systems. Create full-season crop plan informed by prior season’s crop plan and records. Refine crop plan throughout season and at season’s end as appropriate.

Scheduling : structure crew schedules, oversee crew time on-farm and coordinate and manage open community work days.

Education responsibilities include:

Skillbuilding and Leadership Development: the Field Education manager is the primary staff member responsible for building the capacity of our student crew so that they’re able to take an active role in farm operations. In collaboration with the program director and assistant program manager, the field education manager supports student crew in understanding the big picture in sustainable food systems and in becoming advocates for their farm and for sustainable food systems more broadly speaking.

Curricular and co-curricular support  - Ensure the site supports farm-based learning throughout the year. In collaboration with the program director and assistant program manager, support Alternative Breaks, pre-orientation programming, and on-farm workshops and events, interface with farm-based classes, on-farm academic activity, and support students involved in independent studies at the farm as needed.

Qualifications: Applicants should have a total of 5 points or more in any combination of experiences as follows: 3 points for each season working in a management capacity in a farm environment (setting priorities, being the person accountable, training and managing others), 2 points for each season working as a farm crew leader (training and managing others, ensuring tasks get done), 1 point for each season as a farm crew member or outdoor/environmental education professional. Preference will be given to applicants who have worked in an educational farm context.

Applicants should have strong written and verbal communications skills, appreciate work outdoors in all weather, and be able to lift 50 lbs. unassisted. Qualified candidates will have a demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively, with both skilled and unskilled labor, and a passion for farm education, youth empowerment, and food systems change. Experience in food justice and equity, agroecology, community-based agriculture, and/or basic equipment maintenance and construction a plus.  

This is a year-round 2-year position with the possibility of renewal, averaging 40 hours/week over the course of the year.

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references to [email protected] Preference will be given to applications received before March 16th, 2018. Position will be open until filled.

Field Education Manager, Duke Campus Farm % of time
1 On-Farm Production and Farm Management 60%
Manage the daily and weekly operations at DCF including but not limited to soil fertility, weed and integrated pest management, bed preparation, irrigation, planting, harvesting and on-site composting.
Manage a flexible and adaptive weekly priority list for on-farm tasks, maintaining a bird’s eye level view of overall work flow.
Manage work priorities for twice weekly community work days, and public events/field trips as needed, fostering a positive and productive environment for visitors and volunteers
Oversee the harvest, preparation and delivery of farm produce to Duke Dining (year round) and CSA membership, maintaining high quality during post-harvest handling
Oversee seeding, seedling production and maintain sowing schedule to ensure healthy transplants as necessary to meet the demands of the crop plan
Operate tools and equipment used in crop production, including walk-behind tractor and hand tools
Manage student schedules.
Create full-season crop plan informed by prior season’s crop plan and records.
Maintain record of sales, invoices, and check deposits/Duke Events Management transfers. Performance data should be available for use in quarterly internal and external publications.
2 Field Education 25%
Support student crew in taking on increasing responsibility as the season progresses. Foster a positive environment in which students feel a sense of ownership and community within the farm space.
With support of program staff, create and present twice monthly skill-building workshops for student crew so that students end the season with some involvement in all parts of on-farm work and are competent to take on increasing responsibility on-farm
Support program staff in co-curricular programming for broader campus population and general public
Support program staff and faculty with curricular visits, research and tours.
Make farm as legible as possible to the general public through signage, orientation and tours. Maintain a transparent, navigable, beautiful and welcoming space. Ensure volunteers and visitors understand overall land management goals, production principles and program mission and how any tasks they execute fit into the larger framework.
3 Program Development 10%
Refine and develop new strategies for farm crew learning, recruitment and retention
Collaborate with program staff in diversifying programming and deepening our work in creating equitable and sustainable food systems
Support future strategic plan development
Represent the farm and its mission to a range of audiences
4 Administration 5%
Meet weekly and as needed with Duke Campus Farm staff to discuss priorities and progress, and to give and receive feedback.
Attend monthly all-staff Sustainable Duke meeting.
Check email twice daily.
Budgeting and reconciliation of receipts