A pioneer in sustainable agriculture since the 1960s, Wolfe’s Neck Farm (WNF) is a Freeport, Maine-based nonprofit agricultural campus close to the greater Portland metro area, set on 626-acres of incredible beauty, consisting of a unique mix of ecological systems: forest, marsh, pasture lands and four miles of coastline. Our programs focus on helping support a stronger regional food system and connecting people all ages with sustainable agriculture. Thousands of people are attracted annually to the farm for programs and events where they learn about sustainable farming; gain a greater understanding of where their food comes from, and how they can be more active participants in the regional food system.
Wolfe’s Neck Farm is currently launching an Organic Dairy Program to be used as a platform for pasture and forage-based research, experimentation, demonstration and training, with a specific focus on training the next generation of viable and profitable organic dairy farmers. Wolfe’s Neck Farm has an ambitious vision and the Organic Dairy Program will play a critical role in helping realize that vision. This program is the first of its kind in the nation, and is being launched with a major grant from the Danone Ecosystem Fund and Stonyfield.
Wolfe’s Neck Farm seeks an experienced, innovative leader and manager who shares our passion for supporting the organic dairy industry, helping develop the most viable future models for organic dairy – both economically and ecologically – and training the next generation of organic dairy farmers. This is a rare opportunity for the right candidate to lead a vital new initiative aimed at supporting the future of organic dairy production in Maine and New England. The Program Director will report directly to the Executive Director.
- Provide effective leadership in the design, planning and development of the new Organic Dairy Program and farmer training program
- Manage and oversee daily operations of the organic dairy operation and provide effective leadership and management of the farmer trainees and farm staff. Daily farming activities will be conducted by the Program Director with significant support from two trained and skilled farm staff, plus the four farmer trainees. The Program Director is responsible for coordinating these activities and ensuring the highest quality care is provided to all animals at all times. This includes managing herd health and performance, maintaining accurate records including those required for organic certification, andassisting in the management and maintenance of grazing infrastructure, including pastures, water systems, travel lanes and fencing.
- Develop and manage the Organic Dairy Program budget
- Work closely with the Farmer and Technical Advisory Board for the Organic Dairy Program, made up of active organic dairy farmers and industry leaders from throughout New England
- Support planning of an annual organic dairy conference at Wolfe’s Neck Farm in conjunction with other organizations and higher institutions
- Collaborate with researchers and research projects related to dairy and forage operations. Stay abreast of leading forage-based practice and research from around the world and incorporate and evaluate new approaches as appropriate.
- Seek out training and networking opportunities, including workshops, conferences, visits to area farms, etc. Work to develop partnerships and articulation agreements with other institutions
- Work closely with the WNF Board and Education Staff to integrate the Organic Dairy Program into existing education programs, events and the visitor experience at WNF
- Attend and participate in Wolfe’s Neck Farm and community events as needed and as appropriate
Skills and Qualifications
- Documented experience managing an organic dairy operation for several years including strong, working knowledge of all aspects of organic dairy production systems, including an understanding of the National Organic Program standards, pasture-based management, forage quality, animal and soil health, cow comfort, costs of production, and effective business management practices
- Bachelor’s Degree or greater in Animal Science, Livestock Management, Sustainable Agriculture or other related field
- Experience developing and leading training programs, particularly related to organic dairy systems.
- An appreciation for the importance of rigorous research and a willingness to work collaboratively with researchers from partner organizations to conduct dairy operations in ways which facilitate ongoing applied research and experimentation at the farm
- A strong interest in and knowledge of the food system, sustainable agriculture, and the natural environment
- Strong desire to be part of a dynamic, entrepreneurial work environment and a growing non-profit organization
- Strong interpersonal skills and public communication abilities including excellent writing and computer skills
- Strong organizational abilities, time management skills and ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects and meet deadlines
- Proficiency to operate tractors and other mechanical equipment routinely used in farming
- Energetic, dynamic and engaging personality
- Must be able to work a variable work schedule, which includes work on weekends and holidays
- Requires ability to operate and provide basic service of equipment used in farming
- Requires ability to sit at computer for several hours at a time
- Ability to lift 50+ pounds
- Ability to withstand prolonged exposure to variable weather conditions
The Organic Dairy Program Director is a full-time, year round, exempt position. Starting salary is commensurate with experience. As a full time employee, the Program Director is eligible for benefits offered by Wolfe’s Neck Farm, including: health insurance, dental insurance, paid vacation/holidays and our retirement savings plan. This is a residential position and on-site housing is provided at 50% market rate.
Please email a cover letter and resume to email@example.com with Program Director as the subject line. In the interest of reducing waste, please do not mail a hard copy of your materials. Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to submit materials for consideration by Feb 1.
Wolfe’s Neck Farm Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in the workplace.