Kalamazoo Nature Center hiring DeLano Farms Crew Member

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Job Opening

Title: DeLano Farms Crew Member

Supervisor: DeLano Farm Manager
Date Prepared:    January 31, 2014

Duration:  April 20 – mid November

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to inspire people to care for the environment by providing experiences that lead them to understand their connection to the natural world.  

Summary of Position: 
DeLano Farms is entering its fifth season of production at the Kalamazoo Nature Center, with a goal of feeding 200 CSA member families, taking food to a Saturday farmers market, and donating surplus local organizations.  Crew members will work as a team under the leadership of the Farm Manager to run the day-to-day operations of DeLano Farms, performing all tasks involved in vegetable production.

Depending on how the season develops, we will be assigning specialized farm roles to individual crew members based on knowledge and aptitude.  Potential areas of focus include irrigation, greenhouse, market and customer service, harvest and wash-pack, and cultivation.

Available positions are seasonal, temporary, fulltime or part-time, with a variable weekly work schedule. Applicants must be available to work April – November.  Individuals seeking full time employment will be given preference in the hiring process.

Farm crew members who demonstrate exceptional commitment and aptitude through the 2015 growing season may be considered for an assistant manager position in 2016.

Experience and Skills Required:

  • Demonstrated ability to maintain good nature and work ethic in all weather conditions
  • Knowledge of organic/ecological vegetable production
  • Strong work ethic
  • Ability to work quickly, multi-task and be flexible on a daily basis
  • Ability to maintain organized records
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work in and dress appropriately for all weather conditions
  • Initiative and ability to prioritize and complete tasks without direct supervision
  • Ability to cheerfully follow directions
  • An inclination toward efficiency and problem solving
  • Physical strength to perform repetitive, heavy and light manual labor
  • Love and appreciation for good food
  • Desire to positively, actively contribute to a growing farm community

Duties:

  • All basic farm tasks including cultivating, harvesting, irrigating, washing and packing produce, seeding, transplanting, weeding, and other field chores as needed
  • Provide excellent customer assistance and education about the farm.
  • Responsible use of equipment and facilities with a priority in safety
  • Work effectively and cooperatively with other KNC staff
  • Complete special projects as assigned by the DeLano Farms Manager

Work schedule:

The weekly work schedule will vary throughout the season, depending on day light hours, tasks to be completed, and weather.  Crew members will be expected to be available 8-12 hours per day, beginning as early as 6 AM during the heat of the season or as late as 8:30 AM in the early spring and fall.   Every effort will be made to announce schedule changes at least one week in advance but this position does require a high degree of flexibility and dedication. There will be an hour long break every day for lunch.  Specific responsibilities and schedules will vary depending on season, requirement, skills, and interest level.   Some weekend work may be required.

Compensation:

Crew members will be offered $8.15/hour (before taxes) and a weekly farm share.  Limited, on-site, cooperative housing is also available.  All staff will be provided with KNC uniform t-shirts.

How to Apply

Send a resume, cover letter and three references to Lucy Reese, at lreese@naturecenter.org.

Because we value the strength diversity brings to the workplace, the Kalamazoo Nature Center is committed to the recruitment, retention, and development of a workforce that reflects the society in which we live.  We encourage applications from candidates representing diverse backgrounds.   

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is an equal opportunity organization that will not discriminate in its programs or hiring practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, veteran status, height, weight, sexual orientation or gender identity, marital status, or political affiliation.

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