Mountain Springs Farm hiring Farm Manager

Pendleton County, West Virginia

Terms of reference: Farm Manager

Mountain Springs Farm

Background

Mountain Springs Farm and Heritage Center is a non-profit organization located in Pendleton County, West Virginia. The organization was founded in 1988 and our mission is to provide an experience that educates our community through sustainable agriculture & appropriate land stewardship.  We will provide opportunities to participate in responsible environmental leadership, growing chemical free food, & fostering a sense of community, while working together & enjoying nature. The farm consists of 561 acres in the Potomac River headwaters, and its facilities include a community center, a farmhouse from the late 1800’s, bunkhouses, barns and various other outbuildings

Mountain Springs Farm was formerly certified organic, used to be a cooperative school, a summer camp, and an experimental farm. In recent years it has been mostly vacant, but following the leadership of a new board of directors, the farm is poised to become a successful sustainable entity once again.

Objectives of the call

Our new board is seeking an entrepreneurial farmer or farming couple to carry out our mission and further several projects.

Duties and responsibilities

The farmer(s) would live at Mountain Springs Farm and oversee all aspects of the farm’s operations. Duties would fall in to two main categories.

  1. The farmer’s main responsibility is to manage the experimental production and marketing of products (crops, livestock, etc). The board will help the farmer develop a business plan and provide some start up resources. The profits of the operation will be the farmers to keep.
  1. The farmer(s) will also have 15-25 hours of volunteer work for the board each week. This work will fluctuate with the season and includes facility maintenance, educational outreach, seeking funding and partnerships for future growth. The stipend paid by the board will pay for this volunteer work.

Qualifications and competencies

Education: Bachelor’s degree in agriculture related field and 1 growing season on production scale farm, or 24 months or 3 growing seasons of experience farming at a production scale.

Skills:

  • Experience in all aspects of farming including planning, production and marketing.
  • Basic knowledge of mechanics including operation and repairs of farm equipment including tiller, tractor, chainsaw.
  • Basic knowledge of handy-man type skills like carpentry, plumbing, electrical work.
  • General knowledge of area and local farming practices.
  • Ability to maintain communication with board and partners, through written reports.
  • Self-starter who can work with minimal supervision.
  • Has own ideas for future growth and business ventures that would parallel farms mission.
  • Desire to become involved in the local food movement and community

Expected deliverables

The farmer(s) is expected to

  • Create business plan with input from the board. Said business plan will include 3-5 main agricultural ventures that the farmer(s) will focus on in the first 2 years.
  • Maintain farm buildings, grounds, and farm infrastructure (fence, water troughs, etc.) in a presentable and working manner.
  • Report monthly activities of business plan and farm maintenance.

Compensation

The farmer(s) lives on the farm for free and will be provided with phone, internet, electricity and propane. The farmer(s) will be able to use a portion of the farm for production at no cost for the first 2 years. The farmer(s) will also receive a monthly stipend depending on qualifications and experience. This will be for the 15-25 hours of volunteer work for the board.

Board

The board will provide oversight and guidance to the farmers. Our board members are all local community members and include faculty members from a graduate school, a public health expert, a wildlife biologist, a forester, the president of the local farmers market, a neighboring farmer and a local extension agent.

Duration of the work

2 year agreement with the possibility for a longer term contract. Start date is flexible.

How to apply

Qualified candidates are requested to mail their resume including contact information for three professional references, and letter of interest to Mountain Springs Farm at 41 Freedom Lane, Franklin, WV 26807 or email to mountainspringswv@gmail.com by July 31 2016. Please indicate your relevant experience and availability to undertake the terms of reference above. For photos of the farm check out our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/MountainSpringsFarmWV/.

 

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