Iowa – Red Earth Gardens hiring Farm Production Manager

Tama, Iowa

We are looking for a Farm Production Manager to join our team at Red Earth Gardens!

Red Earth Gardens (REG) is located on the Meskwaki Settlement in east-central Iowa, near the towns of Tama and Toledo. We are a Tribally-funded and controlled organic produce farm. In the last year, we have started expanding to include perennial fruit and nut production and on-farm education services. At this exciting time of growth, we are looking for the right person to manage our current 5 acres of annual production and be a leader and part of our team.

REG is a commercial farm and is the for-profit component of the Tribe’s Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative (MFSI). The mission of Red Earth Gardens is to provide quality organic produce, employment, and community-based education that celebrates Meskwaki culture and lifeways. You can learn more about Red Earth Gardens, the Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative and the Meskwaki Tribe on the Tribe’s website, Meskwaki Food Sovereignty Initiative and Red Earth Gardens Facebook pages.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Farm Management

  • Full-time, year-round position involving all aspects of annual fruit, vegetable and heirloom bean production in our 5+ acres of annual fields
  • Following Certified Organic practices, develop and implement crop plan, greenhouse schedule, soil fertility plan, and the planting and harvesting schedule for each growing season
  • Provide training and supervision of Red Earth Gardens staff and volunteers in all aspects of the farm greenhouse work, seeding, transplanting, weeding, fertilizing, mowing, washing and packing produce, produce deliveries, and some light carpentry and irrigation work
  • Operate and care for farm equipment: irrigation system, tractors, implements, etc.
  • Keep records for organic certification and daily farm activities
  • With Farm Manager, implement permaculture Master Plan including tree planting and on-going tree care
  • Research and coordinate installation of moveable hoop houses for season-extension
  • With Farm Manager and Business Development Coordinator, assist marketing efforts by communicating produce availability, maintaining inventory, and coordinating distribution/delivery of produce
  • Create weekly newsletter with farm updates and vegetable recipes as regular communication with TSA (Tribally-Supported Agriculture) members
  • May assist with staffing farm stand or going to farmers’ markets as needed

Business Development

  • With Farm Manager, create annual budget for farm operation and research, purchase and maintain farming supplies, tools and equipment
  • With Farm Manager and Farm Team Members, contribute to the development of a long-term integrated plan for farm operation including use of permaculture practices, a 10-acre food forest, an on-farm training program, educational services, and the development of value-added products
  • With Workforce Development Coordinator and Crew Leader, develop schedule and daily activities for on-farm trainees in the Promoting Tribal Economies Course job-skills program
  • Work with staff to submit information for grant reports as needed
  • Work in collaboration with community partners to increase understanding and appreciation for Meskwaki customs and traditional tribal economies, including traditional and local foods
  • Other duties as assigned

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Degree or certificate in Horticulture, Sustainable Agriculture, or related field; or completion of on-farm internship or other training program
  • Three to five years of experience in vegetable farm production
  • Minimum of one year of supervisory and management experience
  • Working knowledge of greenhouse production, field production, and organic certification requirements
  • Ability to manage time and resources labor, equipment, prioritizing tasks, etc
  • Adaptability, reliability, good communication skills and a positive attitude are a must
  • Valid Driver’s License and qualifies to become an acceptable driver under the Tribe’s insurance policy
  • Must be able to frequently lift 50 pounds and work outdoors for long periods of time
  • Experience working in positions that require effective communication and teamwork
  • Good computer skills, including use of all Microsoft programs
  • Ability to speak in public during farm tours and provide guidance on food and farming topics during farm tours, administrative planning, and community meetings and events

This position is full-time, year round and includes health insurance; paid annual, sick and holiday leave; a retirement match plan; and other benefits.

Apply online on the Tribe’s Human Resources page.

Questions about the position can be sent to fpm.econdev@meskwaki-nsn.gov or lfp.econdev@meskwaki-nsn.gov .

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