Job Opening: Director of Farm and Food
Job Title: Director of Farm and Food
Type: full-time, exempt, salaried
Location: Philo Ridge Farm, Charlotte, Vermont
Philo Ridge Farm is an organic 400-acre farm located in Vermont’s Champlain Valley. For many years our land was owned and managed by a local dairy family. We’re now working to diversify the farm by growing produce and raising meat with practices that increase the health of our soil, produce a variety of nutrient rich crops, reduce the use of fossil fuels, and support our local and vibrant agricultural community. We are carefully measuring and monitoring these practices so that we can share our story and our success with other farmers and community members who are interested in understanding and supporting regenerative agriculture models.
Our current farm activities include: mixed vegetable production, flowers, orchards, sheep, chickens, cattle, pigs and hay. We believe in treating our employees, animals, and land with the respect and care. All of our employees embody the spirit of sharing, growing together and supporting ongoing education. We are in our third year of production and are soon expanding our operation to include a specialty market of products grown and processed at our farm. Our facility will also include areas for commercial food processing and butchering of our farm-raised animals. This facility is an important part of our business model as it will help us take our raw farm products and create value added goods that we can sell to customers throughout the entire year.
Philo Ridge Farm is looking for a Farm and Food Director to be a creative, hands on, entrepreneurial driver of our diverse and innovative farm. The Food and Farm Director will lead the farm’s operations and business planning, and be in charge of developing a truly sustainable farm and food model – one that is environmentally, cultural, and economically successful. The Farm and Food Director will provide inspirational leadership and oversight of our farm and food service teams while acting as a key ambassador of our core values and sharing the Philo Ridge Farm story. Multitasking will be critical in this position, a typical day might include checking the previous day’s till, sending out invoices to vendors, reviewing the daily market menu with the Chef, leading a farm tour, checking in with the Farm Manager and the Market Garden Manager to make sure that food production is on track, and interviewing a new dishwasher.
We are looking for a Director who is enthusiastic about building a culture of excellent farm to table food. We seek a leader who is excited to develop a production strategy for our whole farm by creating delicious ways to cook, preserve, can, butcher, and serve all of the farm’s produce and meat. Our ideal candidate is passionate about using holistic land management practices to create sustainable food systems and healthy communities, and has demonstrated success managing hospitality teams and operations.
Bio-Logical Capital is a Colorado-based land management company that currently oversees the planning and management of Philo Ridge Farm including but not limited to human resources, financial management, and land planning. Their approach to agriculture relies heavily on integrated rotational management of animals and crops using principals from agroecology and other practices. Their farm management goals are long-term diversity, health, and productivity. This approach results in a transformative impact on how people grow food and understand their relationship with the land. Bio-Logical Capital will work alongside the Food and Farm Director to continue to set up Philo Ridge farm as a successful agriculture business and model.
Team Leadership and Staff Management
- Promote a team-oriented work culture, rooted in effective communication and collaboration
- Recruit staff members, create employee development plans, and conduct annual reviews
- Lead the alignment of farm operations and food service operations – with an overall strategic plan and vision for tight integration between the two – and ensure that team and project priorities are working toward established budget and schedule
- Coordinate annual and long-range strategic planning for each business unit, and coach business unit managers to think and execute entrepreneurially
- Lead weekly meeting of business unit managers to encourage communication and collaboration, monitor progress toward goals, and help identify problems and develop solutions
- Oversee preparation of quarterly reports on business unit operations, progress toward goals, and budget variances
- Balance office time with daily visits to farm and field work sites and hospitality programs to monitor progress and connect with and inspire staff
Farm and Food Operations
- Oversee the entrepreneurial process and drive the growth and diversification of the farm, livestock, and land operations, and lead the strategic planning and implementation of new business opportunities
- Drive communication and coordination with farm operations, such as:
- Work closely with the Farm Manager for livestock planning, including meat inventory and purchasing
- Work closely with the Market Garden Manager to determine produce planting schedule, inventory and purchasing
- Set food service team goals, and follow up with managers on results, and course corrections when needed
- Work closely with the Chef and Owners to produce an exciting, delicious, and community engaged food service program that is consistent in its high product quality and is curated with a focus on attention to every detail, celebrates food culture and history, and has a beautiful aesthetic quality
- Work closely with the Chef and Managers to create value-added products made from Philo Ridge Farm grown produce and meat
- Oversee all aspects of guest experience at the farm, ensures that all guests have a consistently high-quality experience and always receive great service, and develops an internal culture of turning guests into regular visitors and friends of the farm
- Oversee facilities and equipment; work with the staff to ensure good working order, exceptional cleanliness, and safety for crewmembers and guests
- Ensure compliance with operational standards and all applicable laws, regulations, and local ordinances
Administration, Reporting, and Communication
- Maintain regular communication with land owners regarding operations and performance; prepare periodic written reports detailing performance and plans
- Lead development of marketing and communication plans
- Ensure maintenance of employee records, including evaluations, disciplinary actions, hours worked, etc.
- Review schedules, approve and submit payroll, and monitor labor to optimize service and profitability
- Coordinate with accounting to ensure that administrative processes are followed timely and accurately
- Oversee financial management of Philo Ridge Farm entities
- Provide senior leadership for annual budgeting process in a rapidly evolving and entrepreneurial environment
- Interface with off-site accounting team, review financial statements, and prepare forecasts
- Prepare reports, including financial summaries for Bio-Logical Capital
- Review and approve expenses, and ensure accurate coding for accounting and financial reporting
- Create a positive, inspired workplace culture by actively demonstrating, teaching, and monitoring exceptional professionalism, guest service, and overall hospitality
- Celebrate and share the Philo Ridge Farm story; speak with passion and knowledge about our food and products, and train team members to do the same
- Act as a public figure in the community for the farm and as a confident and engaging public speaker
- Other responsibilities as necessary to support Philo Ridge Farm’s enterprise and operational goals
Candidate/ Position Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college; degree in hotel/restaurant management or culinary arts is preferred
- Minimum 5 years of experience managing a growing hospitality or restaurant business
- Knowledge of, and experience working in, sustainable agriculture
- Ability to effectively lead in a fast-paced environment, adapt to changing priorities, and remain focused and calm under pressure
- Proficient computer skills, including Microsoft Office products and QuickBooks
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, and ability to demonstrate strong skills in managing interpersonal relationships
- Extensive experience with financial management, cost controls, cash handling, and POS administration
- Willingness to work nights and weekends, when needed
- Working knowledge of Vermont liquor laws, Vermont labor laws, and OSHA health and safety standards
- Physical and environmental requirements: continuous standing and occasional carrying of heavy loads; occasional environmental exposure to cold, hot, and wet environments
- Reliable transportation to drive to and from different locations in and around the farm
- Valid drivers license and clean driving record
- Minimum of three professional references
Compensation will be commensurate with experience.
Candidates should send a cover letter illustrating experience, resume, available start date, contact information, and reference contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Qualified candidates will be contacted directly. No phone calls please.