West Virginia – Sprouting Farms hiring Apprentices

Talcott, West Virginia

Introduction:

The Sprouting Farms Apprenticeship is an advanced farm business training program designed to prepare students for the realities of owning, operating, and / or managing an agricultural business. We offer new and beginning farmers a supportive and intensive learning experience focused on economic, environmental and social sustainability. Apprentices matriculating into their second year can apply to the Sprouting Farms incubator farm where they can access land, resources, and guidance as they launch their agricultural business.

The Apprenticeship will run for a full farm season, between March 1, 2018 and October 31, 2018. You will complete 600 hours of paid on-the-job training over the course of the eight months, and spend another 200 classroom hours on related coursework and business development.

Participants will have access to a variety of growing spaces. Depending on your experience and your intention, participants will have access to outdoor growing space and / or a shared on-site high-tunnel. These spaces are meant to be used as a space to explore production techniques, potential marketable products, and any other approved business plans apprentices express interest in pursuing.

Sprouting Farms organizes farm tours and hosts educational potluck discussions to bring together friends from across the farming community. You will have the opportunity to meet and network with local farmers, community members, and agricultural professionals in the community.

Apprenticeship specifics:

The Sprouting Farms Apprenticeship is designed for individuals with a solid foundation of farm knowledge and skills; those who are looking to deepen their experience managing a successful farm business; and those with a goal of running their own farm enterprise. The majority of the apprenticeship will be focused on experiential learning, or learning by doing. Apprentices will be asked to apply diverse agriculture theories and practices, collect and analyze data, and use their findings to adapt and strengthen their final business plan.

The Apprenticeship is best understood when broken down into its three components.

1. Paid “on-the-job training.”

On-the-job training consists of learning the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed for apprentices to perform a specific task on a production site. This experiential skill development uses regular and existing workplace tools, equipment, and tasks to teach apprentices how to effectively observe, plan, evaluate and manage a production farm.

We are excited to offer our apprentices a small, subsidized wage for their on-the-job training. Apprentices will work approximately 20 hours per week at the Sprouting Farms production site and/or on mentor farm sites as the season progresses. Wages are $9/hour for up to 600 hours, or up to $5,400 over the course of the apprenticeship.

2. Related coursework.

In addition to the on-the-job training performed at the Sprouting Farms production farm and on mentor sites, apprentices will spend another 200 hours on related coursework. Related coursework is best understood as time spent in a more formalized, instructional classroom style learning. As an apprentice, your related training will have two main concentrations with additional space for electives that allow you and your cohort to pursue specialty and niche crops and production styles. Think of it this way:

Business courses. Business development courses are at the heart of the apprentice experience. We want to support you as you develop your farming enterprise. A six-module farm business course is taught by Dee Singh-Knights, an Agricultural Economics Specialist with WVU Extension, where you will learn to prepare enterprise budgets, evaluate market demand, and develop a five-page business plan. This course will be supplemented by workshops and presentations covering topics such as risk management, accounting, finance, access to capital for farmers, risk management and insurance, marketing and outreach.

Production courses. This classroom time is intended to augment your on-the-job training. You are expected to attend a carefully designed series of classes facilitated by WVU Extension Services, WVSU Extension Services, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Sprouting Farms staff, and other agricultural service agencies from around the region. Topics may include: soil fertility and integrated pest management; farm and production planning; succession planning, food safety and post-harvest handling; tractor and equipment safety and use; farm carpentry and building infrastructure; and the list goes on.

Elective courses. Apprentices will submit learning goals and a skills map at the beginning of the apprenticeship to be used as a guide for your experience. The Education Coordinator will review these documents alongside you and your cohort, and identify and connect you to experienced farmers and business owners in the area who can support your learning goals. This is a space to explore niche crops and specialty production techniques that you may not otherwise see listed in the syllabus.

3. Agriculture enterprise development.

Please think about this portion of your apprenticeship as personalized farm business support. The Education Coordinator is your advocate and will provide support and connect you to resources as you work through the business planning process. Over the course of the apprenticeship you will have the opportunity to connect with agriculture experts and local business owners in the region as you develop your business concept.

A business coach from the West Virginia HIVE, an initiative of the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, will meet with you (individually and in group settings) on numerous occasions to mentor, guide, and support you as you develop your business plan. You are encouraged to use these resources to plan your business, develop creative branding techniques, and identify potential markets. At the conclusion of the apprenticeship, you will have the opportunity to present your business plan to a diverse community of your peers, mentors, and agriculture experts for constructive feedback.

A link to our application and website is here: http://www.sproutingfarms.org/apprenticeship.html

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Virginia – Allegheny Mountain Institute hiring Farm Manager

Staunton, Virginia

POSITION TITLE:  Allegheny Farm Manager (AFM)

MISSION:  Allegheny Mountain Institute (AMI) is a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit organization that cultivates healthy communities through food and education.

GENERAL DEFINITION AND PURPOSE OF WORK:

Reporting to the AMI Executive Director, the AFM is responsible for most operational aspects of the Allegheny Farm.

DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE POSITION:

The AFM is a full-time, exempt position at our Highland County Campus.  Work hours may fluctuate and are dependent on the time of year and organizational needs (preparation at the beginning of the season and end of season, for instance). Education of the broader community is a key component of Allegheny Mountain Institute, and a competitive applicant will have an interest in this area.  All of our work is rooted in organic, regenerative agricultural practices, so the AFM should have a deep philosophical and operational agreement with such methods.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS/ TASKS:

Agricultural / Animal

  • Responsible for the organic, sustainable management of all operational aspects of the AMI agricultural and meat production including:  plant propagation, cultivation, succession planting, pest and nutrient management, harvesting, processing, distribution, quality and quantity control, organic orchard management, and animal husbandry (including poultry, apiary operations, and future bovine, swine, caprine, ovine and dairy operations).
  • Develop, establish and maintain the nourishment and health of the soil food web of AMI gardens to promote the health and vitality of the food we produce.
  • Manage and directly supervise the Lead Gardener.
  • Manage greenhouse propagation of seeds and starts.
  • Manage and develop crop rotation for season extension in the high tunnels.
  • Orchard management, including the establishment, pest protection, and plant guild selection of orchard and berry crops.
  • Manage mulching and weed control, including procurement of input materials.
  • Maintain garden tools and equipment storage; keep inventory and maintenance records.
  • Develop and maintain livestock facility as needed including grazing systems, fence and gate moving and repair, and water management.
  • Develop, establish, maintain healthy pasture management, disease control, and animal rotation.
  • Perform grass cutting and weed eating around gardens and orchards.
  • Invasive weed (Autumn Olive, Thistle) eradication, coordinated with Allegheny Farm Caretaker.

Facilities & General Management

  • Provide regular garden set up and maintenance, including:
  • Irrigation systems.
    Inspections and managing repairs of all farm infrastructure; garden fences; rodent control.
    Plan and implement an efficient, working composting system for garden and orchard use.
    Provide regular operational farm maintenance, including:
  • Water system inspections; report to Allegheny Caretaker if issues arise.
    General overseeing of operational facilities, including inspections and managing repairs of buildings and farm infrastructure.
    Manage High Tunnel / Greenhouse integrity and heating/cooling and ventilation systems.
    Fixing items or overseeing repairs done by others.
    Maintain Farm vehicle and equipment maintenance records.   The Farm Caretaker will be responsible for maintaining vehicles and equipment while the Allegheny Farm Manager will maintain record keeping for farm vehicle and equipment maintenance.
  • Research equipment purchase and schedule delivery or pick up as needed.
  • Assist in heavy lifting/moving as needed.
  • Provide regular waste removal from the Allegheny Farm.
  • Ensure high standard of cleanliness, neatness and order on the Allegheny Farm.
  • Establish processes for upkeep of pantries, cold storage, root cellars, and feed rooms to ensure appropriate temperatures / humidities, and the vitality, safety and quantities of foodstuffs to meet requirements.
  • Establish best practices and processes for the Allegheny Farm record keeping systems.
  • Manage budget for Farm expenditures, including ordering, purchasing, and maintaining records.
  • Manage and mentor Fellows on farm-related work and educational opportunities during Phase I of the Fellowship.
  • Meet with AMI staff team, once per week to review and plan assignments. Work closely and collaboratively with the AMI Education Director to ensure proactive guidance and supervision of Phase I Fellows and the learning environment.
  • Work in collaboration with Allegheny Farm Caretaker on routine maintenance needs of farm and equipment and with the AMI Farm Operations Committee on big picture strategic plans and needs of Allegheny Farm.
  • Perform administrative tasks essential to the smooth operation of the farm.
  • Participate in Open Houses, public visits and educational outreach events as needed.

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Virginia – Project GROWS hiring Education Manager

Verona, Virginia

Job Description
Title: Education Manager (part-time 30hrs/wk)

Reports to: Executive Director

Project GROWS (PG) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational farm with a mission to improve the overall health of children and youth in Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County, Virginia. We cultivate health by connecting children to nutritious food through 1) hands-on, garden-based education and 2) access to healthy local food. Project GROWS cultivates 4 acres of mixed vegetables and perennial fruit on our farm in Augusta County, Virginia where we grow 25,000 pounds of food each year. We serve over 3,000 local youth each year with gardening, nutrition, and cooking education, and partner with 22 local agencies on food programs including field trips, summer camps, and farm to school tastings.

General Statement of Responsibilities
The Education Manager (EM) will be responsible for coordinating and implementing all aspects of education programming at Project GROWS. The EM will implement programming at the farm and partner sites including but not limited to curriculum development and modification, on-site instruction, in-school instruction, and the development of learning gardens in the community. Along with the Farm Manager, the EM will supervise and mentor youth staff and education interns including Fellows from the Allegheny Mountain Institute. In addition, the EM will be expected to participate in ongoing design, planning, and maintenance of farm. The EM will:

·         Manage and collaborate with other staff, interns, and volunteers to provide nutrition, gardening, and cooking instruction to youth and adult participants at Project GROWS

·         Manage and collaborate with staff, interns, and community partners to modify and implement food education taking place at partner agency sites and farmer’s markets and at community events

·         Meet with youth staff and intern(s) on a weekly basis to discuss performance and growth and provide him/her with any support and assistance he/she may need

·         Develop systems for tracking quantitative and qualitative data in order to accurately measure the impact of educational programs and make necessary adjustments to the programs

·         Develop resources and aids to accompany lessons, working toward a holistic learning experience that takes a student from the classroom, to the farm, and beyond

·         Manage all aspects of communication with local school systems, including teachers, administrations and nutrition directors, facilitating and managing field trips, staff visits, and farm to school activities

·         Develop and implement workshops on nutrition and gardening in the community throughout the year

·         Develop new lessons and strategies for connecting children to nature, including a comprehensive summer camp curriculum

·         Serve as the liaison and coordinator for the Youth Education Committee (a committee of the Project GROWS Board), and recruit community partners as members

·         Participate regularly in farm maintenance and farmer’s market management, as needed

·         Work closely with the farm manager to develop education-focused spaces throughout the farm

·         Coordinate the monthly Project GROWS newsletter and manage other social media as required

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
Most importantly, Project GROWS seeks a flexible individual who is willing to take part in all PG responsibilities and be part of a dynamic team. Specifically for this position, Project Grows seeks an individual who is comfortable with and knowledgeable in development of curriculum, effective instructional strategies, and an interest in providing appropriate classroom management in a garden setting.  Has experience and knowledge of working with children and youth from diverse backgrounds. Possesses strong interpersonal skills and an ability to manage various community relationships. Is very organized and has strong communication skills including managing a high volume of email requests in a timely manner and coordinating all scheduling. In addition, knowledge of the flow of a full season in a production garden and a basic knowledge of Permaculture and/or sustainable food production is a plus. All Project GROWS’ staff must be able to lift 50 lbs and work outside in physically demanding environments.

 

Physical Attributes and/or Environmental Issues
The position is very much a “textured” position requiring of the Education Manager to be both comfortable in an outdoor setting engaging plants, comfortable working independently in an office setting, as well as comfortable providing instruction and/or workshops to youth on and off-site.

Other Requirements:
·         Cell phone communication

·         Frequent computer and internet access

·         Reliable transportation

·         A valid driver’s license

·         Ability to lift up to 50 pounds

·         Criminal background checks will be required for final applicants

Compensation
This is a year-round, 30 hr/wk position. Benefits include paid time off and a share of farm produce. Weekend availability is required for special education events and occasional farmer’s markets (May through September). This is a paid position starting at $15-$18 an hour negotiable based on experience.

TO APPLY
Please send a resume, cover letter, and 2 references to Jenna Clarke, Executive Director, at jenna@projectgrows.org.

Virginia – Hawk’s Journey Farm hiring Assistant Cattle Manager

Nelson County, Virginia

Assistant Cattle Manager

At Hawk’s Journey Farm, we combine Biological farming, Restoration Agriculture, Permaculture and Holistic Management to raise livestock, perennial food and herbs, and annual crops. We build the things we learn into training programs through our outreach and education company Simple Soil Solutions.  Our mission is to heal ourselves and our community, starting with the soil.  We are located in Gladstone, VA and border the James River. For more info about us:  Please check our websites at http://simplesoilsolutions.com/ and http://abc-beef.com, and our videos on VIMEO and YouTube

We are building our core team for the long run, and need a full-time person (40 – 50 hrs/wk) to work mostly with our grass fed beef cattle operation, under the direction of the Cattle Herd Manager and farm owner. We pay a living wage, invest in amazing training opportunities, and offer many other benefits as well.

We are seeking a full-time, healthy, hardworking, detail oriented person who knows they want to work with regenerative and holistic cattle operation as a life path.  We do have openings for internships, but for this position we are looking for a long term team member.

Are you generally happy and positive?  Do you have a passion for soil building and rebuilding our earth and communities from the ground up?  We believe in the power of intention and the law of attraction.  We work as a team with a lot of openness and trust, and willingness to take accountability for our own feelings and choices.  We believe that working on ourselves is the foundation for societal change.  We want to share deeply on our unique paths of personal transformation as we mirror ways we can help each other grow.  

Think of this position as joining a loving, healthy family.  We support each other when we are down, and are honest with each other even when it hurts.  We believe in positive change from both joyful and painful experiences.  We want to FEEL and TUNE IN to our emotions fully and learn the messages underneath them, for we see that there is gold beneath the challenges that teaches us about our spiritual growth.

Job tasks would include but are not limited to:

  • Setting up, taking down temporary electrical fence daily or several times daily (lots of walking on hills and in tall vegetation in all types of weather, year round)
  • Practicing low stress cattle handling techniques
  • Feeding hay, free choice cafeteria style minerals, and other supplements, and natural treatments such as essential oils
  • Cleaning water troughs daily
  • Participating in on-farm research
  • Making daily observations and writing log records to document what the cattle are eating (grass, hay, minerals, etc.), what treatments were applied, cattle health & habits, grazing plan, and others as season and animal health dictates
  • Pushing out round bales by hand (with assistance when needed)
  • Loading/unloading hay (square bales) by hand
  • Fence building/repair
  • Operating farm equipment, vehicles and trailers
  • Awareness/Mindfulness work with animals

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Virginia – The Sweet Leenie hiring Local Food Business Advocate

Northern Virginia

Looking for Local Food Business Advocate

The Sweet Leenie marketing team helps local food businesses connect with their communities. We provide professional grassroots support to entrepreneurs who need people that put as much thought, care, and devotion into connecting with customers as they put into their businesses.

What started as just a small band of passionate individuals supporting local food businesses has quickly grown and developed a reputation for helping entrepreneurs kick-start their goals into reality.

We are searching for smart, self-motivated, entrepreneurial individuals with a flair for marketing and a shared love for small business. We are NOT a corporate organization. Individuality is what makes the Sweet Leenie’s brand special.

We are a quickly growing business, so all positions offer the opportunity for further promotion within the company. This could entail any of the following potential rolls: sales, account acquisition, administrative duties, merchandising, social media consulting, and truly any way you could think to apply your natural skills to a developing business (photography, videography, systems consulting, brand development, etc.)

JOB FUNCTIONS

Field/grassroots marketing in local sales locations to provide exceptional customer service to stores and consumers. You will be expected to relay product knowledge to consumers and interact with store staff in a way that reflects positively on our clients, generating higher sales, brand loyalty, and positive store relations. Innovating demonstration displays and coordinating with store staff.

POSITION REQUIREMENTS

  • Self-motivated
  • Friendly
  • Must own vehicle/have valid driver’s license
  • Outgoing- “social butterfly” friend at the party/gift of gab
  • Entrepreneurial/problem solver
  • Good time management skills
  • Experience communicating with strangers
  • Understands importance of small business/community

Part-time
$18/hour (starting wage)

HOW TO APPLY

Email shelbykalm@gmail.com
Please include “Local Business Advocate” in the subject line, along with a resume, references, and a cover letter specifying why you have a strong passion for local food, and what you might bring to an entrepreneurial environment.

Virginia – The Sweet Leenie hiring Local Food Business Advocate

Northern Virginia

Looking for Local Food Business Advocate

The Sweet Leenie marketing team helps local food businesses connect with their communities. We provide professional grassroots support to entrepreneurs who need people that put as much thought, care, and devotion into connecting with customers as they put into their businesses.

What started as just a small band of passionate individuals supporting local food businesses has quickly grown and developed a reputation for helping entrepreneurs kick-start their goals into reality.

We are searching for smart, self-motivated, entrepreneurial individuals with a flair for marketing and a shared love for small business. We are NOT a corporate organization. Individuality is what makes the Sweet Leenie’s brand special.

We are a quickly growing business, so all positions offer the opportunity for further promotion within the company. This could entail any of the following potential rolls: sales, account acquisition, administrative duties, merchandising, social media consulting, and truly any way you could think to apply your natural skills to a developing business (photography, videography, systems consulting, brand development, etc.)

JOB FUNCTIONS

Field/grassroots marketing in local sales locations to provide exceptional customer service to stores and consumers. You will be expected to relay product knowledge to consumers and interact with store staff in a way that reflects positively on our clients, generating higher sales, brand loyalty, and positive store relations. Innovating demonstration displays and coordinating with store staff.

POSITION REQUIREMENTS

  •  Self-motivated
  • Friendly
  • Must own vehicle/have valid driver’s license
  • Outgoing- “social butterfly” friend at the party/gift of gab
  • Entrepreneurial/problem solver
  • Good time management skills
  • Experience communicating with strangers
  • Understands importance of small business/community

Part-time
$18/hour (starting wage)

HOW TO APPLY

Email shelbykalm@gmail.com
Please include “Local Business Advocate” in the subject line, along with a resume, references, and a cover letter specifying why you have a strong passion for local food, and what you might bring to an entrepreneurial environment.

West Virginia – Sprouting Farms Appalachian Croft and Training Center hiring Apprentices

Talcott, West Virginia
Sprouting Farms Appalachian Croft and Training Center is currently accepting Apprentice and Incubator Farm Applications!
Sprouting Farms is launching our first season at the Sprouting Farms incubator farm in Talcott WV, located in the beautiful Greenbrier River Valley of West Virginia.
We believe that long-lasting impact is created by training new farms in quality and sustainable production techniques, and providing shared resources and educational opportunities to the whole farm community.
Our program focuses on providing farmers solid business management and production skills along with hands-on apprenticeship, mentorship, and the land and resources necessary to launch, experiment, and refine their farm businesses. Click here to download project overview.
Applications for 2017 accepted February 1 – April 29, 2017.

A Sprouting Farms apprenticeship offers:

  • Land and resource access
    • Growing space up to 1/2 acre and use of onsite hoop-house space
    • Access to tools, equipment, and other production resources through the Resource Sharing program
  • Farm business course
    • Course will meet twice a week throughout the season and includes hands-on classes and farm business, production, and record-keeping classes.
    • Opportunity to develop, refine, and field-test your farm business plan before launch.
  • Paid apprenticeship & farm mentorship
    • 400 hour paid apprenticeship $9/hr over the course of the season (up to $3,600)
    • Apprentices have the opportunity to complete apprenticeship with with mentor farms in the region
Qualifications & application: . Please visit: http://www.sproutingfarms.org/apply.html to learn more and download the  Apprentice Application Packet. Please send your apprentice application, and resume via e-mail to admin@sproutingfarms.org