The Farm Operations Manager is responsible for overall farm management and stewardship of SBCA’s Liberation Farms, as well as training and collaborating with staff to ensure successful implementation of the farming program. During the growing season, the position will be based at our farm property in Wales, ME. In the off-season, the Farm Operations Manager & Educator may work remotely or from the SBCA office in Lewiston when appropriate. Experience working with diverse populations, participatory adult education, and experience managing diversified vegetable operations are necessary prerequisites for this position.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Farmer Training and Education (20%)
– Conduct listening sessions to determine what farmers are interested in learning and what ways they learn best.
– Connect with Iskaashito commercial farmers individually and as a group to determine what farmers are interested in learning and what ways they learn best, often troubleshooting in the field.
– Address needs of Family farmers as they arise, coordinating with the field team to create systems that promote farmer independence and accessibility.
– Provide support to farmer participants growing on the site as requested, and to staff utilizing the space for other programming.
Farm Management (30%)
– Work closely with Market Manager, Executive Director, Farm Committee, and commercial Iskaashito farmers to develop seedling production and planting plans.
– Work closely with Farm Manager, Farm & Markets Coordinator, and Farm Committee to execute seedling and transplanting plans.
– Research, purchase, and deliver key production materials to farmers in coordination with Farm Manager and Farm & Markets Coordinator.
– Develop short-term and long-term soil fertility plans and work collaboratively with participating farmers and stakeholders to design, finalize, and implement plans.
– Organize and manage building and infrastructure projects that advance the goals of the farmers and ensure long term success. Oversee infrastructure maintenance and repair as needed.
– Determine and execute all necessary activities for seedling and greenhouse management including seed and soil purchase, materials procurement, seeding, watering, seedling distribution, and maintenance.
– Provide health and management related assistance and expertise to the goat herd, including purchasing feed, scheduling feed amounts, teaching and applying medicines, sourcing appropriate tools, supplies, connecting farmers and staff with outside workshops, and meeting with veterinarians when necessary.
Other Duties and Responsibilities (30%)
– Fully engage in vision development for the farm as it relates to the larger organization and community well-being.
– Develop, oversee, and monitor farm budget with the Office & Finance Coordinator (annual and capital expenses), and contribute to grant writing efforts with activities, budget, and infrastructure needs.
– Maintain communication and positive working relationships with SBCA’s partners, leasees, and service providers such as Land for Good, UMaine Cooperative Extension, NRCS, etc.
– Prepare materials and hold landholder/lessee meetings and mediation sessions as needed.
– Attend relevant workshops, trainings, and conferences. Review professional materials and literature.
– Provide research and budget preparation for all farm-related grant applications, working closely with SBCA staff and partners.
– Perform other project-related duties as required, including weekly staff meetings and other related meetings via zoom and in person.
– Provide overall support to a diverse team of people working to keep daily farm operations running smoothly. Help determine work plans, project goals and deadlines.
– Work one-on-one to provide support and training to the Property Manager and Farm & Markets Coordinator, who can reinforce that knowledge with farmers in the program. This includes, but is not limited to, technical assistance in areas of farm production and operations.
– Support whole farm system management by coordinating with Property Manager and Farm & Markets Coordinator in overseeing pre-season preparation, tilling, soil nutrient management, crop planning, opening new fields, planting, irrigation design and setup, postseason cleanup, high tunnel management, livestock management, and other seasonal and ongoing farming activities.
– Participate in job creation, hiring, review, and training of new staff and employees.
Qualifications & Experience
– 5+ years of experience with production-scale diversified vegetable and livestock farming preferred, with experience in all aspects of farm planning and employee management.
– Experience working or training in cross-cultural environments, and/or experience with participatory adult education.
– Experience providing services and support to minority and disenfranchised communities.
– Experience working with ESOL and preliterate/limited literacy people.
– Direct experience developing and managing complex on-the-ground farming operations.
– Detail oriented and able to track farming practices and field records as well as project expenses.
– Past experience tracking and managing farm budgets.
– Excellent written, oral, and intercultural communication skills.
– Reliable transportation, cell phone, and valid driver’s license. Employees are expected to use their own vehicle and personal cell phone for work.
– Ability and willingness to drive to the farm site and delivery locations.