McKay Farm and Research Station
McKay Farm and Research Station is Unity College’s multi-faceted greenhouse and field facility in Thorndike, Maine. It is a working production farm, with herbs and produce available in local grocery stores. Certified by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, the five greenhouses and one-acre production fields integrate Maine’s leading farm-to-table movement with community relationships. Additionally, the farm provides contract growing services and bench rental space to local farmers and the general public as an opportunity for seed-starting, overwintering, or, perhaps, maintaining a delicate plant collection.
54 Greenhouse Ln Unit 1, Thorndike, ME 04986
Hours and Work Season
We currently have full-time, part-time and seasonal positions available.
$15 – $17.50
The Farm Hand position is responsible for providing agricultural services and hands on support to McKay Farm and Research Station. The Farm Hand is responsible for performing daily field and greenhouse operations at McKay Farm, including production, seeding & transplanting, field planting, weeding, irrigation, harvesting, washing and packing produce. This position also contributes to customer service, marketing, and sales of farm services and products.
McKay Farm and Research Station is Unity Colleges multi-faceted greenhouse and field facility located on 27-acres in Thorndike, Maine. Certified by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), it is a working production farm, with herbs and produce sold wholesale to local grocery stores. The Farm Hand supports and is supported by other members of Sustainable Ventures and works with all constituencies to realize the Unity College Mission and Strategic Plan.
Day to day responsibilities:
Performs daily crop production activities in the field including bed preparation, mowing, mulching, watering, weeding, fertilization, planting, harvest, post-harvest handling, cover crop management, and pest management.
Performs daily greenhouse activities including filling and seeding flats and pots, watering when necessary and routine monitoring of environmental conditions and adjusting accordingly.
Monitor’s condition of farm equipment and performs routine maintenance of all farm vehicles and equipment. Report’s problems and works closely with farm management to ensure proper operation, maintenance, and repair.
Operates outdoor/indoor irrigation systems.
Operates farm equipment such as tractors, mowers, field implements and forklift.
Contributes to record keeping efforts for evaluation of venture, productivity, energy use, and sustainability, as well as requirements for compliance with MOFGA Organic certification.
Conducts wholesale and retail sales and updates database of customers and sales. Takes orders and makes deliveries.
Operates the point-of-sale system, including running cards and collecting payment from customers.
Demonstrates accurate cash management and inventory control accountability.
Provides excellent customer service; acts in a courteous and professional manner when greeting guests at the facility.
Monitor’s inventory and recommends purchases of needed equipment and supplies.
Follows protocols for safe use of chemicals.
Performs repairs on buildings, irrigation systems, ventilation systems as needed.
Maintains grounds for year-round visual appeal by performing regular mowing, trimming, weeding, mulching, and landscaping.
Assists with the setup of displays both inside the greenhouses and outside as needed.
Works continuously to improve safety at the facility by communicating and following safety guidelines; helps to identify and mitigate risks and demonstrates safe work habits.
Works with the Manager to maintain an organized, inviting, safe and sanitary environment.
Operating hours and time on-site will vary and may require early mornings, evenings, and/or weekends.
Performs other duties as assigned.
High School Diploma or GED equivalent
Relevant experience working in a greenhouse agricultural setting.
Implements a hands-on approach to assist with the management of daily operations.
Ability to work as part of a team or independently as needed.
Working knowledge of MS Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
Must possess a positive attitude.
Effective verbal and written communication skills with all levels of the organization and with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
Organized and able to juggle multiple tasks at the same time and establish priorities for meeting deadlines, using time efficiently.
Exercises independent judgement on a regular basis.
Ability and willingness to work with students from diverse political/socioeconomic backgrounds and a wide range of physical and academic abilities.
Contributes to the Colleges commitment to sustainability and contributes to the Colleges commitment to support a diverse and inclusive working and learning environment.
Demonstrates commitment to Unity Colleges core values and serves as a role model for the Colleges standards of conduct.
Personal commitment to the environmental focus and mission of the college.
Ensures compliance with established Unity College policies & procedures
A good driving record with the ability to obtain a valid Maine Drivers License.
Ability to function effectively within a matrix organizational structure
Unity Environmental University does require the covid-19 vaccination up to the first dose of the booster. We follow all EEOC accommodation requirements.
Bachelors degree, in agricultural sciences or a related discipline.
1 – 3 years relevant experience working in a greenhouse agricultural setting.
Knowledge of Integrated Pest Management principles and practices, plant propagation and culture methods, soil and growth media preparation required.
Working knowledge of fertilizers and pesticides, including how, why and when to apply, relevant safety and legal requirements, and the correct use of related equipment.
Ability to identify crop plants and their problems (disease, pests, and others).
Ability to conduct routine maintenance and small repairs on equipment such as tractors and farm implements, forklift, climate control systems, chemical sprayers, and hand tools.
Experience with carpentry and/or mechanical repair.
Are you contemplating the job but uncertain if you should apply? We encourage you to reach out to us regardless. At our company, we acknowledge that not everyone begins their professional journey with equal advantages, opportunities, or privileges. Therefore, we value your unique skills and experiences. Take a chance and submit your application; you may be precisely the individual we’re searching for!
Work hours are specific to the requirements of this position and can include days, evenings, weekends. Working extended hours may be required as needed and Unity Environmental University employees must be flexible and cooperative in fulfilling their responsibilities while meeting the College’s needs.
Although At Unity Environmental University Enterprise employees are generally scheduled to work at their base location, there are times when travel is necessary and employees are required from time to time to attend events, meetings or work temporary assignment at any At Unity Environmental University location.
While performing the duties of this job, it is regularly required to sit and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand or walk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 20 lbs. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. The use of either hand for repetitive movements such as grasping, grasping, and turning, and fine manipulation is required as is the ability to use the telephone for internal and external communications.
Benefits are only applicable for the full-time position:
Compensation and Benefits:
Unity Environmental University offers a comprehensive and competitive compensation and benefits package for eligible employees, including:
Generous salary $15.00 – $17.50 per hour
17 days of paid time off annually
10 day paid sustainability break in off-season
Retirement Plan with up to 8% match
Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance
Short- and Long-term disability
What to Expect from Us
Professional development and skill building is scaffolded throughout the apprentice’s time at Chewonki, focused on the areas of livestock, pasture, gardens, and forestry management. We meet as a full crew twice daily, and the apprentices each meet with their supervisor (the Farm Manager) one-on-one monthly for check-ins. Additionally, the full crew has a standing check-in each month and engages in monthly diversity, equity, and inclusion focused reflections. Professional development funds support skill building on- and off-farm. The farm team is committed to collaboration and works collectively to make mission-driven decisions while balancing production and education in a dynamic work environment. Additional mentorship is offered to the Farm Apprentice taking on residential responsibilities within the Maine Coast Semester program.