Gaining Ground is a nonprofit, no-till organic farm in Concord, Massachusetts, that supplies fresh, high-quality vegetables, herbs, maple syrup, and honey to emergency meal programs in Boston and the surrounding region. Our mission is simple: We grow organic produce for hunger relief with help from volunteers of all ages and abilities who work and learn in our gardens. Everything we grow is given away.
Our innovative approach is over 26 years old. It combines organic, sustainable agriculture with community volunteerism to improve equitable access to nutritious, fresh produce. We cultivate approximately three acres of farmland leased from the Town of Concord and Massport. Last year we supplied more than 126,000 pounds of fresh food to those in need. Our grassroots organization thrives on committed, friendly individuals who support our mission with enthusiasm and a sense of humor.
About the Job
Gaining Ground is looking for an exceptional candidate to fill the role of farm manager. The farm manager will possess significant experience with and knowledge of no-till, organic vegetable production, a demonstrated aptitude in managing a team of farmers and engaging with more than 2,500 annual volunteers, and a healthy, self-motivated work ethic. We are looking for a new farm manager to come on board this fall to train under the current farm manager, who will be departing at the end of the year.
This position requires robust and practical knowledge of agricultural skills and farm management, and a passionate commitment to hunger relief and equitable access to nutritious food. The farm manager has primary responsibility for the planning, coordination, and implementation of all farm activities in a manner that supports the mission as defined by the board of directors.
The farm manager is accountable to the board of directors and executive director and is responsible for sound agricultural and business management of the farm operation.
Primary Job Responsibilities
1. Oversee and manage: All produce and flower production (125,000+ pounds annually) on the farm, including heated greenhouse, hoop houses, caterpillar tunnels, and field production.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Managing a team of four or more employees as well as any farm contractors. Training new farm staff. Creating a daily work schedule for the farm team. Overseeing and participating in daily farm work.
- Maintaining the farm, including tools and machinery, as well as essential maintenance, such as plumbing, electrical, and light construction work as needed.
- Creating and managing a watering schedule for a greenhouse, hoop houses, and production fields.
- Developing extensive annual crop plans, as well as weekly cultivation, harvesting, and distribution plans. Ordering seeds and planning and implementation of weekly planting schedule. Keeping crop records.
- Managing the maple syrup production.
- Continuing our soil-health program and refining our no-till system.
2. Work with the executive director to create an annual farming budget, for which the farm manager will primarily be responsible.
3. Work with the program manager to support the volunteer program, which includes up to 2,500 annual volunteers of all ages and abilities. Provide regular lists of farm tasks that match with volunteer/educational goals.
4. Attend regular board and committee meetings.
The ideal candidate will be willing to make a commitment of at least three years and possess the following qualifications and experience:
- A minimum of three years of farm/greenhouse management or five years of farm work experience.
- Excellent communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, including a proven track record of working in a cooperative team environment that requires a high level of planning, and organization.
- Ability to work well with a variety of community members. In addition, the experience and desire to work with and teach new farm crew members and volunteers.
- Experience with operating, maintaining, and repairing machinery and power equipment.
- Knowledge of the principles of soil biology, no-till crop production, using cover crops, soil testing, and/or other ecological/organic growing methods.
- Knowledge of maple syrup practices.
- Building/construction experience a plus.
- A willingness and ability to work outdoors in all types of weather, under potentially strenuous conditions.
- A detail-oriented approach, with considerable attention to order, cleanliness, and an ongoing commitment to improving systems and practices.
- Knowledge of Google Drive.
- A desire to produce food of the highest nutritional and ecological quality, and to continue to learn and grow as a person and farmer. Continuous personal development is encouraged and supported at Gaining Ground.
- A calm, grounded presence.
- Deep humility and a good sense of humor.
- A valid driver’s license
- Ability to use a large tractor and BCS
- Ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds
- Cell phone communication
- Reliable transportation
- Satisfactory background and reference checks
This is a full-time job. During the growing season, a typical workweek is approximately 50-60 hours/week; in the off-season, the typical workweek is 25-30 hours/week. THESE ARE ESTIMATES. Some evenings and weekends are required during the growing season and for special events.
Salary and Benefits
- This position will provide a competitive salary based on the market and the applicant’s experience, among other factors. Typically, an annual evaluation will be conducted, at which time compensation levels are reviewed.
- 75% of annual health care insurance premium covered by Gaining Ground.
- Paid vacation and sick time.
- Personal and professional development opportunities in consultation with the executive director.
- The opportunity to work, learn, inspire, and be inspired alongside dedicated staff and board on a beautiful organic farm in a unique community!