Farmer Trainer

at Project Eats

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Full Time

United States

Closing date: 2020-08-03

Knowledge fields

Project EATS occupies a unique space in the urban agricultural landscape of New York City. Our mission is to create community-based food systems that situate small-plot, high-yield urban farms in low-wealth communities and complements them with programs that support residents to help develop and sustain food systems that can enhance their lives and transform their communities. Since 2009, we have developed and operated 20 farms in low-wealth communities throughout New York City. Currently we operate five ground-level and two rooftop soil-based farms that range in size from 3,000 square feet to approximately 2 acres.

Our farms and food production enterprise support a holistic programmatic ecosystem that advances our mission by improving access to economic opportunity, community cohesion and support, and wellness.

Our education and training pipeline cultivate a resident workforce capable of taking over the operation of the farms with minimal ongoing support from Project EATS. Our after-school programming and classroom curricula deliver experiential learning projects and hands-on farm training for students at ‘low-resource’ schools with which we partner. Our workforce development training provides experience and skills for youth and adult community residents in farming, farm stand operations and sales, product production and procurement, and nutrition.

About the Role:

It is expected that the Farm Trainer will immediately:

  • Get to know Project EATS farm operations – its history, culture, structure, and operations;
  • Establish a strong partnership with the Director of Farm Operations built on trust in their skills and experience and a shared vision for the training and development of professional community farmers capable of supporting the overall operation and growth of PE farms;
  • Assume day-to-day responsibility for the management and operation of providing farm training for youth and adults on PE and partner farms and through our school programs.

Key Responsibilities:

Additionally, the Farmer Trainer will have ongoing responsibility to:

Leadership

  • Develop and model a training environment that values and rewards high performance, continuous learning, integrity, quality and impact
  • Lead trainings in which trainees and volunteers achieve and exceed goals and levels of skill, responsibility and performance
  • Work with the Farm Operations Director to ensure our training program reflects Project EATS core values and beliefs
  • Oversee a training program that supports Project EATS’s ability to scale and expand its network of community-based food systems with maximum impact and efficiency
  • Work with community partners, public high schools, and organizations to promote 21st century employment and careers in farming
  • Work as a thought partner to our Community Catalyst and PE partners to create opportunities for promoting and recruiting youth and adult trainees

People Management

Develop skilled and dedicated trainees who have comprehensive skills and knowledge in basic agricultural principles including bio-intensive planting techniques, high rotation and bi-rotation crop successions and balancing soil fertility to maximize crop yields in limited urban spaces that provide the community with ease of access to healthy, nutritious, ultra-local food

  • Plan, develop and manage the operation of PE training sites where trainees are delegated responsibility for growing food throughout their training
  • Advance a training culture at Project EATS that supports highly productive trainees who seek meaningful opportunities to expand their development and growth
  • Set clear expectations and delegate responsibilities to trainees that allow them to train and assist in managing new trainees and volunteers
  • Provide trainees with information, systems, tools and opportunities to achieve the goals and outcomes they are assigned
  • Provide ongoing feedback, instruction, and scheduled performance reviews during and at the end of their training
  • Be a thought partner with the Regional Farm Manager to determine the tasks, level of skill and competence trainees and volunteers need in order to achieve high performance before being assigned to work on production farms
  • Delegate work and responsibilities to trainees and volunteers and oversee that they are developing mastery of farming skills and techniques when assigned to work on production farms
  • Cultivate existing and new partnerships for the program that increase community awareness and participation in our training, school, and volunteer programs
  • Represent the training program at community and public meetings, to public leaders and in local media
  • Coordinate and oversee trainee projects with PE rural farm partners
  • Encourage and support trainee ideas and innovations for improving and increasing the impact and performance of PE farms on their communities

Farm Training Operations & Management

  • Develop crop plan, manage the operation and maintain clean, productive, and attractive training farms at all times
  • Maintain farm equipment, materials, supplies and all other resources in good working condition
  • Maintain timely and accurate crop and farm data consistent with Project EATS record-keeping protocols that provides a comprehensive record of what was done and occurred on each farm site each year

Finances & Administration

  • Prepare preliminary budget for farmer training
  • Prepare and submit purchase orders for farmer training to the Farm Operations Director for processing
  • Keep and submit all financial receipts and records to Farm Operations Director
  • Maintain and provide accurate attendance of farmer trainees and volunteers in training sessions

Ideal Experience:

The ideal candidate should have:

  • 4 or more seasons of agricultural farming using organic methods. Skill and experience in small-plot and intensive farming methods are a plus
  • Success managing one or more aspects of a market farm operation
  • Knowledge and understanding of the principles and science of agriculture
  • Demonstrable track record in teaching, training and/or managing first-time farmers and volunteers
  • Knowledge and experience in intensive growing techniques
  • Clear and effective verbal and written communicator and an active and attentive listener
  • Experienced in delegating responsibilities and holding self and others accountable for their performance
  • Skilled at planning, negotiating, problem solving, and addressing challenges resourcefully and with agility. Finds the “can” in “can’t”
  • Knowledge and experience using small farming tools and experience repairing farm tools and equipment is a plus
  • A valid drivers license, experience and comfort driving and operating a commercial van in NYC

Personal Characteristics:

The successful candidate should be:

  • Self-starter and passionate about growing food
  • Works accurately and efficiently
  •  Thrives on getting things done
  • Sets clear expectations and holds themselves and their direct reports accountable for achieving them
  • Motivated and comfortable working with diverse groups of people
  • Routinely achieves the highest quality and standards in their work
  • Seek opportunities to improve their skills and experience
  • Fully aligned with, and committed to, the mission, vision and goals of Project EATS