Hiring: Farm Assistant – New Lands Farm
Ascentria Care Alliance employees and volunteers take pride in the impact they have on the people they serve. It’s more than just a job, it’s an opportunity our employees have to care for and share in the lives of people who greatly need and appreciate their presence. Ascentria Care Alliance focuses on every child, elder, disabled person, refugee, endangered teen or teenage mom in order to build stronger communities one person at a time. This is an excellent opportunity to enhance the operations of a $65m non-profit social services organization with programs throughout New England.
New Lands Farm, a program of Ascentria Care Alliance, provides access to land, tools, and technical assistance to refugee and immigrant farmers to grow diverse produce for their own families and sell at local markets and businesses for supplemental income. New Lands Farm is a multicultural community farm working to create a more just and resilient food system and a diverse and inclusive local farming culture.
New Lands Farm is looking for a Farm Assistant to support the refugee and immigrant farmers at New Lands Farm in West Springfield. The Farm Assistant provides farm/field management and marketing assistance to the farmer collective. Refugee farmers represent diverse backgrounds and skills and play an important role in the local food system. The Farm Assistant will work with the Program Coordinator to ensure farmer access to appropriate tools, resources, and marketing opportunities and to ensure the long-term ecological sustainability and productivity of the farm.
Position is seasonal, 32 hours/week beginning April 4th 2016 through October 29th, 2016 with the possibility of extension. The position is benefit eligible.
- Maintain tools, equipment, and general farm site (basic repairs, field mowing, etc.)
- Coordinate farmers to perform volunteer hours and tasks (field mowing, clean/organize common areas, seasonal projects, i.e. cover cropping, mulching, etc.)
- Manage soil fertility for the whole farm; take soil samples and source appropriate amendments; work with Program Coordinator to develop soil fertility trainings for farmers
- Set-up and maintain irrigation system; assist farmers with proper setup of drip irrigation; promote water conservation; troubleshoot problems
- Train farmers on various marketing techniques and options
- Supervise farmers in the field during harvest and post-harvest handling
- Provide staffing support at farmers markets, farm stands and mobile market, such as display assistance, pricing assistance, coupon processing, and transportation to and from market
- Coordinate wholesale marketing including, identifying availability of produce in field, finding buyers, taking orders, packing, delivering, invoicing, tracking payments, and transporting produce
- Co-coordinate and lead farm volunteer projects for student groups and other community volunteers
- At least two years of on farm, growing food experience.
- At least two years of experience in networking, sales and marketing farm products
- Experience in field management and basic farm maintenance required
- Proficiency in Nepali, Kirundi, or Swahili strongly preferred
- Commitment to social justice and equity and a passion for promoting local agriculture
- Ability to work in adverse weather conditions and lift up to 50 pounds
- Strong record keeping, organization and computer skills
- Good oral and communication skills.
- Ability to handle situations with diplomacy and tact.
- Interest and experience with social media and other promotion/marketing tools
- Applicant must be a team player willing to take on additional tasks in the busiest parts of the season
- Ability to work in multi-cultural/multi-lingual environment and be sensitive to needs of clients from diverse cultural backgrounds.
- Ability to work within the mission of the organization.
- Must have valid driver’s license and proof of automobile insurance to transport clients and travel to various Ascentria and other sites throughout Massachusetts.
- Some weekend and evening hours required.
To Apply: Please submit cover letter & resume to MAJobs@ascentria.org. Reference requisition # 03111601.
Ascentria Care Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer