2023 HARVEST MANAGER & CREW LEAD
Wild Hope Farm
Wild Hope Farm is a certified organic farm in Chester, SC, specializing in vegetable and flower production. The 220 acre property consists of 12 acres in cultivation, greenhouses, walking trails, a 10-acre pond, and diversified natural areas. The farm is in its 6th year of operation with 2 greenhouses, 2 high tunnels, 3 production vegetable fields, and a 1/2 acre flower field. We have a crew of 8-15 members at peak, living on or in close proximity to the farm. Our produce, flowers, and Watson Farm eggs are sold through a 300-400 person farm share (38 weeks), wholesale to local food distributors (Freshlist, Grow Food, and Happy Dirt), and at 2 farmers markets (Matthews & Uptown farmers markets). We have a strong customer base and try to maintain a high CSA retention rate through surveys and other feedback channels as well as on farm gatherings. We also host complementary on-farm events once a month to cultivate community and share knowledge around our farming practices.
At Wild Hope, we demonstrate efficiency, profitability and productivity while being good stewards of the land. We share our knowledge and optimized growing systems with the greater farming community and explore the boundaries of organic farming in the southeast.
We are looking for a career farmer interested in a management position on an organic production farm. This person or persons will work in collaboration with our experienced team of managers (farm manager, field assistant, propagation manager, market & pack shed manager, operations manager) as well as our less experienced crew (seasonal & summer harvesters). This is an exciting opportunity for those who want to help run a well established farm and profitable production farm with robust sales channels.
Harvest/CSA Tasks: You oversee all daily harvest for the CSA and wholesale channels. You are responsible for handling finished produce from the field to customer boxes. You are in charge of planning the harvest and dividing the produce between the different sales channels, in cooperation with the Packshed Market Manger and the management team. As the harvest task leader, you are responsible for the crew’s performance, promoting safety, efficiency, and quality in all tasks. You are responsible for getting everyone going during harvests and at various transition points. You are responsible for checking in with the other managers to discuss the daily project schedule. Other managers and assistants will lead the crew for field tasks or internal projects including but not limited to transplanting or other field activities, flower work, propagation and construction.
- Create a safe, healthy tempo and work atmosphere
- Giving different work assignments to multiple crews and following up as needed
- Overseeing daily harvest, washing, and packing operations
- Creating weekly estimates of harvest totals based on field supply
- Creating weekly default menus for the CSA
- Overseeing CSA pack and quality control
- Ordering packaging materials as needed
- Communicating with the Pack Shed Manager about cooler inventory
- Research and implement ideas to enhance the food safety plan and ensure proper adherence to guidelines throughout the season
- Meeting daily with field manager to discuss supply and harvest issues
- Delegate the data logging
- Help run the end of season assessments and discussions
- Coordinate with other managers to see what tasks need to be accomplished and how to prioritize them
- Work with the farm manager to create the daily task list for the crew including harvest, pack and field tasks
- Make sure the crew has the correct tools, seeds, supplies, etc for the task at hand
- If not working directly with a group or individual on a task, periodically check in to make sure everything is going well and meeting standards
- Anticipate what is needed for the next activity, facilitating smooth transitions for the crew
- Monitor overall pace and efficiency of the crew and implement ways to improve this
- Ensure everything from the day gets put away – tools, vehicles, tractors, etc.
- Be another set of eyes and ears – proactively bring up any issues you notice with the farm or personnel
- Help to create a fun but focused work environment for the team
- Ensure crew is following safety protocol for any task or project
Management tasks: You are a key leader in the farm and your input is critical to the farms’ successes. Come to monthly meetings prepared and ready to share at a high level. Take on special tasks/projects as assigned.
Wholesale Tasks: Carry out our 2023 wholesale plan based on field availability and customer needs. Maintain ongoing relationships with wholesalers and work with the farm manager to analyze the profitability of various outlets.
Winter Specific Tasks: Help manage the 3 month (Jan-March) 100 member CSA in collaboration with our Pack Shed Manager.
- At least 3 seasons harvesting at an outdoor vegetable farm (CSA farm experience preferred)
- Experience managing or leading a crew for 1 season or more
- Solid understanding of harvest methods for all types of vegetables
- Knowledge of vegetable storage methods and requirements
- Knowledge of food safety standards
- Ability to identify all types of vegetables and sort/grade produce for quality
- Excellent organizational skills
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to use Excel and/or Airtable
- Ability to efficiently manage and motivate people during harvest and packing operations
- The ability to lift at least 50 lbs
- The ability to work in heat, cold, and rain
- Ability to stand, bend, kneel, and lift frequently
THE WORK SCHEDULE – full time, year round Jan – early February 5 days/week We will work somewhat flexible hours during the winter weeks, depending on your interest and our needs. We anticipate that your winter schedule will involve spending 3 days/wk overseeing the winter CSA and 2 days working on other winter projects. You are welcome to take unpaid time off during this time. The management team works 35 hrs/week but gets paid for 40 hrs/week.
Late Feb through December 2023 – full time
The work at Wild Hope Farm is seasonal and the length of the workday varies within the busy season. The pay for agricultural work at Wild Hope Farm is exempt from overtime pay. Managers work approximately 45 hrs/wk. The expectation is that the work day or week will last until the job is finished. There will be meetings and miscellaneous tasks that need to get done after the work day is over.
- Salaried position based on experience
- 401k 3% matching after a continuous year of employment.
- Additional profit sharing bonus if we are able
- Help direct our leadership retreat and guide the strategic planning for 2024
- Provided additional leadership training and conference attendance
- Provided unlimited fresh produce from the farm
- 2 weeks paid vacation, 2 paid personal days and 5 paid sick days (pro-rated assuming year-round employment)
Compensationthis position is : salaried, 35,568* – 50k
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If you are not registered, you'll be prompted to do so. Don't worry, it's free!DeadlineApril 01, 2023