Director of Farm Operations
Sole Food Street Farms is seeking a Director of Farm Operations to manage and work alongside a large staff including long-time employees and seasonal volunteers. The position will be expected to actively participate in all day-to-day activities with employees in addition to applicable administration work. The right candidate will be production driven, but also socially engaged and excited about working with diverse groups of people in an urban environment.
Who We Are
Sole Food Street Farms is an internationally recognized social enterprise that transforms vacant urban land into street farms that grow artisan quality fruits and vegetables, available at farmer’s markets, local restaurants and through a CSA program. Our mission is to empower individuals with limited resources by providing jobs, agricultural training and inclusion in a supportive community of farmers and food lovers. Individuals are given basic agriculture training and employed at the farm based on their capability. Some participants excel in this environment, but the project is set up to allow for the “ups and downs” of people with multiple barriers. Unlike mainstream employers, Sole Food uses employment as an outreach tactic, working to develop and nurture relationships with people of diverse backgrounds.
With few significant food production farms within the city, the project provides educational opportunities, a place to learn new skills and an opportunity for self-growth. Sole Food now includes a network of four farms throughout the city of Vancouver that provide meaningful employment to 25 individuals. The farms supply fresh food to inner city residents and model a credible model of high quality intensive urban agriculture.
The successful candidate will work closely with the outgoing Director of Farm Operations and Executive Director to implement Sole Food’s seasonal farm plan and manage time and staffing to efficiently meet production requirements. The right person will enjoy a mentorship period alongside current leadership with the goal of transitioning into the Director of Farm Operations role in March 2020. The candidate should be ready to make a multi-year commitment to our organization.
Farm Site Management
- Maintain steady harvest flow for four farmers’ markets, CSA and twice-weekly restaurant deliveries
- Ensure consistent and timely harvests of quality produce
- Help with post-harvest processing as needed
- Communicate product availability to Distribution Coordinator for use in sales decisions
- Create and submit to Executive Director a detailed annual crop plan including rotations, planting map, greenhouse seeding, seed inventory, and plant and seed orders
- Maintain seed inventory/ordering and manage propagation
- Maintain soil health, weed management and cultivation, monitor for pests and diseases issues, and manage all irrigation
- Maintain all sites in a clean and orderly fashion
- Address theft and vandalism
- Maintenance of all farm equipment and facilities, supervision of repair and maintenance work
- Maintain accurate records of all farm activities
- Create weekly work schedule for farm site staff, farmers’ market, CSA, and Seasonal Volunteers
- Adjust work flow to fit the needs of the farm and staff availability
- With other managers, help plan staff retreats, staff meetings, staff parties, and monthly workshops
- Oversee the work of the Distribution Coordinator, Farm Supervisors and farm staff
- Ensure that Distribution Coordinator and Farm Supervisors have information, tools, supplies and support to do their jobs effectively
- Create opportunities for staff recognition and appreciation
- Encourage capacity building in all staff members to further organizational development and help staff realize their full potential
- Participate in on-farm training for staff
- Provide support to staff when needed and keep informed of staff well-being, needs, and concerns
- Perform tours or other farm-related public activities as needed
- Work with community partners to support programming for staff members
- With Executive Director and Administrative Director, participate in budget planning for current and future years
- Minimum of 3+ years of agricultural production experience, with at least one year in a leadership role
- Demonstrated understanding of sustainable and organic production
- Experience with irrigation, basic farm tools/equipment, and basic mechanics/plumbing/carpentry skills
- Strong organizational skills including: multi-tasking, prioritizing, planning, and effective time management
- Motivated, flexible and able to work independently
- Fluency in written and spoken English
- Demonstrated experience working with diverse populations
- Valid driver’s license and ability to drive manual transmission and larger vehicles
- Access to computer and phone
- Be in excellent physical condition and able to lift 50 lbs
- Patient and compassionate, a good sense of humour and excellent interpersonal skills.
- Fluency in spoken Spanish and/or Kiswahili a plus.
This is a full-time position covering a maternity leave beginning in Feb/March 2020. Workflow will vary according to operational requirements. Must be available to work weekends and occasional evenings. Salary commensurate with experience includes two weeks paid vacation, extended health benefits, and discounts on farm products.
Please send resume, cover letter and three work related references to email@example.com . Please include Director of Farm Operations in the subject line of the email. Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate has been identified.