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Farm Manager Job Description for RE Farm Café, LLC

Mission: Windswept Farm is the home of RE Farm Café in Centre County Pennsylvania. RE Farm Café offers a unique dining experience that serves as a community resource, providing educational opportunities while expanding the diversity of agricultural production opportunities. RE Farm Café and Windswept Farm are designed to foster a healthy community of individuals who value our natural environment, support sustainable and regenerative farm practices, share a concern for the future, and are committed to healthy food grown with responsible intentions. In addition to providing a community resource for sustainability, RE Farm Café and Windswept Farm will provide a living, working experiential laboratory for the public, university students, farmers, school aged children, and learners of all ages. RE Farm Café, LLC, which comprises RE Farm Café and the farm operations of Windswept Farm, operates as a for profit business that requires long standing financial viability in order to carry out its mission. The ultimate goal is for Windswept Farm to provide the finest quality farm products to the people of Central Pennsylvania by utilizing the best regenerative agricultural practices for this particular location.  Both RE Farm Café and Windswept Farm are individually and conjointly parts of the local food system, with Windswept as producer and distributor, the Café as consumer and processor….together strengthening community connections.

Job Overview: The Farm Manager will develop and manage all aspects of Windswept Farm production fields including growing vegetables, fruits and herbs using biodynamic, organic methods; manage and care for the animals (currently chickens, ducks, lambs, and pasture pigs) on the farm; identify and sell in local markets (including but not limited to RE Farm Café, an on-line market and CSA); manage staff & interns; work with volunteers of all ages and experience; and speak to public groups that frequent the farm and RE Farm Cafe.  The Farm Manager will be an employee of the RE Farm Café, LLC and will be supervised by the managing partners of the LLC.

This position requires a strong, practical knowledge of agricultural skills, animal husbandry, and overall farm management best practices.  A passionate commitment to providing healthy foods grown in an ecologically responsible manner is essential. The manager has primary responsibility for the planning, coordination and implementation of all work and activities at Windswept Farm. Windswept Farm includes 57 acres of pasture and woods, and currently has roughly eight acres under plow with the potential to add more in the future as needed.


Key Requirements:

  • Supervise and teach staff, interns, and volunteers (patiently and respectfully);
  • Hire additional staff & interns (including bringing on volunteers) as approved by the managing members and ensuring they have read and understood the Employee Handbook;
  • Coordinate with RE Farm Cafe staff and managing partners, including weekly menu planning meetings and management meetings, and coordinate farm product needs with culinary, market and educational programs of RE Farm Cafe;
  • Create and update a Farm Management Plan, including annual field plans, and participate in planning for long-term farm development;
  • Plan and prepare finance reports, including setting up a budget for various farm enterprises and maintaining the farm enterprises within the set budget;
  • Maintain detailed records of all inputs and outputs for each enterprise, particularly product inventory and tracking;
  • Maintain standards of production to ensure the highest quality produce and meats;
  • Attend and present at educational opportunities, as requested by the managing partners, including but not limited to attending dinner service at the café to talk with customers, special events on the farm and cafe, and community events off the farm;
  • Inspect, maintain, acquire, and repair farm equipment and buildings, including greenhouse, high tunnels, barn, and animal shelters;
  • Order and acquire needed materials (seeds, feed, fertilizers, pesticides, etc.) and equipment;
  • Plan and implement weekly planting and harvesting schedules, including supporting a CSA program and coordinating delivery of goods to the consumers;
  • Monitor the entire production activities by tracking actual production and comparing to set production goals and identifying & correcting any production issues;
  • Create and implement a plan for insect, pest, and weed control, fertility monitoring and general field observation;
  • Perform laborious farm activities such as driving tractors on field, operating field based machinery and equipment, and managing livestock;
  • Plan, install, and maintain irrigation systems;
  • Create and implement soil building program including composting;
  • Install, maintain and monitor all animal fencing and shelters;
  • Implement, document and monitor health and safety procedures for the farm by, for example, keeping track of the health and safety of workers and visitors, , and undertaking environment and safety protections as necessary as part of the Farm Safety Management Plan;
  • Assist with marketing and outreach efforts of Windswept Farm and RE Farm Cafe;
  • Integrate and coordinate farm activities with RE Farm Café service, events and programs;
  • Establish and maintain clear communication protocols with managing members to ensure alignment of goals and keep current on the progress of the overall RE Farm Café LLC project;
  • Supervise three or more farm workers.

Qualifications:

  • Experience working in a team environment with proven leadership skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently, be self-motivated, cooperative, and flexible;
  • Demonstrated good decision making skills and organizational & record keeping skills;
  • Possession of a minimum of  two years’ experience or equivalent of full-season farm management, including experience with animals;
  • Demonstrated farm planning experience and working knowledge of farm infrastructure;
  • Interest in and aptitude for developing cooperative educational and commercial relationships with individuals and groups in the Centre County area; 
  • Experience in growing using organic/biodynamic principles;
  • Experience working with farm machinery;
  • Possession of a current driver’s license;
  • Possession of basic carpentry and mechanic skills;
  • Interest in working with and teaching volunteers, including youth, college students and adults, and obtaining clearances for working with youth;
  • Demonstrated good communication skills;
  • Ability to repeatedly lift 50 pounds;
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends;
  • Willingness to live on the farm

Salary will be based on experience. Housing (two bedroom apartment) and basic utilities are provided on the farm and are part of the compensation package. Additional benefits include paid leave, health insurance, and retirement plan. Produce, meat and café meals may be available for personal consumption (without, or for minimal, costs). The RE Farm Café, LLC is interested in retaining the right individual for a long-term commitment and may offer ownership opportunities after a certain tenure.

Resumes can be submitted to RE Farm Café, LLC by mail at 600 W. Foster Ave., State College, PA 16801 or electronically to monica@refarmcafe.com.

Deadline for submission is March 11, 2020 or until filled.