Sole Food Street Farms in Vancouver, BC is seeking a Director of Farm Operations to manage and support a large staff including long-time employees and seasonal volunteers. The position will be expected to actively participate in all daily farm activities in as well as administration and planning. The right candidate will be production driven but also socially engaged and excited about working with diverse groups of people in an urban environment.
About Sole Food Street Farms
Sole Food Street Farms is an urban farm located in the City of Vancouver. We grow out of boxes placed on vacant urban land, totalling approximately 3 acres of growing space and are production driven. We grow a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs, including mediterranean fruits from our orchard. We use sustainable farming practices and farm almost entirely using hand tools. Peak season, we sell at three farmers markets, approximately 60 restaurants and a 50 member CSA.
Sole Food Street Farms is an internationally recognized social enterprise that transforms vacant urban land into street farms to 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 tool, working to develop and nurture relationships with people of diverse backgrounds.
The Director of Farm Operations (DOFO) will work closely with the outgoing outgoing DOFO and Executive Director to implement Sole Food’s seasonal farm plan, manage time and staffing to efficiently meet production requirements and execute our social mission. The right person will enjoy an extensive mentorship alongside current leadership with the goal of transitioning into the DOFO role in summer 2019. The ideal candidate will be ready to make a multi-year commitment to our organization.
Farm Site Management
- Maintain steady harvest flow for three farmers’ markets, CSA and twice-weekly Fresh Sheet
- Ensure consistent and timely harvests for quality produce
- Help with post-harvest processing as needed
- Communicate product availability to Distribution Coordinator for use in sales decisions
- Help recruit and retain CSA members
- Manage propagation house
- Create and submit to Executive Director a detailed annual crop plan including rotations, planting map, greenhouse seeding, seed inventory, and plant and seed orders
- Monitor for pests and diseases, maintain soil health, manage seed inventory and irrigation maintenance and timing
- Maintain all sites in a clean and orderly fashion | Address theft, vandalism, and intruders
- 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 Assistant Farm Manager, Distribution Coordinator, Farm Supervisors and farm staff
- Ensure that Distribution Coordinator, Assistant Farm Manager 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
- Build and maintain connections with other community groups to help create opportunities for partnerships
- Participate in grant writing related to on-farm activities
- 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, farm equipment, and carpentry skills preferred
- 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
- The successful candidate will be patient and compassionate with a sharp sense of humour and excellent interpersonal skills.
An understanding of some of the issues that people who live in poverty or with mental health and addiction issues will be valued. Fluency in spoken Spanish and/or Kiswahili a plus.
Term: This is a permanent full-time position beginning in March 2020.
Hours: Workflow will vary according to seasonal needs. Must be available to work weekends and occasional evenings.
Wage: Salary commensurate with experience includes two weeks paid vacation, extended health benefits, and deep discounts on farm products.
How to Apply
Please send resume, cover letter and three work related references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include Director of Farm Operations Application in the subject line of the email.
Deadline: Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate had been identified.
When applying, please indicate that you saw this posting at Youngagrarians.org.
Learn More About Sole Food Street Farms
Follow @solefoodfarms on Instagram