The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm, Vancouver, BC is seeking a Field Assistant for the 2020 season!
About UBC Farm
The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm (CSFS) is located on the unceded, ancestral territory of the Musqueam people. It is a 24-hectare teaching, research and community farm at the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus. Embodying UBC’s aspiration to be a “living laboratory”, the CSFS provides experiential learning opportunities for students, community members and the general public and strives to explore and exemplify how land, food and community are brought together to create healthy and sustainable food systems. More information about the CSFS can be found at www.ubcfarm.ubc.ca.
The Field Assistant supports the UBC Farm and CSFS by coordinating and performing day-to-day crop production and land stewardship activities for a defined range of crops at the UBC Farm. Plans are subject to change, but we anticipate that in the 2020 season this Field Assistant will be responsible for the following crops: potatoes, alliums, field cucurbits, and legumes.
Reports to the Field Manager. Interacts daily with other UBC Farm Field and Sales staff. Works in a collaborative environment with other staff at the UBC Farm, the CSFS, and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Provides direction to student employees, practicum students, and to volunteers.
- Coordinates and performs day-to-day land stewardship and production activities for a defined range of agricultural crops.
- Occasionally assists other field staff with the production of other field grown annual fruits and vegetables, field grown perennial fruits and vegetables, greenhouse grown fruits and vegetables, forest products, herbs, cut flowers, vegetable seeds, and/or poultry.
- Land stewardship and production activities coordinated or performed by the Field Technician may include (but are not limited to) plant propagation, field cultivation, irrigation installation, irrigation management, mowing, pesticide application, nutrient application, hoophouse construction, pruning, record keeping, harvesting, poultry care, field scouting, invasive species control, compost management, data collection, and record keeping.
- Provides practical training and limited theoretical instruction to student workers, practicum students, and volunteers.
- Assists the Sales Manager with weekly crop harvest planning based on product supply and also with monitoring the quality and safety of crops. Occasionally assists the Sales Manager with the sale and direct-marketing of crops.
- Assists with general operational tasks such as selection, procurement, maintenance, and repair of field equipment, tools, and supplies.
- Conducts all site activities in alignment with relevant environmental and health regulations such as the Canadian Organic Standards, the Canadian Pest Control Products Act and Regulations, the Canadian Council on Animal Care guidelines, the BC Organic Matter Recycling Regulation, the BC Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and the BC Integrated Pest Management Act. Keeps appropriate records to document compliance with these regulations.
- Assists the Field Manager with annual farm plans detailing cropping decisions and production trends.
- Performs other operational duties as required.
EXERCISING JUDGMENT/IMPACT OF DECISIONS
The Field Assistant is a representative of the CSFS and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. This individual’s approach and delivery of information in dealing with the general public and a variety of site users present at the UBC Farm site reflect on these units. Therefore, ensuring a high regard for professionalism, safety, and adherence to UBC policies is of considerable importance.
When dealing with equipment, the Field Assistant will need to critically assess each operation before proceeding in order to ensure the safety of all individuals involved. When using high-powered equipment, poor judgment of the operating conditions and context can result in operator injury or death.
Day-to-day decisions regarding crop planting, care, and harvest have a considerable impact on crop quality and timing, which in turn impacts the financial viability and teaching quality of the farm.
Reports to and works under the supervision of the Field Manager. Must show a significant degree of autonomy and be able to make day-to-day decisions independently, but will review major decisions with and defer high-impact decisions to the Field Manager.
Provides direction to 1-2 Work Learn student employees. This individual is responsible for prioritizing and delegating tasks to student employees that are appropriate to their skill level, and is responsible for reviewing their work and providing feedback and guidance as needed. The individual will occasionally direct the work of practicum students and volunteers, and during these times, will be responsible for reviewing their work and providing any necessary feedback and/or guidance.
Work takes place both indoors and outdoors at the UBC Farm. Shared indoor office space is provided at the UBC Farm, though the Field Technician will be required to communicate with other UBC Farm staff to avoid space conflicts. Outdoor duties are performed in all kinds of weather, involve manual field work and entail the use of a wide variety of equipment and machinery. Large heavy machinery includes tractors, discs, rototillers, ploughs and compost spreaders. Smaller equipment includes brush cutters, backpack sprayers, pressure washers, powered shop tools, hand tools, and small lawnmowers. Potential hazards include falls, cuts, burns, exposure to vibrating and/or noisy equipment, repetitive motion injuries, exposure to pesticides, and exposure to inclement weather.
When special events or circumstances require, work may be performed after normal business hours. Because of the seasonal nature of work at the UBC Farm, a heavier workload is the norm from April through October.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS
Education and Experience:
- High school diploma. 2 years of post-secondary education preferred.
- 2 seasons of relevant work experience
- Demonstrated technical competence with and theoretical understanding of a broad range of crop production and land management techniques.
- Ability to safely and efficiently operate a broad range of hand tools, power tools, tractors, field implements, and other agricultural equipment.
- Intermediate computer skills and an ability to record, manage, and manipulate data using Microsoft Excel.
- Effective verbal and written communication, leadership, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
- Ability to work efficiently and safely both independently and within a team environment.
- Ability to multitask, exercise sound judgment, and solve minor problems independently.
- Must be physically fit and enjoy hard work outdoors in all weather conditions for long days.
- Must have the ability to lift 45 lbs. repetitively and 70 lbs. occasionally.
- Must hold a valid driver’s license and have experience operating manual transmissions.
- A valid BC Pesticide Applicator’s Certificate is an asset.
- Experience with UBC, the UBC Farm, other regional organic farms, and/or other educational farms is an asset.
Start and End Dates: February 2020 (exact start date is negotiable) to November 30th, 2020, with the possibility of part-time hours through the winter.
Hours Worked: Full time (35 hours/week)
Starting Wage Range: $17.69 – $18.20 per hour (commensurate with experience)
HOW TO APPLY
- Email, as a single PDF document, a cover letter and a resume clearly detailing your experience and qualifications for this position to Elena Donskikh at email@example.com. Ensure your email subject line clearly refers to the Field Assistant position.
- Ensure your name and the position title are included in the PDF file name.
- Applications must be received no later than 11:59 PM on Sunday, January 12th, 2020.
- Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. Please no phone calls or emails.
Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
When applying, please mention you saw this posting at youngagrarians.org
Learn More About UBC Farm
UBC Farm Flowers: http://lfs-ubcfarm.sites.olt.ubc.ca/food-production/flowers/
View other farm jobs and apprenticeships here.