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Farm Manager Posted Sep 27
SPACE on Ryder Farm , Brewster, NY (East Coast)
 
SPACE ON RYDER FARM IS SEEKING A FARM MANAGER

LOCATION: Brewster, NY

REPORTS TO: Executive Director

SPACE on Ryder Farm, historically a non-profit residency program for artists and activists located on the grounds of a 223-year-old working organic farm, seeks a full time Farm Manager to manage up to a 5.5 acre (some portions of which will immediately be in cultivation, and others in cover crop for future growing seasons) organic farming operation. Founded in 2011, SPACE has run a successful residency program. Beginning in 2016, SPACE began providing ag-related support (primarily administrative) to its longtime co-tenant, Ryder Farm Cottage Industries (RFCI), which has been farming on the land since 1979. Beginning in 2019, SPACE will be succeeding RFCI as the sole vegetable and flower farming operation on the land.

The crops grown and overseen by the Farm Manager are envisioned to be 2-2.5 acres in 2019 (5.5-7 acres being the total farmable area), and shall include diversified vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and must meet the standards established by the National Organic Program in line with USDA Organic Certification. Marketing opportunities in initial years are anticipated to include internal sales to SPACE’s residency program kitchen, a robust CSA program (with pickups in Brewster and New York City), a weekly stand an NYC Greenmarket location, an unattended roadside farm stand, and local wholesale and restaurant accounts.

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Farm Manager will join a team of five full-time staff positions. The Farm Manager will supervise all day-to-day farm operations for SPACE, including hiring and managing a department staff anticipated to include a full-time, seasonal assistant grower and part-time, hourly labor, as well as volunteers. Farm operations will include all phases of the growing cycle including seedling production, field prep, planting, harvesting, washing and packing, irrigation, cultivating, record-keeping, and farm maintenance tasks. SPACE full-time staff will be able to substantially lead and take on administration related to the farming operation, including financial management, bookkeeping, processing payroll, insurance, the CSA, and others. The Farm Manager will work predominantly in Brewster, NY.

Essential Responsibilities

Farm Operations

Write and implement a crop plan that will yield enough diversified vegetables, herbs, and flowers for marketing projections, as well as the needs of the SPACE kitchen

Manage all production, harvest, and organic recordkeeping

Manage production of greenhouses and fields

Manage day-to-day maintenance of farm buildings and equipment

With the ED hire, train, and manage farm department staff

Oversee farm volunteer program in concert with CM

Work closely with SPACE’s Food Manager (FM) on the overlap/interplay of the crop plan and harvest schedule in context of SPACE’s food program, with the goal being that as much of the three farm fresh meals for the residency program contain food grown on the farm as possible

Work closely with SPACE’s Director of External Relations, FM, and DO on food aspects for summer special events including Seasonal Suppers (generally 3x/season) and the “Roving Dinner”, an event that blends the work of 8 SPACE residents and meal courses, each on a different area of the farm property

Marketing

In coordination with the ED, create a 16-20 week CSA program for approximately 90 members that incorporates an art component (see here), institutes a sliding, need-based scale model, and imagines innovative ways for both Putnam and Westchester residents to partake in the CSA.

To be clear, Farm Manager will have substantial support on CSA. They will collaborate with Director of Operations (DO) and Company Manager (CM) on administration and operations of CSA.

Coordinate and report on CSA production goals

Throughout the growing season, spend most Saturdays at the NYC Greenmarket stand - in this role the FM will be expected unpack the truck, set up the stand, along with staff/volunteers sell to patrons throughout the day, and repack the truck at the end of the work day

Oversee the stocking and maintenance of the produce, flowers, and herbs for sale at the roadside farmstand

Farm Administration

In concert with Director of Finance & Business Development (DFBD) create an annual farm operations budget (and capital purchases budget). Track and report revenue and expenses on a monthly basis to DFBD.

Attend all quarterly meetings of the Board of Directors, as well as a Farming/Ag Committee if one is formed; for both board and committee meetings, make recommendations; develop plans, goals, and timelines; educate board members on technical farming information; and provide critical insight for decisions regarding the future of the farm

Requirements

The ideal candidate will have 4-5 years of farming experience (experience on certified organic farms preferred), and must have previous experience as a manager/leader in charge of a farming operation, Additionally the candidate should be eager to work within a mission-based, non-profit environment that is undergoing significant growth. Strong organizational and time management skills, leadership and management experience, acute attention to detail, an entrepreneurial spirit and strong communication skills are vital.

More About the Position

SPACE on Ryder Farm is an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ grassroots organization. The Farm Manager should have a minimum of four years experience, be dexterous and flexible, entrepreneurial and able and excited to lead in a multitude of ways. The farming operation is brand new for SPACE and the Farm Manager will be relied on heavily for guidance and knowledge of ‘best practices.’ Compensation is competitive. SPACE will provide some amount of local housing support/relief, the option to take advantage of a pre-tax transit benefit, and some form of monthly, taxable health insurance support. SPACE observes a semi-monthly payroll.


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