Outdoor Farm Lead

Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2020
 Full Time
 Farming Practices
 Small Scale
 All - Cropping
 Soil Health

Position Description

The Urban Canopy is a young and diverse organization working on cutting edge issues at the intersection of urban agriculture and sustainable food. We are seeking a skilled Outdoor Farm Lead of our 2-acre outdoor farm in Englewood.

The ideal candidate has 3+ years of experience in production farming and managing a small team, excels at developing and practicing efficient hand-scale production methods, and is committed to environmental stewardship, local job creation, healthy-living initiatives, and community building.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop and maintain a yearly budget with guidance from the Trunk
  • Guide the growth and direction of the branch; actively seek opportunities for improvement
  • Collaborative crop planning and continuous re-evaluation based on accurate data and analysis
  • Set and ensure appropriate harvest standards with farm crew and distribution branches
  • Hire, train and manage farm crew
  • Lead all daily activities including harvest, wash, pack, planting and maintenance
  • Develop and implement disease/pest/nutrient monitoring and response systems
  • Meet regularly to coordinate with the Trunk and other branches
  • Coordinate internal distribution and storage of produce
  • Set work schedule and coordinate vehicle use
  • Gather and analyze data to track crop viability and inform budget
  • Maintain a worm compost pile by hand
  • Build relations with neighbors, city departments, urban farm partners and broader community


  • 3+ years production farming experience, ideally small/organic
  • 3+ years management experience
  • Able to lift 75+ lbs and work outdoors in all Chicago weather
  • Competence and experience with Excel/Google Sheets coding
  • Efficiency-minded, self-driven, hard worker, able to give and receive instructions critically
  • Entrepreneurial spirit, recognize opportunities and means for growth
  • Valid license + comfortable driving large passenger vans and small box trucks
  • Comfortable with the ambiguity and stressors common to a growing small business
  • Able to shift gears smoothly and maintain momentum on multiple tasks
  • Able to meet deadlines, keep organized, maintain responsive and effective communication
  • Commitment to high quality, healthy produce and food access justice

Scheduling Information: This year-round position constitutes 40 hours of work per week. During the growing season, the Lead will ideally work Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday harvest on the farm, plus one other farm day and one day in another Urban Canopy branch.  In the off season we provide work in other branches, usually full-time if desired.

Additional Information: 

  • Wage between $15-16 per hour.
  • Up to 40 hours of PTO per year.
  • UC employees have access to free and wholesale food: includes surplus produce from our markets and CSA, and occasional product from our partners. 
  • Complementary Compost Club membership: home pick-up option available only if employee lives within our service area. 
  • Eligible for healthcare options. 

To Apply: Go to theurbancanopy.org/careers to fill out the General Application form. Select Outdoor Farm Lead as the primary position you are applying for and attach a PDF resume.

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