Assistant Manager

Posted: Thursday, August 20, 2020
 Full Time
 Large scale
 Farming Practices
 All - Cropping
 Vegetables
 All - Poultry
 Eggs
 Other
 Soil Health
 All - Livestock

Position Description

Marie and William believe that food should be grown with biological methods that improve the health of the land, plants, and animals while sustaining the farmers that grow your food. Our greatest passion is to grow delicious food for you and your family while caring for the land.

Bluebird Farm raises vibrant vegetables, farm meats, and eggs using techniques that improve the health of our land and contribute to a diverse farm ecosystem. Our meat animals are fed certified organic grains. We are dedicated to building living soils to ensure the quality of our vegetables and animals.

About the Role:

Does working in a tight crew on a small, ecologically focused, direct market, commercial vegetable and pastured pig operation sound exciting? We want to hear from you!

At Bluebird Farm we strive for a balanced and smooth workflow. We use careful record keeping, keen observation, and constant communication to ensure that the right task is getting done at the right time with the right tools. Whether that is catching an insect outbreak early or noticing a parasite problem in a litter of piglets before it’s obvious.

We work quickly and efficiently to grow tons of nutritious produce-planting, weeding, lots of harvesting, meticulous wash/pack, and fast paced farmers markets. While we work hard and fast towards goals on the big picture we love noticing and appreciating the small things-beneficial insect eggs here, healthy looking soil there, a perfectly irrigated tomato patch, a pasture where the hogs were moved just at the right time.  

We are hiring one person to fill one of three positions:

Garden Assistant Manager, and Harvest + Wash Assistant Manager, and Livestock Assistant Manager. All 3 specializations are vegetable growing positions with plenty of overlap since Bluebird Farm is a small farm. 

  • 11 years of growing and improving same property. 1+ acres in outdoor beds. Nine 120 ft caterpillar tunnels, heated greenhouse with automatic sidewalls, extensive irrigation with drip tape and sprinklers from well and creek pump for southern summers. Occasional use of BCS and tractors. Jang seeder + waterwheel transplanter. 
  • 5-8 sow + 1 boar breeding herd. Year round production of about 75 hogs with pasture based rotation + Dec-March deep bedding indoor hoop barn system. 1 acre pasture based gestation, indoor hoop barn deep bedding farrow system. 300 bird laying flock in a mobile wagon coop. Livestock guardian dog and 3 sheep accompany the hens.
  • 2 farmers’ markets, 50 member CSA, small meat CSA, custom pack veg orders

Position Requirements:

The following apply to all three positions (contact us for position specific details):

  • Extensive experience: 4+ full seasons (6+ month growing season) on a commercial farm. Multiple years on the same farm and/or year round agricultural employment is strongly favored. (if you have less experience please see our assistant grower positions/contact us about them).
  • Vegetable experience: We are primarily a vegetable based market farm.  All qualified candidates will have worked on a market garden of 1+ acres with farmers markets or CSA as the primary outlet for 4+ seasons.  Vegetables are where we spend our time!  Everyone works in the garden from the start of the day to lunch. Many afternoons even the assistant animal manager is primarily in the garden with only the short 1-2 hour chore window spent caring for the livestock. We are very focused on efficient and fast harvesting with an eye for details and teamwork.  
  • Commitment: Year round position. The candidate is excited to be fully immersed in the dedication, joys, and sorrows of farm production, employee management and marketing. But you won't have to do the business side of farming like accounting and quickbooks. You'll enjoy a stable work schedule and stable compensation. 1 year commitment with an intention for multi-year/long term if it’s a good fit.
  • Clean driving record for past 5 years- This position requires extensive use of several trucks, a 2 axle market trailer, and cargo van.
  • Able to bend, crouch, squat, and kneel for long periods of time. Able to lift 30 lbs consistently, 50 lbs frequently  

Communication:

  • Communication is key on a small farm. This position entails daily communication with Marie and William and with the larger crew.
  • We communicate and focus on details around harvest counts, CSA pick up location changes, different trellis methods for different vegetables, detailed info on mobile hog water systems.
  • Recognizes gaps in knowledge and experience and seeks feedback and assistance when appropriate.
  • Keep others informed of progress.
  • Maintains necessary written information-spray and fertilizer records, harvest records, pack lists, market inventory.
  • Checks in on less experienced crew frequently and constructively.

Adaptability and Flexibility:

  • There is lots of crossover and overlap. Every employee will be involved in some aspects of.
  • Harvest, Saturday Farmers’ Market, wash shed and vegetable pack
  • Working weekends on the farm (everyone has 2 days off every week, but 1 crew member will have 2 out of their 5 workdays solo on a weekend).
  • These weekends are full work days doing: Irrigation, basic livestock care, solo projects, solo harvest of fruiting crops that can’t go the whole weekend unharvested.

Good Judgement and a Farming Mindset:

  • We want people to clearly learn our farm systems and be confident operating in those systems. We operate as a team of 6.
  • When everyone is following the system and using the same terminology it allows a crew to be confident in their methods and task completion and communicate clearly about those tasks.
  • When things are running smoothly and according to plan everyone has more energy and confidence to enjoy growing and sharing good food.
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