Organic Dairy and Livestock Manager

Posted: Saturday, August 29, 2020
 Full Time
 Large scale
 Farming Practices
 Soil Health
 All - Cropping
 All - Poultry
 All - Horticulture
 All - Livestock

Position Description

Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment is on a mission to transform our relationship with farming and food for a healthier planet. We are a nonprofit education and research center situated on 626 acres of farmland, forest, and coast in Freeport, Maine. Our campus consists of an organic dairy program, livestock barns, diversified fruit and vegetable production, an oceanfront campground, and miles of wooded hiking trails. As a working farm located within a unique mix of ecosystems, we offer a remarkable and inspiring place for visitors of all ages to learn and play. Our yearround programs include farmer training, field trips, workshops, weekend events, and more.

This is an exciting and important time for our organization and our mission. The work we do at WNC will have regional and national significance as we continue to conduct research, train farmers, and support the efforts of regenerative farming to combat climate change.

We are seeking an individual to serve as the Organic Dairy and Livestock Manager (DLM), responsible for managing and leading our diversified farming operations and organic dairy farmer training program. The centerpiece of our farm operation is a 60-cow organic dairy and the associated pasture and hay land under management. In addition, we have a set of diversified livestock enterprises producing eggs and pork, as well as pasture raised chicken and lamb.

Organic Dairy Program & Farm Transformation

WNC is a unique place with a significant history. One of its biggest transformations came 6 years ago when we transitioned operations to focus on organic dairy production and training the next generation of farmers. Part of this transformation included becoming the first Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship farm in New England. The DGA is a two-year residential program training candidates to become organic dairy farmers.

The DLM serves as the DGA apprentice educator and mentor, aka Master Grazier. Managing the farm at WNC incorporates a host of aspects that call for skills and ability in addition to those required to effectively manage a farm. Ideal candidates will be comfortable working with and alongside a team of people and finding unique ways to enrich the experiences of apprentices while teaching the skills and knowledge necessary to run a modern, organic, pasture-based dairy and livestock farm.

Wolfe’s Neck Center recently completed a major three-year investment in its agriculture facilities that includes a new heifer barn, a diversified livestock barn and a completely new dairy facility. We are in the process of creating a world class training program that will play a role in shaping the next generation of farmers in New England and beyond. The right manager will ensure that WNC is a place that people of all ages and backgrounds come to see the best in regenerative practices at work. With the facilities and strategic plan in place, the farm at WNC is poised for the right person to come in and lead its continued growth and evolution.

Responsibilities & Duties

  • Management of all organic dairy, livestock and associated responsibilities
  • Oversight and management of all financial elements of farm operations with a focus on maximizing profitability within the context of our organizational mission and the DGA training program
  • Oversight and management of the Wolfe’s Neck Center Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program
  • Directly manage a team of up to four apprentices and two full-time staff
  • Maintain accurate records of all farm animals, production, and testing data
  • Oversee continuous improvement processes in the management of the farm and the monitoring of all operational data and results
  • Work closely with the nutritionist, veterinarian, University Extension specialists and other trusted advisors to ensure proper feeding, handling, and health protocols for all types and classes of livestock
  • Work closely with WNC research staff and partners to ensure all ag research activities are carried out effectively
  • Create and monitor budgets for all dairy and livestock enterprises and work with Director of Programs and Finance Director to track income and expenses
  • Work closely with WNC staff to create a welcoming, safe and educational experience for visitors to WNC
  • Must be able to work a variable work schedule, which includes work on weekends, occasional long hours, and in emergency situations


  • Agricultural degree, preferably in dairy management
  • 5+ years of experience managing an organic/pasture-based dairy operation
  • Thorough understanding of agronomy, soils, and intensive pasture management and grazing techniques, preferably with experience in holistic management practices
  • Experience with a variety of diversified livestock systems
  • Farm expense and revenue planning / management experience
  • Clear, demonstrated track record in teaching, training, motivating, and supporting high quality staff and/or interns/apprentices
  • Ability to work collaboratively as a member of a high functioning management team and develop effective working relationships with people from a variety of backgrounds
  • Strong interpersonal skills and public communication abilities; energetic, dynamic and engaging personality
  • Strong organizational abilities, time management skills and ability to effectively plan, prioritize, and manage multiple projects
  • Ability to deal with high levels of autonomy, and ability to be flexible to the changing needs of a vibrant and growing nonprofit, farm-based organization
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