Merck Forest and Farm Center Farm Management Rupert Vermont
Teaching and demonstrating the benefits of innovative, sustainable management of forest and farmland

Employment Opportunities


Position Available: Farm Manager

Position Description

The Farm Manager oversees all of MFFC's farm buildings, equipment and operations, including horticulture and livestock, ensuring a focus on the demonstration of sustainable, mission-aligned practices, public engagement, and staff and constituent education. This is an exempt position, reporting to the Executive Director. The hours are anticipated to average 40 hours per week, with seasonal variances.

Farm Responsibilities

  • Implement the farm vision as adopted by the Board of Trustees, and provide trustees and executive director with updates on the status of the farm as needed.
  • Plan, set goals, and lay out the operational plan for the farm in keeping with MFFC's farm vision and strategic plan.
  • Work with the executive director to develop, implement and track the farm budget.
  • Plan and manage all aspects of horticulture including vegetable gardens and berries.
  • Ensure animal welfare by managing the appropriate species and number of animals that MFFC can effectively handle, and managing the purchasing, care, breeding, marketing, and husbandry practices used.
  • Market and advertise farm products in conjunction with the assistant director and executive director.
  • Keep appropriate records, including grazing, hay quality, soil and water tests.
  • Maintain supply inventories, source inputs, manage/organize inventory of meat, and coordinate animal processing.
  • Design and implement grazing program to improve/maintain pasture quality.
  • Manage all aspects of annual haying.

Buildings/Grounds/Equipment Responsibilities

  • Coordinate the maintenance of all farm buildings and infrastructure.
  • Coordinate all farm-related construction and landscape projects.
  • Oversee groundskeeping and landscaping in the farm areas.
  • Maintain all the MFFC farm machinery and equipment.
  • Advise the executive director on new infrastructure needs or equipment purchases.

Education Responsibilities

  • Supervise farm education, including conducting farm tours, training/teaching apprentices, interns and the public.
  • Collaborate with MFFC staff on the recruitment and selection of apprentices, interns and seasonal staff.
  • Collaborate with the education director to supply and develop appropriate curriculum for the agricultural component of MFFC's apprenticeship program. This involves recommending appropriate curriculum for the agricultural component of apprentices/interns to attend throughout the course of their apprenticeship.
  • Coordinate with MFFC field staff on the management of the apprentices' daily schedule.
  • Seek out and apply for grant funding to support MFFC's farm educational mission.
  • Perform other tasks as assigned by the executive director.

Requirements

  • Experience working in a team environment with proven leadership/management skills.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Experience with full-season management.
  • Experience with farm planning and working knowledge of farm infrastructure.
  • Experience growning using organic/biodynamic principles.
  • Experience managing livestock, including intensive rotational grazing and the basics of meat production.
  • Experience working with farm machinery including heavy equipment.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Self-motivated, cooperative and flexible.
  • Experience responsibly managing administrative and record-keeping tasks related to running a farm.
  • Experience making hay.
  • Demonstrated passion for teaching apprentices, school groups, and the general public about food systems and sustainable practices.
  • Strong written and verbal communications.
  • Ability to teach and lead groups of all ages.
  • Willingness to engage visitors at all times.
  • Valid driver's license.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Teaching experience
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Machine maintenance
  • Basic carpentry skills
  • Experience working in a non-profit environment
  • Interest in working with youth and youth programs
  • Experience working with draft animals

Special Demands

  • This is a physically demanding position; applicants must be able to:
    • hike long distances over varied terrain
    • repeatedly lift and carry 50 pounds, and 
    • spend long periods operating heavy machinery
  • Ability to make decisions on the spot
  • Ability to manage multiple work streams simultaneously
  • May require some regional travel for conferences and/or professional development.

To apply please send cover letter and resume to work@merckforest.org



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We are not affiliated with, nor do we receive annual support from Merck & Co. Inc.
We are not part of any government agency. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent
allowed by law and are greatly appreciated!

Banner photo courtesy of Dan Sullivan
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