The Compost Operator plays a central, multifaceted role in the farm’s composting operation. The Compost Operator fulfills two primary roles, 1) producing compost and managing composting operations, and 2) managing the farm’s worm herd and producing worm castings. The Operator’s time will be roughly 60-70% composting operations and 30-40% worm operations. When food scraps are tipped here at the farm, they are blended into a compost mix with other materials and fed to hens. What material the hens don’t consume is removed each week and built into free-standing windrows. These piles are actively managed in order to satisfy Organic Certification and BDF product specifications through a combination of pile monitoring and pile management. A portion of the material is then used to feed worms each week, who turn the product into worm castings in our continuous-flow worm composting system. The remaining material continues to be thermophilically composted (high temperature, bacterially driven composting) in either windrows or an Aerated Static Pile (ASP) system for sale or field application. Compost is managed with a telehandler and screened with a trommel screen. Worms are fed and watered by hand, but their castings are harvested mechanically, and screened with a trommel screen.
1. Coordinate and receive incoming feedstocks
2. Blend materials into compost recipe
3. Monitor conditions of compost piles and worm bin, and record and maintain data
4. Turn compost piles and move material with tractor (Kubota M4700) or telehandler (JCB 505)
5. Move material with the farm dump truck (Ford F-350) or hooklift trailer
6. Feed and water worms manually
7. Coordinate and receive incoming feedstocks
8. Maintain compost pad with grading and other maintenance as required
9. Product sampling and testing
10. Screen mature compost and worm castings
11. Bag finished compost and castings products for sale
12. Packaging inventory management
13. Load customers and handle on-farm sales of bulk compost and castings
14. Manage VOF Organic recertification process bi-annually, and ensure Black Dirt Farm adherence to required standards
15. Attend monthly Crew Meetings, participate in planning
1. Excellent work ethic, appreciation for efficiency, and good sense of operational rhythm
2. Experience operating tractor, loader, skid steer or like equipment
3. Comfort operating a variety of equipment
4. Experience integrating operational speed with calm diligence
5. Good physical health, and the ability to perform necessary tasks
6. Five years of driving experience
7. Good spatial awareness
8. Willingness to work in adverse outdoor and winter conditions and extended hours as needed.
9. Superior communication and collaboration skills
10. Excellent time and task management
11. Attention to detail and good information retention
12. Willingness to follow and develop protocol. Curiosity and ambition for operational excellence.
13. Personal commitment to undertake the on-going work of dismantling personal bias and all forms of supremacy
14. Excitement about compost, farming and the food system.