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Director of Farming at SPACE on Ryder Farm - 9280

Job Title: 
Director of Farming
SPACE on Ryder Farm
406 Starr Ridge Road
10509 Brewster , NY
Job Type: 
Employment Type: 
Job Description: 

Founded in 2011, SPACE on Ryder Farm has historically been a non-profit residency for artists and activists located on the grounds of a 225-year-old homestead in Brewster, NY. In 2016, SPACE expanded its mission and began providing agriculture-related administrative support to its co-tenant, Ryder Farm Cottage Industries (RFCI), who has farmed the land since 1979. In 2019, SPACE succeeded RFCI as the sole organic farming operation growing diversified vegetables, herbs and flowers.

The Director of Farming will report to the Executive Director and will join a team of seven full-time staff positions. The Director of Farming is part of the senior leadership team at SPACE, and is responsible for their own area of expertise as well as representing the organization externally and participating in organization-wide strategy. The Director of Farming will oversee all aspects of the farming operation, and will identify and develop with SPACE’s leadership the best mission-driven enterprises and programs for the farm. For context, in 2019 the farming operation covered approximately 6 acres and provided produce for:

A 140-member CSA;

SPACE's residency kitchen and farm-to-table events;

Friday stand at the Union Square Greenmarket;

Roadside farmstand in Brewster.

The Director of Farming will act as the primary steward of the land to ensure best farm practices and a growing cycle that builds and maintains healthy soil. The Director of Farming supervises the day-to-day farm operations, and will be supported by and participate in hiring a seasonal farm team of three. Additionally, the Director of Farming is responsible for farm administration including Organic Certification, recordkeeping and financial management. The Director of Farming will report primarily to SPACE’s Brewster, NY location and will occasionally be asked to attend events in NYC.

SPACE on Ryder Farm is an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ grassroots organization. The Director of Farming should be dexterous, able and excited to lead in a multitude of ways. This is a full-time leadership position. The ideal candidate will have a willingness and genuine interest in engaging with SPACE’s non profit residency and their farming practices will be in line with SPACE’s overall mission and values. Health insurance stipend, paid time off, local housing support in Brewster (only if required). SPACE observes a semi-monthly payroll.

Duties & Responsibilities: 

Crop Production and Field Management- 35% of the Role

Responsible for creating and leading the execution of the crop plan. Plan must include a diversified selection of vegetables, herbs and flowers;

Oversee inventory and maintenance of supplies for seed starting, hoop house and field production;

Lead weekly field walks and develop work plans for the farm team to execute;

Oversee tractor work and hand scale cultivation;

Responsible for following regenerative and Organic standards for crop rotation, cover cropping, fertility management, pest and disease management and weed suppression.

Administration- 25% of the Role

Responsible for Organic Certification;

Responsible for weekly tracking and reporting of farm budget expenses and revenue;

Create and oversee safety protocols and SOPs for all aspects of crop production;

Attend weekly staff and Q2 and Q4 Board meetings and report on farm;

Play an active role in yearly budgeting and planning sessions.

Union Square GreenMarket- 15% of the Role

Develop and manage a weekly cut list for the Greenmarket;

Lead on all aspects of the Union Square Greenmarket - communicate as needed withGrowNYC, organize weekly staff and volunteers, systemize setup and breakdown procedures and sales SOP.

Director of Farming is required to attend at least 75% of Friday markets during the season.

The Non Profit Residency- 15% of the Role

On a weekly basis (June-October), coordinate food for residency kitchen with Food Program Coordinator;

When called upon, represent SPACE as a front facing ambassador with current and future stakeholders;

Work with Executive Director to plan for and administer the annual May plant sale;

Attend all SPACE related fundraising events (approximately 5-8 per year);

Join for lunch M-TH and serve as the farm ambassador for the residency community.

CSA- 10% of the Role

In coordination with Executive Director, set parameters and systems around sliding-scale pricing, member pickup and communication;

Set the weekly produce list;

Liaise with CSA members (both English and Spanish speakers);

Lead monthly tours and other educational opportunities for CSA members.

Education & Experience: 

Candidates must have 3-5 years experience with diversified vegetable production, and are required to have at minimum 2 years crew management and oversight of organic growing practices and certification protocols. Additionally, candidates must have 2 years experience overseeing a CSA of at least 70 customers. Applicants must have a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation and the ability to lift at least 50 lbs. The Director of Farming must have the resiliency to work outside in all conditions (heat, rain, snow, etc.) and have the necessary gear. Preference will be given to candidates who are comfortable and excited to represent SPACE in a front facing capacity. Experience with GAPS, nonprofit farming ventures and agriculture grants is a plus. Candidates that speak English and Spanish will be given preference.

Application Instructions: 

To apply please send a resume, cover letter and 3 professional references to with the Subject Line Director of Farming at SPACE. Interviews will take place on a rolling basis. If interested, we ask that you please submit materials as soon as possible. SPACE’s values are equity, inclusion, support and radical hospitality. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment. As an equal opportunity employer we are committed to employment practices that ensure employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position. SPACE strongly encourages individuals from marginalized and underrepresented groups to apply.

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