Merck Forest & Farmland Center (MFFC) is searching for its next Farm Manager. For over 70 years, MFFC has connected people with the land by providing no-cost access to, and hosting educational programs on, the institution’s 3,200-acre main campus in Rupert VT. The property is comprised approximately 2,000-acres of managed woods, 800-acres of forever-wild/no-touch forest, 340-acres of meadow, and a 60-acre hilltop farm, featuring a visitor center, 35-miles of trails, 10 backcountry cabins, half-a-dozen lean-tos, and countless scenic vistas.
MFFC’s 60-acre farm currently features active livestock and permaculture/perennial horticulture operations including: pigs, sheep, laying hens, apples, blueberries, blackberries, black raspberries and raspberries. At present, the pigs are raised in wooded paddocks, the sheep are rotationally grazed, and the chickens are split between chicken tractors in the fields and a coop. All orchards are managed for “you-pick” allowing visitors the opportunity to have an on-farm agricultural experience. The success of the organization’s non-profit farm is measured in three primary ways:
1. the health and well-being of the plants and animals present,
2. the impact that the farm experience has on visitors and participants in farm-based programs
3. the upkeep of demonstration quality landscape features and infrastructure
We are looking for a Farm Manager who is prepared to effectively steward MFFC’s farm, care for the organization’s animals, and passionately engage our visitors and community members in sustainable, climate smart farm practices.
This is an exciting time to join the team at MFFC—programming, community support, visitorship, and innovative partnerships are all on the rise. Our incoming Farm Manager will be a member of our Program Team, benefitting from a growing staff including a full-time, year-round Education Director, Education Manager, Conservation Manager, and Fleet & Facilities Manager as well as a seasonal field-education and farm and forest-based staff, interns, and volunteers. Additionally, the institution will be crafting a refreshed vision for the farm in 2022 through the creation of an updated 10-year farm management plan. The Farm Manager will have the opportunity to shape the agricultural future of MFFC by serving as a key member (along with select staff, trustees, and technical experts) of the committee responsible for drafting the plan.
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Qualified candidates will have experience working in an agricultural setting and engaging with the public in an educational or customer-service setting. The ideal candidate will have successful previous experience with: livestock management, (including lambing and/or calving/kidding), hayland management and hay production, berry and apple orchard management, operating heavy equipment, full-cycle farm planning and management, leading educational programs, managing seasonal staff and/or volunteers, working both independently and as a member of a team, developing and managing to a budget. If you are passionate about sustainable farming and place-based education, but don’t have experience with everything outlined above, do not be discouraged. MFFC is willing and able to provide formal and informal training and professional development to help the right candidate continue their personal profession learning journey and succeed at the objectives outlined above.
Interested candidates to submit a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org