Wild Hope is a 12 acre, diverse organic vegetable operation located on a 220 acre family farm in Chester, SC. At Wild Hope, we aspire to demonstrate efficiency, profitability and productivity while being good stewards of the land. We seek to share our knowledge and optimized growing systems with the greater farming community and push organic farming in the southeast. We are committed to training the next generation of farmers through our dedication to education and mentorship on the farm.
The farm is in its 4th year of operation with 2 greenhouses, 2 high tunnels, 3 production fields (F1: 3.5 acres, F2 : 2.5 acres, F3: 6 acres), a mobile chicken coop with 250 laying hens, and a native fruit orchard. We have a crew of 6-12 members at peak, living on or in close proximity to the farm. Over the past few years in production, we have made great strides in digital record keeping for crop planting, field prep, yield, and sales data. We have devoted significant thought towards our organizational structure and the division of roles and responsibilities on the farm. Our produce, flowers, and eggs are sold through a 350+ person farm share (38 weeks), wholesale to local food distributors, and at the Matthews farmers market. In addition to farming (and prior to Covid), we host complementary on-farm events to cultivate community and share knowledge around our farming practices.
We are looking for an individual or couple who are interested in running a sustainable production farm and are passionate about educating young farmers. This person will work with Katherine Belk who runs the administrative and operations side of the business (finances, marketing, sales/logistics, hiring/HR, events). This is an exciting opportunity for those with aspirations to shape the organic farming industry.
- Work with Katherine to effectively train and mentor employees - harvest manager, field assistants, crew lead, propagation assistant, and apprentices
- Track training progress
- Actively participate in the hiring process (interviews, phone calls, other outreach)
- Proactively manage employee issues, frequent check-ins with employees
- Farm management
- Deliver Wild Hope Farm operational and financial goals
- Crop plan and planting of crops
- Create a strategy to continually improve soil health
- Oversee day-to-day farm operations
- Maintain equipment and facilities, troubleshoot problems as they occur and coordinate the maintenance/repair of equipment/facilities
- Oversee all aspects of farm production - produce/flowers, fertility/compost, fields, soil health, water quality/irrigation, chickens
- Participate in effective record keeping and help to refine SOPs, maintain Organic Certification
- Ensure sustainable land management, periodically coordinating with other activities on the farm
- Assist with business operations
- Work with operations manager to develop yearly budgets and make purchasing decisions that align with the budget
- Understand and help evaluate sales channels
- Develop short & long-term plans and strategies of working towards those plans
- Connect and engage with the local & regional community
- Monitor and report on management results (employee training, field planning, yield tracking/crop loss, soil health)
- Conduct on farm research through grants (currently conducting a SARE grant on organic no-till production) or other opportunities that pushes organic farming techniques
- Several years experience working on a 6-15 acre farm
- Farming for 8+ years, managing for 3+ years
- Commitment to organic, sustainable, and low-till principles - interest in no-till, cover cropping, and roller crimping
- Excellent understanding of an diverse production farming
- Excellent interpersonal skills, passion for training and mentoring aspiring young farmers
- Ability to operate tractors and use broad range of tractor implements
- Ability to read and understand weather forecasts
- Ability to calculate figures, amounts, portions, percentages and volume in relation to the application of organic fertilizers, chemicals and water
- Knowledge of various plant materials and applications
- Ability to interpret soil test results and apply necessary actions
- Ability to identify all types of vegetables
- Ability to identify insects, plant pests and plant damage
- Demonstrated reliability, dependability and flexibility in work habits (ability to work weekends as needed)
- Excellent organizational & time management skills
- Ability to use computers, including excel/spreadsheet programs
- Three professional references, with a strong preference for agricultural references are required.
- Minimum 3-year commitment
Please review the application steps on our website: https://www.wildhopefarm.com/apprenticeship
This will involve completing the google form questions and file uploads (resume, cover letter, and 3 references). This is a multi-step process and will involve virtual interviews. Final candidates will be expected to visit the farm in Chester, SC before hiring.
Wild Hope Farm is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status.