The Duke Campus Farm is a one-acre working farm, now entering its twelfth season, which provides sustainably-grown produce and food systems education for Duke and its surrounding communities. In collaboration with our undergraduate and graduate student farm crew, academic courses, and research, we grow and harvest for our Community Supported Agriculture program and the broader Duke and Durham communities. More important than the thousands of pounds of food that we grow, however, are the opportunities the farm provides for engaging and reimagining the ways we cultivate, access, value, and think about food. Our mission is to catalyze positive change in the food system by growing the next generation of food systems change makers.
As a full-time staff member, the Field Education Manager is expected to be part of our organization’s evolution. Our staff is small, but mighty, and we wear many hats. If you can speak from the heart about the farm when the university president stops by, but also don’t mind cleaning out the walk-in, you could be a great fit for this position. We are actively seeking folk with a range of life experiences to join our team.
Schedule and compensation:
The position straddles both agricultural and academic calendars, with the seasonal fluctuations of both - more hours/week in the summer, less in the winter. The starting salary is $48,328 plus Duke’s benefits package which includes health, dental, and vision insurance, and retirement contributions from Duke. In 2019 (most recent available census data), median income for an individual in Durham, NC was $33,540.
We anticipate this position will have three weeks off between the end of undergraduate fall classes and the New Year, one week off during the summer CSA season, and an additional five days to use at the Field Education Manager’s discretion. This is a two-year position with the possibility of renewal.
Position will be open until filled, with a position start-date early in the 2022 growing season.
Under the direction of the Duke Campus Farm Director, this position is responsible for the daily, weekly, and season-long management of a one-acre diversified vegetable operation and the training and mentorship of DCF’s student crew. This position leverages the joys and hard work of growing real food to build students’ practical skills, leadership capacities, and desire to be part of a sustainable food system broadly conceived.
The Field Education Manager coordinates all aspects of on-farm production, supervises and mentors student employees, and serves as a public face of the farm to the campus community. The ideal candidate is a skilled grower able to confidently run a small-scale CSA market-garden, collaborative in their approach to getting things done and solving problems, passionate about our larger mission, and highly motivated to teach and inspire others about sustainable food systems.
The Field Education Manager is responsible for the following aspects of the Duke Campus Farm:
- Propagation - seedling production using organic practices in a propane-heated high tunnel
- Bed prep and soil fertility management - prep beds in spring using our walk-behind tractor, and as needed by hand throughout the season; test and track soil fertility; build and support healthy soil ecologies using compost, cover crops, minimal and well-timed tillage, etc.
- Integrated Pest Management - build and maintain a plant-positive environment through insectaries, crop rotation, etc.; minimal applications of organically-approved sprays as necessary.
- Harvest, post-harvest handling and delivery - harvest, wash, pack and deliver produce to CSA customers, and work with student and full-time staff to coordinate CSA logistics (payment, CSA newsletter, etc.).
- Equipment and site maintenance - with the support of the Site Coordinator, maintain the level of functionality and organization needed to keep the farm running smoothly
- Record keeping - track farm inputs, crop performance, and sales to help refine crop plan and support crew participation in maintaining and strengthening farm systems. Refine crop plan at season’s end as appropriate.
- Supervision and Training - DCF is a public, community farm on a university campus with no agriculture department. A major piece of this job is training and mentoring the farm's student crew (who may have little to no practical experience in sustainable agriculture) and welcoming volunteers and other members of the campus and general public into the work of the farm.
- Interfacing with DCF Programming - In collaboration with the full-time staff, ensure the site supports farm-based learning throughout the year. The Field Education Manager may on occasion interface with farm-based classes, on-farm academic activity, and co-curricular programming, and support students involved in independent studies at the farm.
We seek an applicant that has:
- 2-3 years or more of experience with one acre or more under cultivation using organic-aligned practices
- at least one season of whole-farm management experience, including crop planning; crew scheduling; work plan management at daily, weekly and monthly levels, and familiarity with Community Supported Agriculture programs
- experience teaching, preferably in a similar environment, and a passion for farm education
- demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively, with both skilled and unskilled labor
- ability to lift 50 lbs. unassisted
- joy in highly physical labor outdoors in all kinds of weather (including humidity, heat, and snow)
- a clean driving record with access to reliable transportation
- a willingness to seek guidance as needed
- direct and healthy communication skills with managers, students, and other team members
- a willingness to receive feedback and ask questions when needed
- flexibility, patience, and an ability to bring out the best in semi-skilled crew members and volunteers
- experience in agroecology and/or food justice a plus.
To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure your cover letter addresses the following three questions:
- What attracts you to a position at a farm on a university campus (and not, for example, a production farm or community garden)?
- What experience do you have working successfully with people who are different from you?
- What’s the best way to inspire young people to create change in the food system?