Wanate Farm Operations Manager (Full-Time)

Wanatee Farm Operations Manager

The primary role of the Farm Operations Manager is to oversee the operation and production of chemical-free vegetables through regenerative farming practices at Feed Iowa First’s Wanatee Farm. The Operations Manager will develop an assessment methodology for programs and field health, manage growing and harvesting processes, and establish Wanatee farm and program-specific goals in alignment with Feed Iowa First’s mission. This position supports all Feed Iowa First programs, including the Grow Don’t Mow and Community Produce Distribution Program. Reporting to the Executive Director, this team-oriented position emphasizes collaboration and includes responsibilities such as managing day-to-day farm operations, supervising Wanatee field staff and volunteers, and community outreach.

Field and Office Responsibilities:

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of Wanatee Farm.
  • This includes 11 farmable acres with 2 acres in current Feed Iowa First vegetable production: 0.5 acres of orchard, 4 acres hosting up to 6 farmers under the Equitable Land Access Program, and the remainder in cover crop.
  • Direct preparation, maintenance, and harvest of up to 2 acres of vegetable production.
  • Procure seeds, growing materials, and supplies for field preparation.
  • Manage seedling production.
  • Adhere to GAP certification safety standards for harvest, storage, and packing.
  • Assist in produce washing and packing when needed.
  • Operate and maintain field equipment and machinery.
  • Actively maintain fallowed land through cover crop, mowing, and trimming.
  • Generate and adhere to an annual budget of Wanatee programmatic costs.
  • Develop an evaluation method to assess strengths and identify areas for improvement.
  • Produce a Yearly Farm Report at the end of the season.
  • Create and facilitate a farm plan.
  • Assist Equitable Land Access (ELA) Farmers with farm plans and field production questions.
  • Assist in establishing policies and procedures for smooth facility operations.
  • Day-to-day tasks are in an outdoor environment.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Recruit and train Wanatee Field Staff (1 part-time employee).
  • Coordinate and manage on-farm volunteer activities weekly.
  • Maintain and strengthen community partnerships.
  • Attend and participate in events and speaking engagements and assist with fundraisers.

Required Qualifications:

  • Effective communication, including sensitivity to and experience working with diverse communities.
  • Valid U.S. Driver’s License and reliable transportation.
  • 3 years of chemical-free/organic vegetable farming experience (preferably on at least 2 acres).
  • Experience using and maintaining field equipment.
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50lbs.

Schedule:

  • Job Type: Full-time.
  • Monday – Friday, with occasional nights and weekends.
  • Flexible morning start times.

Benefits:

  • Salary – $45,000-$50,000 (by experience).
  • Seven paid holidays, + December 26-31 Shutdown
  • Health Care Option.
  • 15-days PTO (1.25 accrued monthly).
  • Flexible off-season schedule between November and February.

How to Apply:

Interested candidates are invited to submit their resume, a cover letter, and at least two professional references to Emmaly@feediowa1st.com.

Feed Iowa First is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity and is committed to providing a workplace free from discrimination. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. All employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. We encourage candidates of all backgrounds and experiences to apply, as we believe in fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce that enhances our ability to serve our communities. Join our dedicated team at Feed Iowa First and make a meaningful impact in the fight against food insecurity in Iowa!

 

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