Location: Albion Hills Conservation Area, Caledon, Ontario (16555 Humber Station Road)
Salary: Commensurate with experience
Start and End Date: April 1 – Nov 30 (8 months full-time; with possibility of extension)
Areas of Focus: Organic agriculture, agriculture education, environment
About Albion Hills Community Farm:
The Albion Hills Community Farm is a 76-acre non-profit farm that advances understanding of local food and sustainable agriculture through education, conservation and community partnerships. It is leading the way towards sustainable, local agriculture that serves the needs of growing near-urban communities and protects local green space and ecosystems.
Albion Hills Community Farm is located in the Town of Caledon within the Albion Hills Conservation Area approximately 6 km north of Bolton and 40 minutes north of Toronto.
We operate a non-profit educational farm using principles of social enterprise (e.g. business principles to meet our social-ecological mandate). AHCF is a unique partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority on whose land we operate our programs via a long-term lease agreement. We have a small team of two staff (a full-time General Manager and a part-time Community Garden & Children’s Learning Garden Coordinator) and we work collaboratively with a volunteer Board of Directors while ensuring opportunities for community engagement.
Our farm is characterized by four programs and we receive partial funding for our programs from many funders (e.g. Ontario Trillium Foundation, Town of Caledon, United Way, Earth Day Canada).
- Local food production (our CSA farm & a new greenhouse operation),
- Community gardens (including Children’s Learning Gardens),
- Education (workshops, tours, demonstration gardens/field crops), and
- Centre for Sustainable Near-Urban Agriculture (e.g. a long-term capital project to transform our old farmhouse into a straw-bale sustainable ‘green’ building).
AHCF is looking for an experienced, hands-on and well organized farm manager to lead and manage our farm operations. This is a seasonal contract with long-term career possibility for the right candidate interested in a career in small-scale organic agriculture in Caledon. We are looking for someone with at least 5 years of ecological/organic farming experience with an interest in education, training and mentorship. There are no accommodations on-site so candidates from the surrounding area (Brampton, Caledon, Orangeville) are highly encouraged to apply. The Farm Manager will play an important role in leading, supervising and communicating with interns, volunteers, summer students and community groups.
Responsibilities of the Farm Manager include:
a) Conducting the day-to-day agricultural field work (e.g. planting, harvesting, weeding) and greenhouse operations for our minimum 40-member, 2-acre CSA vegetable operation. You will train and act as a mentor to a small team of seasonal volunteer interns and summer students. Our CSA program is 18 weeks from mid-June to mid-Oct.
b) Overseeing the management of our field crops in partnership with our field crop farmers (e.g. approximately 65 acres in organically-grown specialty grains). The Farm Manager will communicate with our custom farmers to ensure fields are managed in accordance with our Five-Year Farm Plan.
c) Site maintenance: The Farm Manager will be responsible for day-to-day site maintenance to ensure the farm is a functional, aesthetic, safe and healthy working environment for our farmers, interns and community members. This includes ensuring all equipment and tools are in good working order; grassed areas are mowed and maintained; and that our barn, greenhouse and workspaces are in good working order.
d) On-Farm workshops: Assistance with implementing a series of on-farm workshops in 2013. The Farm Manager is expected to draw on their farming expertise to lead hands-on monthly workshops on a range of topice (i.e., weed identification, composting, integrated pest management, ecological farming practices, greenhouse operations, small equipment maintenance/repair, traditional farming knowledge, companion planting, etc.)
e) Providing mentorship and guidance to community gardeners, interns, volunteers and member farmers. The Farm Manager is expected to share their farming experiences with other farmers and community projects on-sites in order to advance the mission of the Farm. Therefore, an interest in training, education or mentorship is highly desirable.
The Farm Manager will be responsible for working closely with the General Manager and for implementing the annual farm plan which includes:
- Annual farm budget
- Crop production plan
- Farm product retail and distribution plan
- Farm maintenance plan
- Greenhouse operation plan
- Maintenance of farm records
The Farm Manager will also be responsible for:
- Ensuring that daily farm-related activities are completed including planting, weeding, harvesting, irrigating, soil amendment, general maintenance, etc.
- Co-ordinating and overseeing, with the General Manager, the weekly distribution of CSA boxes
- Some training and oversight of volunteers and interns
- Work and assist interns, volunteers, other staff and community organizations with service projects (e.g. compost projects, children’s gardens)
- Represent AHCF at events, where requested
- Minimum 5 years experience farming, preferably using ecological or organic agriculture practices
- Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, horticulture, education or related field is preferred, but not required
- Experience in the distribution and sale of farm products (e.g. farmers’ market, CSA)
- Ability to work under difficult physical conditions (e.g. repetitive farm tasks)
- Valid drivers license, access to a vehicle (there is no public transit to the farm) and ability to operate farm equipment (training provided)
- Aptitude for maintaining standard farm tools, equipment and infrastructure
- Ability to train, mentor and supervise interns and seasonal workers
- Knowledge of the Canadian Organic Standards and organic certification process
- Interest and familiarity with issues relating to local food, food access, sustainable agriculture and agri-environmental beneficial management practices
- Proficiency in Microsoft office applications
- Ability to work independently and part of a team
Interested candidates are invited to send a cover letter and resume in Microsoft Word format, to info at albionhillscommunityfarm.org by Friday, March 8th at 5:00pm. Include “AHCF Farm Manager Position” in the subject line. Successful candidates will be invited for an interview and tour of the Farm between March 14 to March 19 in Caledon.
Albion Hills Community Farm is committed to Employment Equity. We thank all applicants for their interest in the position. However, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted directly. No phone calls please.