Jones Valley Teaching Farm
Assistant Field Manager
The Assistant Field Manager is responsible for supporting the Field Manager in performing and coordinating the day-to-day farm operations on our 3-acre urban teaching farm in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. The Assistant Field Manager’s focus is on and in the field—performing many farm tasks directly, but also facilitating, directing, and training individuals with varying degrees of farming experience. This position is an excellent opportunity to gain management experience.
The Assistant Field Manager must have a deep understanding of organic and sustainable growing practices, a passion for education, and be comfortable working with our energetic, high performing team in supporting a program that is relevant and effective in an urban public school district serving many students from low-resource backgrounds.
Jones Valley Teaching Farm (JVTF)
Jones Valley Teaching Farm (JVTF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) located in Birmingham, Alabama. We design innovative, hands-on food education programs that improve student learning and increase student access to healthy food. Through our urban teaching farms and partnerships with schools, more than 17,000 students have been educated through our programs over the last four years.
In 2012, JVTF launched Good School Food (GSF), our in-school food education model in a Pre-K-5 Birmingham City School. We have since expanded this program to seven total partner schools, including five in a distinct Pre-K-12 feeder pattern.
GSF is designed to improve education and health outcomes for students. We achieve this by building out extensive teaching farms on school campuses and providing our partner schools with full-time instructors who collaborate with teachers to develop and deliver programs and curricula that align food and nutrition concepts with learning goals in math, science, social studies, engineering, and language arts.
JVTF has called one city block in downtown Birmingham home since 2007, and continues to host thousands of students, community gardeners, and visitors annually. The downtown site hosts our partner schools for week-long education programs and will also serve as a collaborative partner with Phillips Academy, a neighboring Birmingham City School. Though your primary responsibilities are as a farmer, you will need to believe in the mission and spirit of our educational programs, and will be a steward for our farm as a site for educational initiatives in addition to the production of high quality, organic food.
Our farmers work hard to be both efficient and experimental with our farming practices as we establish a beautiful ecosystem in the heart of the city. We grow over 200 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. We’re proud to provide fresh produce to our community through our on-site produce stand and support Farm Labs and Student-Run Farmers Markets at our Birmingham City partner schools.
- Work collaboratively with the Urban Farm Field Manager and Farm Director to create a superior outdoor learning environment, maintaining a high standard of aesthetics and productivity
- Support the Urban Farm Field Manager in: overseeing all aspects of crop production, soil management, volunteer management, and produce marketing; purchasing farm and market supplies; maintaining detailed farm-related records and reports; managing maintenance repairs and improvements of equipment and facilities; organization of farm equipment, materials, and supplies; maintaining consistent visitor safety, security, and general appearance of the site; and in general janitorial/ housekeeping tasks
- With the Field manager, communicate regularly with the Urban Farm Education Staff and Community Garden volunteers to ensure that they have the farm-related resources that they need for success.
- Lead formal and informal tours of the farm for the general public and lead community work days.
- Act with high degree of self-reliance, confidence and initiative, communicating effectively with diverse groups of individuals including university/college students, children, and community-based partners
- Maintain healthy relationships with JVTF staff, school staff, students, parents, community members and JVTF affiliates
- Participate in JVTF staff meetings and professional development
What We Look For
- Believers in the power of education and food
- A willingness to innovate and contribute to the growth and evolution of JVTF as an organization as it continues to develop its education-based mission using food as our platform.
- A positive and constructive attitude, self-direction, self-motivation, and openness to assessing and improving their work
- Extraordinary professionalism, flexibility, intuitiveness, organizational and communication skills
- Proven and confident leadership and the ability to perform as a clear, encouraging, demanding, trainer
- Safely and skillfully operate and provide basic maintenance of a variety of farm equipment, hand tools, power equipment, and farm vehicles
- Must be physically capable of lifting 50+lbs and participating in the physical needs of gardening and landscape work for long days and in all weather
- A minimum two years of experience/training in sustainable organic farming methods
*Degree in related field and/or Farm Apprentice training is preferred.
- A demonstrated record of community service and/or civic engagement
- Criminal background check and a valid driver’s license required
- Experience in beekeeping or interest in learning
- Growth: This is a true opportunity for working at the community level, making decisions that impact the growth and development of a nonprofit with ambitious goals, and impacting students. Through this job, you will have an immediate platform for fast, but thoughtful professional and personal growth.
- Culture: We take care of one another at JVTF. You are not expected to be anyone but yourself.
- Good Food: We have one of the most robust and productive urban farms in the country, and our staff has access to fresh organic produce all year long.
Duration and Compensation
The Assistant Field Manager position is a year-round, full-time position. Competitive compensation packages include salary, health benefits, and paid vacation. This position begins January, 2016.
To apply, please send a cover letter and résumé with “Assistant Field Manager” in the subject line to Katherine@jvtf.org. In this cover letter, please highlight previous relevant experiences. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. No phone calls or drop-ins, please.