Jones Valley Teaching Farm
Woodlawn High School
Urban Farm Manager
The Woodlawn High School (WHS) Urban Farm Manager leads all aspects of production on the WHS Urban Farm campus. The Urban Farm Manager will collaborate with the Farm Director and the WHS Program Director to launch an innovative program that supports student development in core subject matter and skills that contribute to their overall social-emotional development, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and leadership abilities through student-centered farm management and the development and implementation of a student-driven social business.
The WHS Urban Farm Manager must have a deep understanding of organic and sustainable growing practices and be comfortable working with our energetic, high performing team in developing 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 501(c)(3) non-profit 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.
Woodlawn High School (WHS)
The 2-acre urban farm site, located behind the high school, will be a place where students have the opportunity to connect their classroom studies to the science of producing and selling food. Students will engage in active, hands-on experiential learning and develop a deep understanding of the social, cultural, environmental and economic impact of food on communities. Students will have responsibilities for designing and managing every element of urban agricultural production, providing access to local sustainably grown produce for the surrounding community.
The urban farm will also provide students with the platform to operate a social business. Students will develop and practice business management and entrepreneurial skills while engaging in civically minded work around food access and sustainable agriculture. Over the course of a school year, students will work collaboratively to design, implement and manage all elements of their chosen business venture—from research and development, to branding and marketing, operations and logistics, and finances.
An urban farm education center is also located on the urban farm site and includes a 40-person pavilion, 1,500 sf greenhouse, vegetable processing and cold storage, restroom and office, equipment barn, as well as a 4,000sf combination pond/bioswale.
- Work collaboratively with the Farm Director, WHS Program Director, and WHS Teaching Farm Fellow to create a superior outdoor learning environment, maintaining a high standard of aesthetics and productivity
- With the WHS Program Director: create a dynamic, empathetic, and functional learning environment for all students, mentoring individual students in and out of class while modeling respect and curiosity for learning
- With the Farm Director: maintain detailed farm-related records and reports, oversee all aspects of crop production, soil management and marketing, coordinate day-to-day farm operations- performing tasks directly and also facilitating, directing, and training individuals and students with varying degrees of experience.
- Adhering to school system rules, administrative procedures, local board policies, and state and federal rules and regulations that are a part of a public school system.
- Act with high degree of self-reliance, confidence and initiative, communicating effectively and engaging the entire school community, as well as the surrounding community.
- Maintain healthy relationships with JVTF staff, school staff, students, parents, community members and JVTF affiliates. Balancing responsibilities while representing two distinct organizations: Jones Valley Teaching Farm and Birmingham City Schools.
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, teacher/trainer/instructor
- 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
- 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 WHS Urban Farm 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 “WHS Urban Farm 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.