Warren Wilson College seeks applicants for the Garden Manager position, an exciting role that oversees a large organic garden operation with the assistance and support of student workers they lead and mentor. If you have progressive, professional experience in organic food production and you enjoy teaching and sharing your knowledge with others who are eager to learn, this might be a great opportunity for you. Ideal candidates will possess previous experience managing organic garden operations, including staff supervision, and possess the ability to engage and mentor workers from different backgrounds, particularly traditional college aged students. Desirable candidates have demonstrated success planning, marketing year round operations with a lens toward sustainability and possess experience teaching organic gardening skills. Exceptional candidates will possess a desire to lead, inspire and supervise student workers.
If you are interested in applying for this position, please read further to learn more about qualifications and the job responsibilities for this role. This is a full-time, regular, exempt position, with an anticipated start date of January 4, 2021. All applicants are asked to submit a resume, cover letter and respond to the following essay prompt, with their application:
Warren Wilson College is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive experience for all individuals who are drawn to our distinct approach to education, which is a part of our strategic plan. Please reflect on your experiences working in agriculture with people from different backgrounds than your own, and how you would draw upon that experience to engage and invite students and other stakeholders with a variety of identities and lived experiences to be an integral part of garden operations at the college.
Please note that priority will be given to individuals who apply by Monday, October 5, 2020 by 5PM EST. Candidates must apply electronically. Please be advised that relocation is not available for this position.
- Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, horticulture, or related field; or five or more years of progressively responsible related experience in organic food production; or a combination of commensurate education and experience.
- Two years’ experience managing an organic garden or truck farming operation utilizing greenhouses and season extenders required.
- One year of supervision experience required.
- Working knowledge of safe operation and maintenance of garden equipment required.
- Must have experience teaching organic market gardening techniques in a working environment.
- Knowledge of OSHA regulations and safety procedures.
- Master’s degree preferred.
- Prior experience working with draft horses.
- Multiple years of supervision experience preferred, especially with traditional college aged students
The Garden Manager directs and oversees the operation and outreach for the College 6-acre organically farmed garden that focuses on the production of vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, soft fruits, apples and flowers. This position supervises a 25 person student crew, coordinates the garden's education functions, maintains the garden equipment, including tractors and garden infrastructure. In consultation with the Dean of Land Resources, directs crop planning and business management of the garden.
Crew Supervision and Training
- Supervises, trains and evaluates a 25-member student work crew, including the Horse Crew.
- Interacts daily with students teaching the skills of organic food production.
- Meets regularly and works together with the garden crew.
- Observes safety standards and procedures as required by OSHA and Warren Wilson College; takes proactive approach to safety.
- Assist the Work Program Office (WPO) with recruitment and orientation of student crew members.
- Coordinate, communicate and monitor student work schedules, approve student timecards by payroll schedule deadlines, and plan for and delegate appropriate tasks to student crew members.
- Maintain professional boundaries with students.
- Guide students through the learning and performance goals and evaluations process in a timely manner, mentor students to support their professional and educational development.
- Attend WPO supervisor orientation and other training as available.
- Collaborate with the staff of the WPO to problem solve any student crew issues that may arise.
Garden Operations Management
- In consultation with the Dean of Land Resources, determines garden-related activities to be practiced in support of the College mission. Performs sound crop and livestock management activities in a timely manner, minimizing environmental impact.
- Creates and executes annual production plans in consultation with College food service to provide high quality produce for the community year-round.
- Supervises the marketing of garden products including to campus community and other direct and wholesale accounts.
- Supervises the development and marketing of value-added products.
- Manages facilities and infrastructure involved in Garden operation including cabins, greenhouses, fences and water systems. Coordinates maintenance and repairs with Facilities Management as necessary; keeps the garden looking aesthetically attractive.
- In consultation with the Dean of Land Resources, develops, maintains, and works within the operating budget; reconciles credit card statements; collects and submits check requests in a timely fashion.
- Incorporates the College’s draft horses into garden operations as appropriate.
- Maintains accurate records including harvest and sales, inputs, pest management, and rotations.
- Administers, facilitates and develops policies and procedures in regards to the Garden in consultation with the Dean of Land Resources
Education Resource Development and Coordination
- Collaborates with faculty, staff and greater community to utilize the Garden as an educational resource.
- Investigates and experiments with a wide range of agricultural methods and products to find practices that are environmentally and economically sustainable.
- Encourages WWC community use of the garden area by providing a welcoming environment.
- Manages the garden as a model of sustainable practices that other growers in the surrounding region can use as best fits their own operations; shares knowledge gained with others in the agricultural community by participating in area farming organizations, occasional talks and presentations, etc.
- Performs other duties as assigned.