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McKay Farm and Research Station Field and Gro

Employer
Unity College (Maine)
Location
Thorndike, Maine

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The Company


At Unity, sustainability isn’t a buzzword. It’s the foundation of our entire approach and has been for more than 50 years.

We apply sustainability principles to everything we do, from our properties around the State of Maine, to our online degrees offered to students everywhere, to our enrichment experiences and entrepreneurial endeavors at locations from northern Maine to Arizona to Brazil.

Engage with Unity College and you’ll start to ask tough questions, challenge the status quo, and envision new possibilities. If taking the lead in creating a more sustainable future sounds like the future you want, we can make it happen.


The Position


A staff position providing agricultural services, the Field and Grounds Technician is responsible for performing daily field and greenhouse operations at the Farm, including crop cultivation and care, equipment maintenance, and maintaining the grounds and infrastructure. This position also contributes to customer service, marketing, and sales of Farm activities and products. The Field and Grounds Technician supports and is supported by other members of the School of Environment Business and Sustainable Ventures and works with all constituencies to realize the Unity College Mission and Strategic Plan.


POSITION SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES AND EXPECTATIONS

  • Performs daily crop production activities in the field including bed preparation, mowing, mulching, watering, weeding, fertilization, planting, harvest, post-harvest handling, cover crop management, and pest management.
  • Performs daily greenhouse activities including filling and seeding flats and pots, watering when necessary and routine monitoring of environmental conditions and adjusting accordingly.
  • Monitor's condition of farm equipment and performs routine maintenance of all farm vehicles and equipment. Report's problems and works closely with farm management to ensure proper operation, maintenance, and repair.
  • Operates outdoor/indoor irrigation systems.
  • Operates farm equipment such as tractors, mowers, field implements and forklift.
  • Occasionally directs work study and volunteers in daily tasks.
  • Works with the Director to develop, plan, and evaluate field/greenhouse production activities and revenue opportunities.
  • Contributes to record keeping efforts for evaluation of venture, productivity, energy use, and sustainability, as well as requirements for compliance with MOFGA Organic certification.
  • Assists Director in crop selection and management.
  • Conducts wholesale and retail sales and updates database of customers and sales. Takes orders and makes deliveries.
  • Operates the point-of-sale system, including running cards and collecting payment from customers.
  • Demonstrates accurate cash management and inventory control accountability.
  • Provides excellent customer service; acts in a courteous and professional manner when greeting guests at the facility.
  • Serves as a technical resource to facility users including students, employees, researchers, and community members.
  • Monitor's inventory and recommends purchases of needed equipment and supplies.
  • Contributes to marketing and customer relations leading to profitable sales of farm/greenhouse products.
  • Follows protocols for safe use of chemicals.
  • Performs repairs on buildings, irrigation systems, ventilation systems as needed.
  • Maintains grounds for year-round visual appeal by performing regular mowing, trimming, weeding, mulching, and landscaping.
  • Assists with the setup of displays both inside the greenhouses and outside as needed.
  • Works continuously to improve safety at the facility by communicating and following safety guidelines; helps to identify and mitigate risks and demonstrates safe work habits.
  • Works with the Director to maintain an organized, inviting, safe and sanitary environment.
  • Operating hours and time on-site will vary based on season and may require early mornings, evenings, and/or weekends. Busy season (approximately 3 months in the Spring) will require work on the weekends.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Required:

  • High School or GED equivalent – Bachelor’s Degree preferred.
  • Three or more years working on a commercial farm or greenhouse setting.
  • Customer service experience preferred.
  • Management experience preferred.
  • Hold a valid driver’s license and be able to be certified to drive College vehicles.
  • Working knowledge of fertilizers and pesticides, including how, why, and when to apply, relevant safety and legal requirements and the correct use of related equipment.
  • Basic mechanical skills and light carpentry.
  • Knowledge of Integrated Pest Management principles and practices, plant propagation and culture methods, soil, and growth media preparation.
  • Basic computer skills including all Microsoft Office programs with an emphasis in Excel spreadsheets, Web based searches, and email.
  • Familiarity with social media including but not limited to Facebook and Instagram.
  • Able to communicate with stakeholders (employees, customers, and students) via phone, email and in person.
  • Familiarity with principles and practice of scientific research.

WORK SCHEDULE / AVAILABILITY REQUIREMENTS

Full-time (up to 40 hours per week) nonexempt position. Work hours are specific to the requirements of each position and will include days, evenings, and weekends. Busy season (approximately 3 months in the Spring) will require work on the weekends. Must be flexible and cooperative in fulfilling responsibilities and meeting the college’s needs.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

While performing the duties of this job is regularly required to sit, stand and walk as well as talk and hear. The employee must have the ability to lift, move and/or carry equipment and supplies up to 50 lbs. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. Use of either hand for repetitive movements such as grasping, grasping and turning, and fine manipulation. Often required to walk across campus and ascend and descend stairs to attend meetings and during tours.

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