McKay Farm Seasonal Greenhouse Assistant

Unity College
Thorndike - Thorndike, ME, 04986

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Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Job Details

Job Location: Thorndike - Thorndike, ME

Position Type: Seasonal

About Unity College:

For more than fifty years, Unity College has been preparing the next generation of environmental professionals and leaders to successfully face real-world challenges. With environmentally focused degrees, Unity College offers affordable and accessible degrees, certificates, and non-degree courses, through a variety of modalities including hybrid, in-person, hyflex, and online.

Our Mission:

Through the framework of sustainability science, Unity College provides a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Through experiential and collaborative learning, our graduates emerge as responsible citizens, environmental stewards, and visionary leaders.

Position Overview:

A seasonal position providing agricultural services to McKay Farm and Research Station. The McKay Farm Greenhouse Assistant 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 services and products. The McKay Farm Greenhouse Assistant 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.

Key Responsivities:

  • 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.
  • 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 Manager 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.
  • Monitor's inventory and recommends purchases of needed equipment and supplies.
  • 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 Manager to maintain an organized, inviting, safe and sanitary environment.
  • Operating hours and time on-site will vary and may require early mornings, evenings, and/or weekends.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.
  • Required:

    • High School Diploma or GED equivalent
    • Relevant experience working in a greenhouse agricultural setting.
    • Implements a hands-on approach to assist with the management of daily operations.
    • Ability to work as part of a team or independently as needed.
    • Working knowledge of MS Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.
    • Must possess a positive attitude.
    • Effective verbal and written communication skills with all levels of the organization and with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
    • Organized and able to juggle multiple tasks at the same time and establish priorities for meeting deadlines, using time efficiently.
    • Exercises independent judgement on a regular basis.
    • Ability and willingness to work with students from diverse political/socioeconomic backgrounds and a wide range of physical and academic abilities.
    • Contributes to the Colleges commitment to sustainability and contributes to the Colleges commitment to support a diverse and inclusive working and learning environment.
    • Demonstrates commitment to Unity Colleges core values and serves as a role model for the Colleges standards of conduct.
    • Personal commitment to the environmental focus and mission of the college.
    • Ensures compliance with established Unity College: McKay policies & procedures
    • A good driving record with the ability to obtain a valid Maine Drivers License.
    • Ability to function effectively within a matrix organizational structure.

    • Bachelors degree, in agricultural sciences or a related discipline.
    • 1-3 years relevant experience working in a greenhouse agricultural setting.
    • Knowledge of Integrated Pest Management principles and practices, plant propagation and culture methods, soil and growth media preparation required.
    • 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.
    • Ability to identify crop plants and their problems (disease, pests, and others).
    • Ability to conduct routine maintenance and small repairs on equipment such as tractors and farm implements, forklift, climate control systems, chemical sprayers, and hand tools.
    • Experience with carpentry and/or mechanical repair.
    Work Schedule / Availability Requirements

    Work hours are specific to the requirements of this position and can include days, early mornings, evenings, and weekends. Working extended hours required as needed. On-call hours may also be required. Must be flexible and cooperative in fulfilling responsibilities and meeting the Colleges needs. Although Unity College employees are generally scheduled to work at their specifically assigned locations, there are times when travel is necessary and employees are required from time to time to attend events, meetings or work temporary assignment at any Unity College location.

    Physical Demands

    While performing the duties of this job, it is regularly required to sit and talk or hear. The employee is often required to stand and/or walk, reach with arms, climb or balance, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl and climb stairs. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 lbs. and up to 100 pounds with the use of designated moving equipment. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. The use of either hand for repetitive movements such as grasping, grasping and turning, and fine manipulation is required as is the ability to use the telephone and computer for internal and external communications.

    Environmental Conditions:

    Work is performed in a greenhouse and farm environment. There may be a mix of office work, driving, fieldwork, and walking the facility outdoors and indoors in all types of weather. The fieldwork could be indoors in greenhouses or outdoors in yards, fields, woods, or any of the Colleges properties. Exposure to changes in temperature or humidity is possible. The noise level in the work environment can vary and hearing protection may be needed around operating equipment and machinery. Work with chemicals and substances requiring safety precautions and with equipment requiring constant and careful attention. Routinely operates mechanical equipment. Always required to wear protective equipment during periodic use of pesticides, fertilizers, and soil preparation.

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