Farm Operations Manager

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States Full-time

Kretschmann Farm is seeking a Farm Operations Manager with minimum of 3 years’ experience on mid-sized organic vegetable and fruit farm.  Unique opportunity; unique timing.

 

About the Farm:  

We are in the process of a generational transfer of one of the original and leading certified organic farms in the East.  It’s a mature and stable business; profitable, and diverse on 80 acres.  For 40 years we have been pioneers not only in organic vegetable production but also a small disease resistant apple orchard.  Our large CSA in 1993 pioneered the neighborhood delivery so common now.  See more about us at www.kretschmannfarm.com

 

This could be called a “latchkey operation” in a “growth industry,” but every farm is unique with a myriad of moving parts.  We have an existing well developed farm and market; there are lots of directions the future could take.  Next generation family member plans on maintaining farm, but has interests in the arts as well and would cooperatively manage.  She would also be open to cooperatively develop an updated vision for the farm. 

 

Diversity is our strong suit--veggies/fruit, country/city, Anglo/Hispanic, and mature/innovative.  We have seasons, year round rainfall, nearby ski resorts, and the great cultural venues of Pittsburgh.

 

Overview:  This is a managerial position, but with our small crew there will be multiple hats to wear including field work.  This is especially true while learning the scope and detail of existing practices.

 

Living:  Possibility of housing 10 minutes away in a traditional walkable small town—Zelienople; two blocks to elementary school in excellent school district.  Farm is 20 minutes from very affordable-to-buy housing in older industrial Ohio River Valley.  We’re rural, but uniquely located well within an hour of Pittsburgh, PA, with great cultural venues, higher educational institutions, museums, medical care, burgeoning dining/food scene, technology, and major sports teams.  Fresh food is provided in-season.

 

Start:  Ideally, February 2018.  Could start immediately.  Fall would be a great time to see the full scope.  Interviews until the ideal candidate has been identified.  The Farm Operations Manager position is a unique opportunity for an individual with a calling to mid-scale organic produce production.

 

Primary Supervisory Responsibilities

 

Day to Day Oversight/Maintenance

  • Pulling together all the threads so farm functions smoothly
  • Checking on proper functioning of facilities eg. power, water, machinery, greenhouse...
  • Off hours: minor emergency maintenance
  • Monitor weather for planning/action
  • Awareness of unexpected events and respond

 

Soil Building/Maintenance

  • Soil testing
  • Fertility program
  • Cover & soil improvement crops
  • Plan & procure amendments

 

Crop Planning

  • Variety selection
  • Planting schedule
  • Quantities and timing
  • Ordering supplies

 

In Cooperation with Packhouse Team

Packing House Supervision

  • Washing
  • Post-harvest handling
  • Inventory management
  • Sanitation

 

Produce/CSA Delivery

  • Insure CSA’s and other products depart the farm expeditiously and arrive at destination in good condition
  • Conduct truck and equipment maintenance and repair

 

In Cooperation with Field Production Team

Crop Production

  • Field prep: tillage, fitting
  • Field planting: seeding, transplanting; manage and implement planting schedules
  • Weed and disease management
  • Harvest
  • Maintain field records
  • Greenhouse and high tunnel production
  • Orchard maintenance and pruning

 

Qualifications & Experience:

 

  • Good driving record
  • Supervisory experience
  • Experience operating farm equipment: tractors, plow, tiller, mulch layer, sprayer, cultivators, planters, mower.
  • Excellent understanding of an organic farm operation including certification
  • Commitment to organic, natural, sustainable, and organic principles
  • Passion for this world
  • Minimum 3 years similar experience

 

Capabilities:

  • Good written and oral communication skill
  • Proven ability to manage and develop employees
  • Physically fit with high endurance; high energy and enthusiasm
  • Ability to work long hours under extreme pressure and conditions
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks at once
  • Ability to adapt to changing situations
  • Proven organizational skills
  • Facility using MS-Office especially Excel sheets
  • Ability to give detailed direction
  • Attention to detail

 

Salaried full time position. Compensation commensurate with experience and responsibility.  For the right candidate this has the potential for much more than just a JOB; the right person can earn equity in the operation, have a significant say in its direction, and can truly be part of the next generation of this organic farm.