soil

Hiring! Lead Farmer & Educator for the Student Farm

Join us! 

The Student Farm is looking for a Production Manager & Educator to lead our organic farming program. To quote a friend, “it’s a world-changing job”: a chance to teach and learn with bright minds passionate about agriculture and food systems, and a chance to engage our community with emerging questions in agroecology - from water conservation and carbon sequestration, to new technologies and farm practices, to food justice and sovereignty.

We are looking for a farmer who can foster leadership and democratic participation, on the farm and in future food systems, and who can bring vision for (and curiosity about) what the future of ag should look like - ecologically, socially, and economically.

You will be supported by a team of students, staff, university partners, and volunteers. In the coming years we have the opportunity to pursue new practices and possibilities together; your experience and interest will shape this job and community. 

Please apply here by Feb 4, 2024. We are looking to have someone begin by June 2024. Please get in touch if you are interested in the position but have questions about the timing, job, or hiring process. 


Student Farm Production Manager and Educator

Academic Coordinator I.

Overview

UC Davis Student Farm. The UC Davis Student Farm is an educational and production farm focusing on sustainable agriculture and food systems, and emphasizing in-field experiential learning. The Student Farm’s mission is to build a more sustainable and just agricultural food system. The UC Davis Principles of Community guide the Student Farm’s work learning with and serving a diverse student body who bring their own unique perspectives, life experiences and academic interests.

Each year the Student Farm engages over 300 students in staff-, faculty-, and peer-mentored experiential learning. Programs include the Market Garden, Ecological Garden, Flower Project, teaching and research fields, food justice and plant breeding projects, and farm equipment and vineyard internships. At the Student Farm, students understand sustainability and leadership through engagement with soils, crops, climate, agricultural practices, and community. In addition to these efforts, the Student Farm is implementing an equity and inclusion plan that engages students with multiple histories and values in agriculture.

The Student Farm is a unit with the Agricultural Sustainability Institute, which is housed under the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES). In addition to collaborations with students and faculty in CA&ES we also work with the College of Engineering, College of Letters and Sciences, and School of Education.

Production Manager & Educator. The Production Manager & Educator is an Academic Coordinator who has primary responsibility for managing the “Market Garden” – a 9-acre organic farm used for experiential learning in sustainable food production and related activities. Up to 15 student employees and 40 interns per quarter support the work of the Market Garden. The fruit and vegetables they grow are sold through a 100+ member CSA, to Dining Services and at the UCD Farmers Market. Produce is also distributed to UC Davis students through the campus pantry and student resource centers. Students also visit and conduct research in the Market Garden as part of courses and tours.

The Production Manager & Educator is a core staff member at the Student Farm, working in a team to shape our vision of ecologically and socially sustainable agriculture and to support the learning and leadership development of students on the farm. It is important that the Production Manager & Educator has the capacity to approach farming and education from a multi-disciplinary perspective and is able to facilitate participatory decision making with diverse groups.

The Production Manager & Educator teaches and works alongside student employees, interns, and volunteers in daily farming activities. The majority of students who participate in internships come to the farm with no or little farming and gardening experience. To students on the farm, the Production Manager & Educator provides essential mentorship and in-field instruction, engaging them in the practical skills of organic crop, soil, water and pest management, as well as in farm planning, decision making, and discussion of underlying concepts and philosophies.

Additional duties include work with the Student Farm Director on planning, development, and evaluation of internship and leadership development programs, as well as close cooperation with the Student Farm team to manage the teaching and research fields and coordinate harvest and distribution of food to campus food security programs. The Production Manager & Educator also partners in research and experimentation with students, faculty, and community partners. Past topics have included establishment of hedgerows and native California species, organic plant breeding, no-till farming, pollinators, culturally important crops and Indigenous farming systems, and farm de-carbonization.

Job Responsibilities

Coordination of Academic Programs 80%

Farm Management (60%)
I. Oversee production, in-field teaching, and research at the Market Garden including:

  • Supervising undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in courses, completing internships or working as paid employees at the Market Garden;
  • Supervising up to 2 temporary employees at the Market Garden;
  • Leading year-round production of organic crops, primarily vegetables, herbs, and tree crops, and marketing these crops to campus customers (CSA, farmers market stand, and Dining Services);
  • Assisting in the management of plots used by instructors of courses and students conducting experiments;
  • Maintaining good records and organic certification, including organic pesticide tracking and reporting per state and federal regulations;
  • Leading vertebrate and invertebrate pest control in Market Garden, including maintaining a pesticide applicators license.

II. Work with Student Farm staff and student employees on sustaining facilities of the Market Garden and supporting programs across the Student Farm, including:

  • Working with the Director and the Field Operations Manager to maintain and improve facilities and equipment used in farm education programs;
  • Joining other permanent staff, especially the Field Operations Manager and Food Access Coordinator, to support students in shop, vineyard and food justice programs.

Academic Programming (20%)

I. Lead educational program planning and implementation at the Market Garden, including:

  • Mentoring student employees and interns;
  • Leading internships in the Market Garden organic agriculture production;
  • Contributing to leadership workshops for student employees;
  • Working with faculty to coordinate and deliver field-based experiences in sustainable ag courses;
  • Facilitating discussion and learning of new farming practices that address issues such as water conservation, carbon sequestration, and use of emerging technologies.

II. Collaborate with the Director, staff and lead students, to set goals and priorities for educational activities at the Market Garden.

III. Work with the Director to develop strategies for achieving staffing, budgetary resources, facilities and equipment goals for educational programs, including contributing to grant proposals and other fundraising efforts.

University and Public Service 15%

I. Provide informal, in-field instruction to visiting classes and groups.

II. Participate in Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI) and UCD committee(s) related to sustainable agriculture and food systems.

III. Share out research and practices of sustainable agriculture to university community and public, including:

  • Hosting field days to demonstrate sustainable agricultural production practices and disseminate results of research;
  • Updating and/or developing materials about practices and theories of sustainable agriculture for use in instructional courses by the public;
  • Conducting outreach to gardeners, UC Cooperative Extension/Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCCE and UCANR), and the diverse community of farmers in Northern California and the Central Valley to share information on sustainable production practices.

Professional Competence and Activity 5%

I. Engage in various professional activities related to organic farming and sustainable agriculture education, such as participating in professional meetings, presenting at conferences, and publishing related works.

II. Engage in professional development training related to creating inclusive and culturally relevant learning environments and serving underrepresented students, especially in agricultural fields.

QUALIFICATIONS

Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

  • Bachelor degree in a natural science, agriculture, agroecology, education, or related area, or demonstrated understanding of sustainable agriculture concepts and theories through combination of coursework and job experience.
  • At least 5 years of experience in farming or agriculture projects, including experience leading crop planning and production, marketing and sales, and tractor and/or farm equipment operation.
  • At least 3 years leading diverse teams in agricultural or community-based settings.
  • Experience mentoring and supervising in a hands-on work environment, particularly with individuals with a wide range of experience levels and goals.
  • Demonstrated commitment to creating and maintaining working and learning environments that are welcoming and inclusive.
  • Knowledge and experience developing and maintaining a safe farm working environment, including an understanding of food safety rules.
  • Strong communication skills, including speaking, listening, and writing.
  • Budget and infrastructure management skills.

Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)

  • Demonstrated commitment to sustainable and just agriculture and food systems.
  • Experience managing a 5-acre or larger diversified organic farm
  • Master’s degree in a natural science, agriculture, agroecology, education, or related area, or demonstrated understanding of sustainable agriculture concepts and theories through combination of coursework and job experience.
  • Experience facilitating teams with shared leadership, decision-making, and problem solving.
  • Experience collaborating with community or research partners on field experiments, agricultural technology, carbon budgeting, or social and cultural aspects of agriculture.
  • Experience teaching students and supporting student learning and empowerment, especially in agriculture and food systems.
  • Experience developing programming for and with diverse and multiracial audiences.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills to establish goals and meet critical deadlines.
  • Strong computer skills, e.g. Excel, google docs, relevant farm management technologies.
  • Demonstrated skills required to contribute to grant writing and fundraising.
  • Spanish speaking or dual language proficiency

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter - 1 page recommended
  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit https://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/faculty-equity-and-inclusion for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested. 1 page recommended

Reference requirements

  • 5-7 required (contact information only)

Please provide 5 references. After the first round of interviews candidates moving forward will have their references contacted to provide letters of reference.

Salary range: The salary range for this position is $59,727-$87,930. “Off-scale salaries”, i.e., a salary that is higher than the published system-wide salary at the designated rank and step, are offered when necessary to meet competitive conditions, qualifications, and experience.

Applications

Applications should be submitted on-line at (https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/). The position will remain open until March 31, 2024. To ensure full consideration, applications should be received by the initial review date, February 4, 2024.

Apply link: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/JPF06191

Aerial photo of UC Davis Student Farm teaching and research fields