Employment

Employment

Thank you for your interest in joining the Somali Bantu Community Association team. We are currently hiring for the following position:

Farm Operations Manager & Educator

Organization Description

The mission of the Somali Bantu Community Association (SBCA) is to provide vital transitional services, advocacy, and programming that empowers members of the refugee community to uphold cultural identity and thrive in their new life here in Lewiston/Auburn, Maine.

The main programmatic undertaking of the SBCA is the community farming program, Liberation Farms. It aims is to provide new American farmers access to, and culturally-appropriate resources for, the means of sustainable food production for themselves and their communities to bolster food and economic security. The program assists over 140 Somali Bantu farmers by providing access to land, seeds, trainings, technical assistance, and marketing. To learn more, please visit www.somalibantumaine.org.

Position:

The Farm Operations Manager & Educator is responsible for overall farm management and stewardship of SBCA farms, as well as training and collaborating with Farm Managers to ensure successful implementation of the farming program. During the growing season, the position will rotate as needed between the Lewiston and Auburn farms, the wash station, and cold storage site. In the off-season, the Farm Operations Manager & Educator may work remotely or from the SBCA office in Lewiston. Experience working with diverse populations, participatory adult education, and experience managing diversified vegetable farms are necessary prerequisites for this position.

Start date: Immediate

Supervision Received: Executive Director & Markets Manager

Partners with: Farm Managers

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

Training & Education (40%)

  • Work one-on-one to provide support and training to the two Farm Managers, who will pass on that knowledge to farmers in the program. This includes, but is not limited to, technical assistance in areas of farm production and operations.
  • Conduct listening sessions to determine what farmers are interested in learning and what ways they learn best.
  • Work with, and offer training to, Farm Managers to ensure whole farm field and crop rotations.
  • Provide support to farmer participants growing on the site as requested.

Farm Management (40%)

  • Provide overall support to a diverse team of people working to keep daily farm operations running smoothly. Help determine work plans, project goals and deadlines.
  • Support whole farm system management by coordinating with Farm Managers in overseeing pre-season preparation, tilling, soil nutrient management, crop planning, opening new fields, planting, and irrigation design and setup, and postseason cleanup.
  • Work closely with Farm Managers and Markets Manager to develop seedling production and planting plans.
  • Develop short-term and long-term soil fertility plans and work collaboratively with participating farmers and stakeholders to design, finalize, and implement plans.
  • Organize and manage building projects such as wash & pack infrastructure, cold storage, and winter storage. Oversee infrastructure maintenance and repair as needed.
  • Develop, oversee, and monitor farm budget (annual and capital expenses).

Other Duties & Responsibilities (20%)

  • Organize and lead SBCA’s farmland site search with support from partners.
  • Maintain communication and positive working relationships with SBCA’s farmland landlords and other service providers such as Land for Good, Cooperative Extension, NRCS, etc.
  • Attend relevant workshops, training, and conferences. Review professional materials and literature.
  • Ability and willingness to drive to multiple farm sites and delivery locations.
  • Performing other project-related duties as required.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Minimum 3 years’ experience with production-scale diversified vegetable farming, preferably with experience in all aspects of farm planning.
  • Experience working, or training in cross-cultural environments and/or experience with participatory adult education.
  • Experience providing services and support to minority and disenfranchised communities.
  • Experience working with ESOLs and preliterate/limited literacy people.
  • Direct experience developing and managing complex on-the-ground farming operations.
  • Detail oriented and able to track farming practices and field records as well as project expenses.
  • Past experience tracking and managing farm budgets.  
  • Excellent written, oral, and intercultural communication skills.
  • Reliable transportation, cell phone, and valid driver’s license. Employees are expected to use their own vehicle and personal cell phone for work.
  • Able to lift 50 pounds.
  • Able to work outside in all kinds of weather.

Compensation:

$18 per hour. This is a non-exempt, full-time, year round position.

To apply:

Please email a résumé, brief cover letter explaining your interest and experience in farming, education, and working with diverse populations, and three references to Kristina Kalolo at kristina@somalibantumaine.org. Please combine all documents into one PDF application.

Open until filled. Application review and interviews are scheduled as applications are received.

The Somali Bantu Community Association is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applicants from culturally diverse backgrounds and/or historically oppressed communities to apply.