Jobs and Internships

New Lands Farm Part-Time Farm Assistant (West Springfield)

Title:                                      Farm Assistant
Reports To:                           Program Coordinator
Department:                          Services for New Americans
Category:                              Professional/Program
Application Deadline:            March 31, 2016

Program Overview:
New Lands Farm, a program of Ascentria Care Alliance’s Services for New Americans, provides access to land, tools, and technical assistance to refugee and immigrant farmers to grow diverse produce for their own families and sell at local markets and businesses for supplemental income.  New Lands farm is a multicultural community farm working to create a more just and resilient food system and a diverse and inclusive local farming culture. 

Position Summary:
New Lands Farm is looking for a Farm Assistant to support the refugee and immigrant farmers at New Lands Farm in West Springfield. The Farm Assistant provides farm/field management and marketing assistance to the farmer collective. Refugee farmers represent diverse backgrounds and skills and play an important role in the local food system. The Farm Assistant will work with the Program Coordinator to ensure farmer access to appropriate tools, resources, and marketing opportunities and to ensure the long-term ecological sustainability and productivity of the farm.  

Position is seasonal, 32 hours/week beginning April 4th 2016 through October 29th, 2016 with the possibility of extension.  The position is benefit eligible. 
 
Essential Responsibilities:
  • Maintain tools, equipment, and general farm site (basic repairs, field mowing, etc.)
  • Coordinate farmers to perform volunteer hours and tasks (field mowing, clean/organize common areas, seasonal projects, i.e. cover cropping, mulching, etc.)
  • Manage soil fertility for the whole farm; take soil samples and source appropriate amendments; work with Program Coordinator to develop soil fertility trainings for farmers
  • Set-up and maintain irrigation system; assist farmers with proper setup of drip irrigation; promote water conservation; troubleshoot problems
  • Train farmers on various marketing techniques and options
  • Supervise farmers in the field during harvest and post-harvest handling
  • Provide staffing support at farmers markets, farm stands and mobile market, such as display assistance, pricing assistance, coupon processing, and transportation to and from market
  • Coordinate wholesale marketing including,  identifying availability of produce in field, finding buyers, taking orders, packing, delivering, invoicing, tracking payments, and transporting produce
  • Co-coordinate and lead farm volunteer projects for student groups and other community volunteers
Qualifications:
  • Strong background in growing food (2 years on-farm experience  required)
  • Experience in networking, sales and marketing farm products (2 years required)
  • Experience in field management and basic farm maintenance required
  • Proficiency in Nepali, Kirundi, or Swahili strongly preferred
  • Commitment to social justice and equity and a passion for promoting local agriculture
  • Ability to work in adverse weather conditions and lift up to 50 pounds
  • Strong record keeping, organization and computer skills
  • Good oral and communication skills.
  • Ability to handle situations with diplomacy and tact.
  • Interest and experience with social media and other promotion/marketing tools
  • Applicant must be a team player willing to take on additional tasks in the busiest parts of the season
  • Ability to work in multi-cultural/multi-lingual environment and be sensitive to needs of clients from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to work within the mission of the organization.
  • Must have valid driver’s license and proof of automobile insurance to transport clients and travel to various Ascentria and other sites throughout Massachusetts.
  • Some weekend and evening hours required.

 
To Apply:  Please submit cover letter and resume to MAJobs@ascentria.org.  
Reference requisition # 03111601.  
 
Ascentria Care Alliance is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Year-Round and Seasonal Internship Opportunities (West Springfield and Worcester, MA)

New Lands Farm interns conduct hands-on assistance to new refugee and immigrant farmers in the classroom, on our farm sites, and at various garden sites. New Lands farmers represent diverse backgrounds and skills. Interns work directly with New Lands Farm staff to offer new farmer trainings and manage agriculture production. Interns are involved in a diversity of activities associated with the program including farm management, field work, market coordination, transportation, volunteer coordination, and program development. They also have the opportunity to attend agricultural trainings, access land for personal gardening/farming, or create self-directed projects that benefit the program.

This position is unpaid. Hours and schedule are flexible based on program and interns’ needs. We accept interns for the semester, summer, or year. Long term volunteers are also welcome. We will work with your college or university to provide credit if requested.

Responsibilities: Interns support the New Lands Farm staff, farmers and gardeners in a variety of ways. Examples include the following:

 

  • Researching and ordering equipment, tools, seeds, supplies
  • Conducting field tasks, such as preparing new beds, planting, harvesting, maintaining/building infrastructure
  • Establishing new urban gardens
  • Organizing trainings and field trips for farmers
  • Planning and organizing farm events and volunteer days
  • Researching field production challenges, such as diseases or irrigation improvements
  • Overseeing harvest, post-harvest handling and preparation for market
  • Attending farmers’ markets and assisting with deliveries
  • Contributing to New Lands Farm website and social media outlets
  • Documenting project and farmers’ season through photos, video and/or written word

Qualifications:
  • Demonstrate background in growing food, promoting local agriculture
  • Previous vegetable field work and market crop production experience a plus
  • Comfortable interacting with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds
  • Ability to work in adverse weather conditions and lift 50 pounds
  • Driver’s license necessary and personal vehicle preferred
  • Team player who can work independently as needed
  • Strong record keeping, organization and computer skills
  • Bi-lingual language skills (Kirundi, Nepali, or Swahili) highly sought

If interested, please forward your resume and cover letter to Program Manager Ashley Carter  Positions are available throughout the year and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Download a PDF of this job description.