Farm Production Crew Member

Summary

Do you want to make a difference in your community? Are you ready to make an impact? Become an AmeriCorps member in Reno today with Desert Farming Initiative!

Position Description

The Desert Farming Initiative is a diversified commercial farm at UNR located at the Nevada Agriculture Experiment Station, serving as a demonstration, education, outreach, and research farming program for sustainable and organic farming practices. The Desert Farming Initiative (DFI) began in 2013, and is in collaboration between the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources, Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station (NAES), and Cooperative Extension.  Visit the DFI website at http://naes.unr.edu/dfi


Our Mission is to advance and strengthen sustainable agriculture and food systems in Nevada while researching and demonstrating best practices that can be replicated in other high desert climates:

  • Demonstrating: The best crops, production techniques, and sustainable farming practices that are economically viable and successful in the Nevadan high desert climate.

  • Educating: Create opportunities for learn by doing, hands on farm experiences for students, farmers, and the public. Provide resources and information about sustainable farming and food systems for desert climates, food safety, and general crop production information.

  • Outreach and Technical Assistance: Actively inform and engage with the community and stakeholders about agricultural systems that address the challenges of both economic and environmental sustainability in desert climates; and provide assistance to growers regarding agricultural regulations, policies, crop production techniques, and environmental stewardship.

  • Research: Facilitate and develop research opportunities, collaborating with University faculty and students, other organizations and agencies, and industry to improve agricultural practices for desert climates.

In addition to acting as a demonstration and research resource in Nevada, DFI operates a year-round commercial farm producing a large variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs sold at many leading Reno establishments.  Over 20 tons of produce is harvested and sold annually, and the farm serves as real-life training farm for future farmers and students. All crops are produced with organic farming methods and DFI produce is certified organic by CCOF.


Position Description

The Farm Production Crew Member will serve day to day on a demonstration and educational organic farm, assisting the Farm Production Manager in organic crop production on 4 acres of diversified crops, 6 large hoop houses, greenhouse propagation of over 100,000 plants, and various other small garden and orchard plots.  This position will primarily be on the farm and there is very little to no office duties.  The position also includes corresponding and teaching students, interns, volunteers and the general public with direction from the Director and Farm Manager.

Service Dates

February 2021 -August 2021, 30-40 hours a week

Primary Responsibilities

  • Conduct all standard farm and garden tasks, that may include the following; weeding, harvesting, transplanting, seeding, cultivation, irrigation management, fertilizing, small equipment operation and composting

  • Play a primary role in conducting pre harvest risk assessments and assist the Farm Manager in ensuring the produce is harvested to specifications and sales quality.

  • Assist in post-harvest tasks; including washing and packing, and proper sanitation of the washhouse.

  • Assist in executing the DFI Food Safety Farm plan in the field and in the washhouse.

  • Implement on farm education tutorials to students and the general public.

  • Hoop house infrastructure maintenance, repair and construction.

  • Major greenhouse propagation duties including: with exceptional training – executing the greenhouse propagation plan provided by the Director and Farm Manager, implement pest control and fertility program, make custom soil blend, sanitize equipment, irrigation management, lead others in the greenhouse on tasks, and inventory supplies as needed.

Secondary Responsibilities:

  • Assist Program Manager in timely record keeping pertaining to crop production records such as; harvest logs, food safety logs, greenhouse fertilizing logs, irrigation logs, and pest management logs.

  • Assist leading volunteer groups on the farm

  • Assist in the planting and implementation of the farm conservation plan, including installing and maintaining hedgerow and insectary rows.

  • At times, assist at farmer’s markets, produce delivery, and tabling at events

  • Correspond with University faculty, students, and the public.

Qualifications

  • Passionate commitment to farming, gardening, and teaching others.  Preference will be given to individuals who have a vested interest in a food production career in NV.

  • Knowledge of organic agriculture and local food systems

  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment;

  • Ability to work outdoors conducting physical labor in hot and cold temperatures;

  • Outstanding work ethic and a positive can do attitude

  • Commitment to diligent record keeping

  • Commitment to attention to detail

  • Interested in working with students, teachers, and volunteers;

  • Preferred: strong understanding of education standards and experience in curriculum development;

  • Preferred: experience working on a commercial farm or garden;

  • Preferred: Marketing or website experience

Compensation and Benefits

In return for their service, AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance of $7,559/year, health benefits during their service, and will receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $3,097.50 upon successful completion of service.

AmeriCorps

Term of Service & Time Requirements:

Member's term of service begins on February 1st, 2021 and will be completed by August 13th, 2021. This is a half-time AmeriCorps member position. Members must complete 920 hours of service.

Statement on Supplementation, duplication, or displacement of staff:

This position does not duplicate work of previous or existing employees or volunteers, supplant the hiring of workers, or include service of duties that have been performed or were performed by a current employee, an employee who recently resigned or was discharged, an employee subject to a reduction in force, or an employee who is on leave.

Service Environment Description and Inclusive Member Position Description Statement:

Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The above functions may be completed with or without reasonable accommodations. No persons involved with the program will discriminate based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation or disability. This position has recurring access to vulnerable populations.

To apply:

A full application submittal will consist of a detailed resume (no page limit), cover letter, and 2 personal or professional references. 

Deadline:  Dec 31st, 2020 (may be extended)

Email your application package (resume, cover letter, references) to cschembre@unr.edu

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