Organic Plant Propagation Assistant

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Summary

Learn the ins and outs of an organic commercial greenhouse, be a part of a new native vegetable propagation program to support regional food sovereignty, and be a member of a dynamic university farm team. Do your AmeriCorps service with the Desert Farming Initiative in Reno!

Position Description

The Organic Plant Propagation Assistant will take on a leading role in the DFI greenhouse, and work with 2022 farm team on fruit and vegetable production in general. This is a half term (approximately 6-month) position. It does not require previous horticulture, farming or food systems experience, although such experience is preferred for the position. Ongoing  training will be provided during this AmeriCorps term, and the successful candidate must have a desire to learn about plant propagation and sustainable agriculture. The position will report to the DFI Director, and take direction from the  DFI Farm Production Manager and Education Program Coordinator as well. The position involves physically demanding  tasks outdoors on the farm, interacting with diverse groups and populations, and working independently as well as within  a dynamic team.


Service Location: DFI at the Nevada Agriculture Experiment Station, 920 Valley Road, Reno, NV 89512. AmeriCorps  contracts, living allowances and education awards are managed through the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. Periodic  daytime travel may be required within the metro area and region.


Timeline for Half Term Service: February – August 2022


Schedule: Approximately 40 hours per week. Time off includes 5 days of vacation, 5 days of sick leave and federal holidays.  A total of 920 hours are required to be completed during this half term of AmeriCorps service.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Play a key role in DFI’s plant propagation program, growing annual and perennial plant starts for the DFI farm and other  farms, nonprofits and nurseries. This includes soil mixing, seeding by hand and with a vacuum seeder, transplanting,  thinning, trellising, watering, fertilizing and organic pest and disease control activities.

  • Conduct broader farm tasks, including: weeding, harvesting, cultivation, irrigation management, small equipment  operation, and fruit and vegetable packaging and delivery.

  • Assist the DFI Director, Education Program Coordinator and Farm Production Manager in timely record keeping  pertaining to plant propagation and crop production.

  • Participate in events for university students, other AmeriCorps service members and the public. In time provide training  to other members of the farm team and volunteers.

  • Assist in basic social media postings to help tell DFI’s story.

  • Interact professionally with University faculty, staff, students, the media and the public.

Qualifications

  • Passionate commitment to working with others on sustainable agriculture. Preference will be given to individuals who  have an interest in a food systems or agricultural career in Nevada

  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment and take initiative to improve farm systems 

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

  • Outstanding work ethic and positive attitude

  • Good interpersonal communication skills 

  • Strong computer skills and experience with Microsoft Office applications

  • Strong organizational skills

  • Experience working with volunteers

  • Preferred: strong understanding of or educational background in horticulture and/or food systems  

  • Preferred: experience working on a commercial or educational farm

Compensation and Benefits

AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance of $8,471 for a half term (approximately 6 months) and a Segal  AmeriCorps Education Award of $3,172.50. Half term service members also receive an AmeriCorps/DFI t-shirt, hoodie,  hat, and water bottle. Service members have the option to apply for student loan forbearance, and may be eligible for  SNAP and Medicaid benefits.

To apply:

A complete application consists of a detailed resume, cover letter, and 2 professional references. Please submit your  application directly via email to Jill Moe, DFI Director, at jmoe@unr.edu. Incomplete applications and applications  submitted indirectly via online platforms (such as Indeed or other) will not be considered.


Application Deadline: Dec 20, 2021