Farm and Garden Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator

Position: Farm and Garden Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator


Organization: Desert Farming Initiative



The Desert Farming Initiative (DFI) is a collaboration between the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources, Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station (NAES), and Cooperative Extension. DFI is a diversified commercial farm at UNR which serves as a
demonstration, education, outreach, and research farming program.  The program has two farm locations on NAES land, and is comprised of multiple hoop houses, greenhouses, the capacity to produce 12 acres of row crops, and a 2-acre experimental vineyard.  Currently there is a variety of fruits and vegetables grown for commercial sale to local wholesale and retail markets across the greater Reno area. DFI supports student hands-on learning, UNR research, demonstration of desert crop production, and outreach to the
public. Visit DFI website at

Position Description

The Farm and Garden Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator, an AmeriCorps member, will be an essential member of the DFI team in executing and achieving the organization mission and program goals. The Desert Farming Initiative’s main site is located at the Nevada Agriculture Experiment Station off of Valley Road in Reno next to the UNR main campus. The individual will serve the majority of his/her time at this location. The position will wear many hats, serving as a core member of the farm team, producing a
diversity of vegetable, fruit, and herb crops; assist in crop production data record keeping; developing and coordinating volunteer days on the farm with UNR students, faculty, and outside organizations; facilitating on farm activities for the public including local schools, organizations, and UNR students; participate at workshops and events; and develop social media content related to volunteer events, and other public awareness about DFI programs. The position does not need previous experience working on a farm or garden, although desired. However, the individual must have a desire to learn about sustainable farming systems and food production. The position will directly report to the DFI Program Manager, and take direction on the farm from the Farm Manager as well. In addition, the position will serve as a leadership when conducting volunteer activities and events.


Service Location: Reno, NV


Timeline for Service: February 2020 - August 2020


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 general farm infrastructure maintenance.

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

  • In time, obtain primary responsibility of conducting all greenhouse propagation tasks
    with students and volunteers.

  • Develop and coordinate volunteer opportunities and events for university students and
    the public. This position will help DFI expand volunteer opportunities and establish a
    structured volunteer program. Volunteer work on the farm is essential to the
    livelihood of the farm.

  • Coordinate farm to food pantry efforts for Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada St.
    Vincent’s Food Pantry.

  • Develop outreach and program marketing materials pertaining to volunteer work and
    education content regarding DFI programs.

  • Outreach at events and on campus regarding DFI programs and opportunities

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


  • Passionate commitment to farming, gardening, and teaching others;

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

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

  • Good writing skills;

  • Strong computer skills and experience with Microsoft Office applications;

  • Strong communication skills;

  • Strong organizational skills;

  • Experience working with students, teachers, and volunteers;

  • Preferred: Bachelor’s degree in education, science, or a related field;

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

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

  • Preferred: Marketing or website experience

Term of Service & Time Requirements

Member’s term of service begins on February 3rd, 2020 and will be completed by August 7, 2020. This is a half-time AmeriCorps member position. Members must complete 920 hours of service.


In return for their service, AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance of
$7,408, and will receive a Segal AmeriCorps
Education Award of $3,047.50.

To Apply

Send a cover letter and resume to Charles Schembre at

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