POSITION: Lead Apprentice - Penn Farm Project
LOCATION: Willam Penn High School/Historic Penn Farm
CLOSING DATE: Open Until Filled
START DATE: July 1st, 2021
WORK YEAR: Year-Long- Part-Time July 1, 2021 - July 1, 2022** 25 hours/week Monday-Friday; occasional evening/Saturday shifts
FLSA STATUS: Non-Exempt
Colonial School District's farm," Penn Farm" located at Historic Penn Farm is in total 7 acres of land (4 acres of crop production, 1 acre pollinator field, 1 acre hayfield, 3/4 acre fruit tree orchard, 1/4 acre raspberries). It is both a working farm and outdoor educational classroom for agriculture students at William Penn High School and surrounding middle/elementary schools. Students are involved in every aspect of the farm from planning of crops, assisting the Farm Manager's seed and supply orders, to sowing seeds in the greenhouse, transplanting in the fields, maintaining, packing, and preserving farm bounties all while gaining an understanding of the importance of consuming local foods and becoming good stewards of the land. Additionally, the animal science program cares for 30+ laying hens, turkeys, ducks, goats, and bees.
During the growing season, students from surrounding elementary and middle school visit the farm for educational field trips as part of a partnership with Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids, The First State School Garden Experts. Penn Farm operations started in 2012 and annual harvests are approximately 18,000 pounds of produce per year using organic growing practices and restorative agriculture. Harvests are incorporated into the district's federal child nutrition meal programs, summer CSA shares, farm markets, and various wholesale accounts.
Colonial School District is seeking apprentices who are enthusiastic about sustainable agriculture, community building, public health, and nutrition with a strong desire to learn. Apprentices will work/learn alongside our Farm-to-School Manager and gain valuable farming experience including but not limited to general fieldwork, farm upkeep, soil preparation, greenhouse management, weed control, harvesting records, operating/maintaining farm equipment, and tractors, marketing and facilitating group visits to the farm. Although apprentices may have a flexible schedule, the ideal working hours are from 7 am-5 pm, Monday through Friday and successful candidates must be able to commit to a minimum of 25 hours per week. Apprentices will also have an opportunity for additional educational experiences on other partner farms through the University of Delaware and the Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture's (FHCASA) Beginning Farmer Training Program in addition to annual GHP/GAP, tractor safety, pesticide applicator certifications.
**The program is separated into two parts, a 5-month cohort (July - November) and a year-long apprentice option (November - end of October 2022). All apprentices must commit to at least 5-month availability during the hiring process. A full-year apprenticeship is dependent on funding and availability. At the end of the 5-months, one apprentice will have an opportunity to stay on for a full-year apprenticeship, pending availability. Housing is not available however, apprentices will have access to the products that are being produced.
CHARACTERISTIC JOB TASKS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
May include any and/or all of the following:
● Field Work: planting, irrigating, cultivating, weeding, and trellising crops;
● Harvesting: washing, recording, and packing vegetables for CSA shares, farmer's markets, and wholesale outlets;
● Green/Hoop house management: maintaining planting, transplanting, harvesting logs and records
● Field Trips: preparation for field trips to children's garden for local schools and group visits, provide assistance to seasonal educators during field trips as needed;
● Operating tractors, lawnmowers, weed whackers, and other equipment as necessary
Off the farm events: occasional shifts at a local farmer's market (Wednesday nights), event planning, and outreach writing newsletter/blogs.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS:
Experience working one full season on a farm or large-scale market garden is desired, but not required. Applicants should possess a very strong work ethic, positive attitude, and problem-solving abilities. We expect apprentices to be reliable, responsible, and flexible. Candidates must also show a willingness to be involved beyond farm work to occasionally help with programs and special events.
● Strong group facilitation and presentation skills
● Strong verbal and written communication skills
● Ability to demonstrate self-direction and motivation
● Ability to work independently and as part of a team
● Ability to organize and prioritize duties
● Ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds and stand on feet for extended periods of time (5 hours or more)
● Ability to work in extreme heat, cold and wet conditions
● Knowledge of Microsoft Office, Google Apps, and social media platforms
● Commitment to a full growing season (April through the end of September) is required.
● Commitment to working at least 25 hours Monday through Friday.
● Acceptable Criminal Background Report and no entries on Child Abuse Registry.
● Valid driver's license and access to a vehicle for travel to multiple schools.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential duties and responsibilities of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use hands and/or fingers to handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; talk or hear; and taste or smell. The employee frequently is required to stand, walk, and sit. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
Interested candidates who meet the minimum qualifications may apply by completing an employment application via AppliTrack at https://www.applitrack.com/colonial/onlineapp/ . In addition to completing the employment application, a cover letter, resume, and two letters of recommendation from employers and/or educators are required to complete the application. Applicants needing special accommodations in the