Heartland Farm Seeks Organic Farm Manager

ABOUT HEARTLAND FARM:

Heartland Farm is an 80-acre farm located in central plains crossroads of the US. We are a 30-year-old ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace with a passion for addressing the “hungers of our world” through practices of regenerative agriculture and hospitality for the healing of the land and its inhabitants. The land and its gardens, pastures and high tunnel have been managed organically since its beginning. We continue to develop strategies for reducing our footprint through careful management of our soils, waters, energy, and biota. We have begun implementing Holistic Management practices following principles of the Savory Institute. We have a herd of alpacas, pastures organized for rotational grazing, laying flock of chickens, vegetable gardens, a 30’x40′ high tunnel, a wooded creek and pastures managed for prairie hay production.

As an important outreach to our local community and beyond, we host guests–young and old– for retreats and tours, offer programs in sustainable living as well as having an emphasis on the arts. We hold a 5-day “Peace Camp” for kids with an emphasis on connecting to Earth and food.

In addition to guests, we rely on WWOOF, WorkAway and other short and long-term volunteers to learn and keep up with the daily tasks of animal care, gardening, and general farm maintenance. We hope to inspire and train the next generation of people looking to live sustainably and skillfully on the planet.

There are numerous residences and volunteer spaces including a residential option for the Farm Manager. We have two straw bale structures–one a guest hermitage completely off the grid and a large octagonal arts building with a meeting space, garden propagation room, a pottery studio, and fiber arts facilities.

The 30-year history of the Heartland Farm community includes sisters, volunteers of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities as well as paid staff members. We strive to work together in a collaborative environment honoring each one’s gifts while working to support the whole endeavor. As a non-profit, we must engage in fund-raising and do so in line with our mission–for example hosting a “Farm-to-Table” fundraiser evening. We sell our produce at the local (Great Bend) Farmers’ market and have been active in collaborating with the local “Feeding Kansas” initiative that is in its beginning stages. We look to a long-range future of keeping Heartland Farm a vital asset to our central Kansas community that struggles to keep its population, develop long-term viability amid a challenging economy and political climate. We are particularly attuned to the underserved people of our area, the immigrant and struggling rural population as we seek and implement grants and other opportunities to empower and connect with these folks.

Heartland Farm is owned by the Dominican Sisters of Peace and is incorporated under that larger entity with its headquarters in Columbus, OH. The DSOP is a “new” congregation of sisters formed in 2009 of eight formerly autonomous Dominican Sisters’ congregations all of which have a long history in their various locales. Heartland Farm was founded by the former Great Bend Dominican community. Within the congregation, there are three other ecology centers in OH and MA and a working farm raising grass-fed beef in KY. All of these endeavors have been operating for 25 years or more as a living demonstration of the congregation’s  commitment to sustainable living and the passing on of a heritage.

Heartland Farm has a local Advisory Council that brings together people from the farming, business, and sustainable agriculture venues as important allies and advisors. The DSOP congregation is the fiscal and governing agent.

JOB DESCRIPTION

MISSION STATEMENT: Heartland Farm, a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, is a Christian community committed to working for the healing and care of Earth and its inhabitants.

POSITION SUMMARY: The individual performs all aspects of the management of the organic farming operation at Heartland Farm within holistic principles for sustainable, regenerative agriculture. Maintain a positive work atmosphere by acting and communicating in a manner of cooperation with Sisters, co-workers, guests, vendors and management.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following:

Major Activity: Organic Garden Production

  • Propagate, plant, grow, harvest, and sell organic vegetables.
  • Research, develop, and modify garden plans using holistic management principles.
  • Collaborate with staff on project goals, objectives, and strategies related to the production of plants, herbs, and flowers.
  • Manage distribution of produce to local sales venues.
  • Supervise volunteers, interns, seasonal employees, and program participants in performing greenhouse and garden duties and track hours.
  • Keep records for farm production per holistic management principles and financial records.
  • Multitasks with the ability to delegate tasks to volunteers and others when appropriate.
  • Provides assistance with landscape design and maintenance (plant, fertilize, weed, hoe, rake, etc.

 

Major Activity: Whole-farm management

  • Train in and apply Holistic Management practices for land, animals, plants, financials, and personnel
  • Utilize holistic management practices for livestock.
  • Research best practices for each animal breed €“ chickens & alpacas.
  • Attend weekly staff meetings and contribute ideas, share in planning and update activities.
  • Utilize and adhere to Heartland Farm financial procedures.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with staff, interns, apprentices, volunteers, visitors, and guests.
  • Maintain orderliness and cleanliness of vehicles, tools, equipment, grounds, and supplies.
  • Collaborate with staff on project goals, objectives, and strategies.
  • Coordinate schedule coverage, training, and updates to/for staff and volunteers.
  • Assist and prepare budget and reports as needed.
  • Attend meetings, workshops, seminars (in person or online) to enhance knowledge and skills related to the job. Apply these as appropriate in the job.

 

Additional Activity: Education and outreach

  • Participate in educational programs at all levels.
  • Participate in all aspects of the Heartland Farm ministry.
  • Assist other staff as needed.
  • Assist with activities and programs.
  • Perform errands for farm supplies, maintenance & tools, etc.
  • Participate in professional development.
  • Perform outreach and networking.
  • With other Heartland Farm staff, supervise, train, and educate interns, volunteers, visitors, and guests who participate in Heartland Farm activities.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned or requested.

 

REQUIRED MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

Education: High School diploma or equivalent.

Experience: One year of experience in general farm and maintenance work, experience with operating vehicles, machinery, and other power and hand tools. Management experience helpful. Experience with animal care preferred.

Requirements: Must have a passion for caring for the Earth through practical, science-based and holistic practices. Must be able to work flexible hours based on activities, seasons, holidays and projects. Must have valid driver’s license.

Knowledge & Skills: Possess basic knowledge of sustainable maintenance principles and practices including use of non-toxic options, minimizing fossil fuel use, and general protection and conservation of the health and environmental integrity in caring for the farm resources. Have an understanding of basic principles of livestock, chicken, alpaca, and other animal care. Have knowledge of safety procedures/precautions when working with or near farm equipment/machinery and animals. Have working knowledge of equipment and vehicles. Skills to use and operate hand and power tools, mowers, tractors, trucks and other equipment. Good interpersonal communication and decision-making abilities. Good math skills.

Ability: Must be able to operate and maintain vehicles and machinery. Must be able to lift up to 50 pounds. Must be able to read and interpret manuals. Must be able to communicate effectively in both oral and written form with staff, guests, and visitors. Must organize, plan and prioritize work, work steadily and productively without constant close supervision, managing one’s time. Must be able to adapt to frequent interruptions and situations. Must have basic computer skills for research, record-keeping, and communications.

Working Conditions: Prolonged standing, walking, sitting, stooping, bending, lifting, pushing, and pulling equipment, animals, and supplies most of the day. Exposure to weather elements and animal waste. Occasional situations where weather and/or other factors create unpleasant work conditions. Exposure to cleaning agents and chemicals. Exposure to bruises, burns, and cuts. Operates equipment that could cause dismemberment.

Other: There is a residential option available which is desirable for on-site presence; compensation will reflect this if chosen.

Physical Requirements: The physical demands are described in HR terms if interested in seeing these.
The Dominican Sisters of Peace reserves the right to revise and alter this job description as needed.

COMPENSATION:   This position is PAID: salaried, less than 50k;  depends on choice of live-in option or not.
HOW TO APPLY:  Email sheepbelanger@gmail.com  OR In person

Review the Heartland Farm website.  Send an e-mail with letter of inquiry and resume.  A personal visit is optimal to discuss questions, goals, and expectations.  If the application results in an interview, we desire an on-site, in-person visit; we can set up a Zoom (virtual) interview if travel is impossible.

DEADLINE: no deadline