Labor4Learning Trainers 2019

Are you looking to get paid, on-the-job training with experienced farmers in Iowa? The Labor4Learning program is designed for beginning farmers seeking employment and additional training in farm management and production skills. Practical Farmers of Iowa “trainer” farmers will be hiring in the early part of the new year for the upcoming growing season. Browse the list below for training opportunities near you.

To apply, send current resume and three work-related references directly to the trainer. Direct any questions about job details to the trainer as well. For all other questions about the program or Practical Farmers of Iowa, please contact Steve Carlson at steve@practicalfarmers.org or by calling (515) 232-5661.

NameFarm NameCountyEnterprisesStatus
Paul and Nancy AckleyTaylorBeef cattle, corn, soybeans, small grain, hair sheep and forage (perennial and annual)Available
Jon BakehouseMaple Edge Farm, Inc.MillsCorn, soybeans, cow/calf, beef cattle, pasture, hay, small grainsAvailable
Hannah BreckbillHumble Hands HarvestWinneshiekOrganic vegetables, sheep, some perennial crops going in, planning on pastured porkFilled
Andy and Melissa DunhamGrinnell Heritage FarmPoweshiekOrganic vegetables, select fruits, chestnuts, beef cattle, hay, occasional poultryAvailable
Rob and Tammy FauxGenuine Faux FarmBremerOrganic vegetables and fruits, broiler chicken, turkey, eggsAvailable
Jeff and Earl HafnerHafner Inc.GuthrieCow/calf, finish hogs, aquaponics, laying hens, organic small grains and row crop, organic flour mill and seed cleaningAvailable
Dean and Judy HenryBerry Patch LLCStoryBerries, cherries, apples, horticultureAvailable
Marcus and Emma JohnsonBuffalo Ridge OrchardLinnApples, pears, vegetables, row cropsAvailable
Barb KrausCanoe Creek ProduceWinneshiekOrganic vegetables, some fruits and berries, cut flowers, small flock of sheep and chickensAvailable
Jenny QuinerDogpatch Urban GardensPolkVegetables with emphasis on salad greens, onsite farm standFilled
Dale and Marcie RaaschBridgewater FarmAdairOrganic vegetables, fruit, hay, cattle, hogs, broilers, layersAvailable
Derek RollerEchollectiveCedarVegetables, some tree crops, flowers, animals (every year is different but we have chickens, and sometimes pigs), mushroomsAvailable
Mike SalamaSalama Greenhouse and FloralBooneOrnamentals, bedding plants, cut flowers, potted annuals, hydroponic tomatoes, basil, winter greensAvailable
Erik SessionsPatchwork Green FarmWinneshiekVegetables and fresh herbsAvailable
Scott ShriverShriver Farms, LLCGreeneOrganic corn, beans, small grains, alfalfaAvailable
Donna WarhoverMorning Glory LLCLinnVegetables, laying hens, community/learning eventsAvailable

Ackley, Paul and Nancy

Farm and Location: Bedford

Experience: 50 years

About the Farm: We raise beef cattle, corn, soybeans, small grain, hair sheep and forage (perennial and annual). We practice no-till, extended crop rotations, and managed grazing.

Job Title: Farm Assistant

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $12/hour or commensurate with experience; hours are part-time and variable.

Other Benefits: N/A

On-farm Housing: N/A

Work Activities: Include setting up paddocks, moving cattle, checking and installing waters, bonding sheep to cattle, drilling cover crops, constructing low water crossings, and building fence both permanent high tensile and barb/woven wire.

Minimum Qualifications: Must have a valid driver’s license, able to lift 50 lbs and walk for extended periods of time.

Skills Desired: Tractor and livestock experience a plus.

Start Date (approx):  March 15

End Date (approx):  Nov. 1

Contact: Paul Ackley at (712) 621-1040 or pnackley@unitedwb.coop

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Bakehouse, Jon

Farm and Location: Maple Edge Farm, Inc., Hastings

Experience: 18 years

About the Farm: We produce corn, soy, alfalfa, beef cattle, pasture, and some small grains. We utilize no-till, cover crops, extended cash crop rotations including annual pasture, and are working on grazing 365 days/year. Corn and soybeans sold to elevators in Council Bluffs, beef sold to local auction and direct-market.

Job Title: Farmhand

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate $8/hour or commensurate with experience. This is a part-time, flexible position for the right candidate to work and learn on-farm for 1 or 2 days per week.

Other Benefits: N/A

On-farm Housing: N/A

Work Activities: This is an opportunity to experience conventional farm activities, which include: spring planting of corn/soy; spring calving; daily monitoring of herd and pasture health; daily maintenance for grounds, machinery; fall harvest of corn/soy. It’s also an opportunity to learn about marketing plans for crops and beef and review possible new enterprises.

Minimum Qualifications: Physically fit and willing to work in heat and cold; driver’s license; self-directed and disciplined to finish variety of jobs without constant supervision.

Skills Desired: Outstanding work ethic; punctual and reliable; values sense of community and working together; attention to detail; traditionally grounded but always open to improvement; accepts feedback while providing insights.

Start Date (approx): flexible

End Date (approx): flexible

Contact: Jon Bakehouse at (712) 370-3629 or mapleedgefarm@gmail.com

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Breckbill, Hannah

Farm and Location: Humble Hands Harvest, Decorah

Experience: 7 years

About the farm: We raise certified organic vegetables, rotationally graze sheep, and are adding perennial crops and pastured pork. Our produce is sold through a CSA and farmers market in Decorah, IA, and through aggregators and distributors in northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota.

Job Title: Vegetable Field Worker

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $8/hour; hours are part-time and variable.

Other benefits:  CSA Share plus fresh produce & eggs on an “as available” basis.

On-farm Housing: N/A

Work Activities: Our employee will learn all the skills necessary related to field work, harvest and rotational grazing of sheep and pigs. We will provide an “open book” as well for financial and business data. Observations of conditions in the field, as well as communication with and problem solving alongside the other farmers, are key parts of the work. We will have a weekly schedule that includes weeding, harvest, and field walks to set weekly priorities.

Minimum Qualifications: Able to work physically outside, lift 50 lbs, and make observations and communicate them.

Skills Desired: I am prepared to teach all skills that are necessary. Critical thinking skills are all that’s needed!

Start Date (approx): May

End Date (approx): October

Contact: Hannah Breckbill, breckbih@gmail.com

Website: humblehandsharvest.com

Facebook: facebook.com/HumbleHandsHarvest

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Dunham, Andrew and Melissa

Farm and Location: Grinnell Heritage Farm, Grinnell

Experience: 13 years

About the Farm: We are a diversified farm with a primary enterprise of vegetables, but also grow select fruits, chestnuts, beef cattle, hay and poultry. We are certified organic, grass-finish the cattle, and use cover crops and extended rotations. We operate a 250 member CSA serving Grinnell, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Des Moines. We also sell to select grocery stores, co-ops, restaurants and attend farmers markets in Iowa City. In addition, we do on-farm pizza nights twice a month.

Job Title: Farm Crew Member

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $9/hour, or commensurate with experience. Hours are full-time, 40 hours per week.

Other Benefits: CSA share

On-farm Housing: N/A

Work Activities: Any and all activities on a busy produce farm, including but not limited to: planting, transplanting, harvest, post-harvest handling, washing, packing, lifting, moving, delivering, and storing plants and produce.

Minimum Qualifications: Able to work well with others, able to listen to and follow instructions, able to work outside in all weather, stand for long periods of time, lift at least 50 lbs, possess a valid drivers’ license, non-smoker.

Skills Desired: This position fills one of our crew member posts and needs to be treated like a job. Many of our crew members have been with us for many years and have a lot of knowledge to share. No produce experience is necessary, but an open mind to learning about produce is a must.

Start Date (approx): May

End Date (approx): October

Contact: Andrew Dunham, farmers@grinnellheritagefarm.com

Website: grinnellheritagefarm.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GoTeamCarrot/

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Faux, Rob and Tammy

Farm and Location: Genuine Faux Farm, Tripoli

Experience: 14 years

About the farm: We grow certified organic horticultural crops and manage a pastured poultry system using organic methods. We use cover crops, intercropping techniques, many heirloom varieties, high tunnel production and are a no-spray operation. Our markets include 80 member CSA, fresh produce for local outlets, direct to consumer sales, restaurant sales. Our farm mission emphasizes education and sustainable methods.

Job Title: Farm Crew Member

Terms, Hours, Status: Scheduling is negotiable with possible full and half days anywhere from 2 to 5 days per week.  Workday is 4 or 8 hour.  Pay typically falls in the $10/hour range or higher based on schedule agreement and experience.

Other benefits:  Customized share of produce/poultry, flexible scheduling

On-farm Housing: negotiable

Work Activities: Everything from seeding, transplanting, weeding, harvest, cleaning and packing.  Potentially fence maintenance, building repair and other projects.  Mulch laying, irrigation setup and all other farm tasks depending on applicant training level.  Mostly hand equipment, larger equipment dependent on training.

Minimum qualifications: Work in all weather, must be able to lift 50lbs. Secure transportation to/from work.  Willing to work some long days on a flexible schedule.

Skills desired: Must be willing to work consistently with or without supervision.  Willingness to learn and improve.  Some knowledge of growing a plus.

Start Date (approx): May (no earlier Apr 15)

End Date (approx): October (no later than Nov 15)

Contact: Rob Faux, gff@genuinefauxfarm.com

Website:  genuinefauxfarm.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/GenuineFauxFarm/

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Hafner, Jeff and Earl

Farm and Location: Hafner Inc., Panora

Experience: 30+

About the Farm: We have a diverse operation with enterprises including cow/calf pairs, finishing hogs, aquaponics, laying hens, small grains and row crops, a flour mill and seed cleaning. Our crops and flour mill are certified organic, cattle are all natural, pigs are conventional and chickens are free-range.

Job Title: Farm Assistant

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $10/hour; hours are variable.

Other Benefits: N/A

On-farm Housing: N/A

Work Activities: Activities include all aspects of the farm, including work with cattle, hogs, fencing, operating equipment with GPS, the flour mill and seed cleaner.

Minimum Qualifications: Must communicate well, be able to work outside in all weather, stand for long periods of time, lift at least 50 pounds, possess a valid drivers’ license.

Skills Desired: Experience with livestock and tractors.

Start Date (approx): ASAP

End Date (approx): December

Contact: Jeff Hafner, hafnerin@netins.net

Website: www.earlymorningharvest.com

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Henry, Dean and Judy

Farm and Location: Berry Patch LLC, Nevada

Experience: 52 years

About the Farm: We produce a variety of berries, cherries, apples and produce. Some fruits are You-Pick, and we also market through CSA shares, farmers markets, on-farm sales and we have a certified kitchen.

Job Title:  Farm Crew Member

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $10/hour, or commensurate with experience; hours are variable.

Other Benefits: Fresh produce

On-farm Housing: N/A

Work Activities: Job responsibilities include planting, harvesting, managing orders, part-time pickers, you-pick customers, on-farm sales, and doing tractor work and mowing.

Minimum Qualifications: We can adapt to the employee’s ability.

Skills Desired: Good with other workers and customers, smiles a lot.

Start Date (approx): March

End Date (approx): October

Contact: Dean Henry, dean@berrypatchfarm.com

Website: http://www.berrypatchfarm.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/berrypatchfarmiowa/

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Johnson, Marcus and Emma

Farm and Location: Buffalo Ridge Orchard, Central City

Experience: 6 years

About the Farm: We are a family-owned and operated 80-acre diversified farm that grows herb plants, vegetables, apples, pears, and row crops.  We use organic practices for our vegetable crops and an integrated pest management system for our orchard.  We have two moveable hightunnels for extending our growing season.  The apple orchard is medium and high density and we grow over 50 different varieties of apples.  We sell or produce through multiple farmers markets, direct wholesale, and through our CSA.  This year will be the first year that we will also have a store on our farm to sell produce during the peak of apple season.

Job Title: Farm Crew Member

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $10/hour, or commensurate with experience; hours are variable.

Other Benefits: Fresh produce

On-farm Housing: N/A

Work Activities: Activities include planting young apple trees, hand thinning fruits, planting vegetable starts, and installing trellising, weeding, washing and packing produce, completing required farm records, working farm markets, and processing apples.

Minimum Qualifications: Employees must be able to work outside in variable weather conditions, stand for long periods of time, lift at least 50 pounds, must be at least 18 year of age and possess a valid driver’s license.

Skills Desired: Tractor, horticultural, and sales experience preferred.

Start Date (approx):  May 15

End Date (approx): Nov. 15

Contact: Emma Johnson, buffaloridgeorchard@gmail.com or (563) 340-9665

Website: www.buffaloridgeorchard.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/BuffaloRidgeOrchard/

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Kraus, Barb

Farm and Location: Canoe Creek Produce, Decorah

Experience: 28 years

About the Farm: We raise certified organic vegetables, cut flowers, some fruits and berries, and a small flock of sheep and chickens. Fresh produce is sold at farmers markets, restaurants, the local food cooperative, and through CSA farmers market shares.  Cut flowers are grown for farmers market and weddings. Lamb is sold through direct market.

Job Title: Farm Worker

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $9/hour; hours are full-time and variable.

Other Benefits:  Veggies, meat and eggs

On-farm Housing: N/A

Work Activities: Activities include field work such as planting, weeding, mulching and harvesting, in addition to marketing, planning work days, and doing some social media management.

Minimum Qualifications: Able to work in all weather, have a driver’s license and a car.  Physical endurance needed for long days.

Skills Desired: Sound work ethic, enthusiasm, and enjoy working with people.

Start Date (approx): March 15

End Date (approx): October 30

Contact: Barb Kraus, canoecreekpro@gmail.com or (563) 382-4899

Website: www.canoecreekproduce.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/canoecreekproduceorganic/

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Quiner, Jenny

Farm and Location: Dogpatch Urban Gardens, Des Moines

Experience: 3 years

About the Farm:  We are an urban farm on one acre of land in a residential area, with roughly 1/4 of that acre under cultivation.  The farm has been in operation for three seasons, and specializes in growing annual vegetable crops focusing on salad-oriented products.  All crops are grown using organic methods. The business is diversified with multiple ways for the community to support the farm.  The DUG FarmStand is a seasonal onsite locally-sourced store that sells DUG products as well as other items from growers/producers throughout the state of Iowa.  DUG also sells product thorough our modified CSA (known as a Salad Subscription), to local restaurants, and to the Iowa Food Coop.

Job Title: Farm Hand

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $10.50/hour or commensurate with experience; hours are variable.

Other Benefits:  Potential for health insurance

On-farm Housing: N/A

Work Activities: Daily field tasks such as planting, harvesting, weeding, seeding, watering, etc; Work in the wash/pack house; Deliver to local restaurants; Help set up FarmStand and work the retail site.

Minimum Qualifications: Able to work outside in all weather conditions.  Must lift at least 40 pounds.  Strong communication skills.  Must be able to work early in the morning.  Must possess a valid driver’s license.

Skills Desired: Vegetable production skills, and general knowledge of tools preferred.

Start Date (approx): April

End Date (approx): November

Contact: Jenny Quiner, jenny@dogpatchurbangardens.com

Website:  www.dogpatchurbangardens.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DogpatchUrbanGardens/

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Raasch, Dale and Marcie

Farm and Location: Bridgewater Farm, Bridgewater

Experience: 41 years

About the Farm: We raise certified organic fruits and vegetables, hay, cattle, hogs, broilers, and laying hens. We use strip till, extended crop rotations, cover crops, no antibiotics and non-GMO. We sell produce and meat through retail stores, farmers markets, a CSA, individual sales and restaurants.

Job Title: Team Member

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $8 – $14/hour, commensurate with experience and performance; hours are full-time and variable.

Other Benefits:  Excess produce

On-farm Housing: Arrangements can be made if necessary

Work Activities: Activities include planting, weeding, harvesting, and packaging. If interested, observing sales calls/bookkeeping/marketing as well. Possible farmers market sales and CSA or store deliveries.

Minimum Qualifications: Able to work outside in all weather, stand/bend for long periods of time, lift at least 50#, valid driver’s license, (good driving record if making deliveries).

Skills Desired: Self-motivated to learn and willing to work at a variety of tasks associated with a horticultural farm.

Start Date (approx): March

End Date (approx): November

Contact: Dale Raasch, 641-745-5368

Website:  bfproduce.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BridgewaterFamilyFarm/

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Roller, Derek

Farm and Location: Echollective, Mechanicsville

Experience: 20+ years

About the Farm: Echollective Farm’s Mission – “Together with our Iowa Community, Echollective Farm grows food to nourish people and the planet.” Although we no longer certify organic, we grow well over 100+ varieties of vegetables, herbs, flowers, mushrooms, and seed garlic on 15+ acres each year using organic, sustainable practices.  We utilize cover crops, intercropping techniques, and hoophouses for season extension in our operation. Our markets include a 60 member CSA, farmers markets, seed garlic sales across the northern United States, and wholesale of our produce and flowers to local grocery stores, area restaurants/florists, and schools. We currently have a small flock of chickens for personal egg production and have raised pigs for ourselves in previous seasons.

Job Title: Field Crew Member

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $9 – $10/hour, commensurate with experience; hours are full-time, 40 hours per week.

Other Benefits:  Free veggies

On-farm Housing: Possibly

Work Activities: The season begins in the spring with greenhouse work. Field Crew Members learn seed starting techniques and work in the hoop houses prepping beds for early crops. In summer, the vast majority of our time is spent in the field transplanting, weeding and harvesting. Field Crew will learn how to use a variety of tools to effectively control weeds. Once harvest season is in full swing, we are picking almost every morning. Everyone will learn how to harvest each crop and will work in the washroom to prep produce for market. If there is interest, a Field Crew Member can help at a farmers market to learn aspects of selling vegetables at a market (as well as our CSA). In the fall, we continue with our weekly harvests for market in the field and hoop houses, along with bringing in all the storage crops.

Minimum Qualifications: Strong commitment and effort is required and solid time management skills are essential. Additional requirements include the ability to lift at least 50 pounds, perform tasks outside in all weather conditions, and to contribute positively to the team and as a part of a collaborative environment. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or green card holders. Echollective Farm is committed to creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of our community and strongly encourages candidates from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Skills Desired: Prior experience with farming and/or food related jobs is a plus.

Start Date (approx): March

End Date (approx): November

Contact: Derek Roller, echocsa@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/echollective.farm/

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Salama, Mike

Farm and Location: Salama Greenhouse and Floral, Boone

Experience: 6 years

About the Farm: We grow ornamentals, bedding plants, cut flowers, potted annuals, perennials, hydroponic tomatoes, basil and winter greens. Everything is under cover, greenhouse grown, with a hydroponic system in place for vegetables. Flowers and plants are sold in-house retail, and vegetables are sold to grocery stores, restaurants, and institutions wholesale.

Job Title: Assistant Grower

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $10/hour, commensurate with experience; hours are part-time at 20 per week.

Other Benefits:  N/A

On-farm Housing: N/A

Work Activities: Spring planting, working with tomato and basil crops.

Minimum Qualifications: Must be able to stand for long periods of time, lift at least 50 lbs, and have a valid driver’s license.

Skills Desired: Horticulture, greenhouse experience, flower shop, retail, veggie production preferred.

Start Date (approx): March 1

End Date (approx): September 30

Contact: Mike Salama, salama.mike@gmail.com

Website:  www.salamagreenhouse.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/salamagreenhouseandfloral/

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Sessions, Erik

Farm and Location: Patchwork Green Farm, Decorah,

Experience: 20 years

About the Farm: With 20 years of CSA and farmers market experience under our belts, we are excited to consolidate our efforts this year, focusing on wholesale accounts, record-keeping, efficiency, caring for the soil and all things sustainable (family, environment and finances).  We continue to experiment with soil care, crop spacing, harvest techniques and weed suppression strategies, and we appreciate a garden crew member who is curious, takes pride in their work and efficiency and is passionate about growing vegetables.  We’ll be growing vegetables and cover crops on 5 acres this year, with a combination of tractor implements, hand tools and organic practices.

Job Title: Garden Crew Member

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $12/hour; hours are 30-40/week.

Other Benefits:  N/A

On-farm Housing: N/A

Work Activities: We try to do a variety of tasks each day and each week.  They will include: transplanting, weeding, trellising, watering, harvesting, washing and packaging.

Minimum Qualifications: Appropriate footwear, clothing and gloves for all seasons; a strong back and ability to lift 50# repeatedly, a vehicle to get to work (5 miles from Decorah).

Skills Desired: We appreciate employees with lots of questions/curiosity about the work we are doing.  We also appreciate people who are quick with their hands, efficient in their work, and are observant enough to learn from others’ example.  A positive attitude and a willingness to work hard are the only prerequisites!

Start Date (approx): April 15

End Date (approx): October 31

Contact: Erik Sessions, eriksessions@gmail.com

Website:  patchworkgreen.com

Facebook: facebook.com/patchworkgreen/

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Shriver, Scott

Farm and Location: Shriver Farms, LLC, Jefferson

Experience: 24 years

About the Farm: We have 2,000 acres of certified organic crop production, raising corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat, field peas and alfalfa. We have large, modern equipment and use cutting edge organic farming practices.

Job Title: Farm Worker

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $15/hour or commensurate with experience.  Hours are full-time, 40 hours per week. Willing to accommodate a student schedule.

Other Benefits:  N/A

On-farm Housing: Yes

Work Activities: Equipment maintenance and make ready for field operations.  Tending to planter, cultivating, scouting fields, and haying operations.  Assisting with the harvest of crops, and many other operations as needed for any farm operation such as ours.

Minimum Qualifications: Must be able and willing to work long hours (at times), lift at least 75 pounds, possess a valid driver’s license (CDL a plus).

Skills Desired: The most important skill to possess will be an eagerness to learn and participate in an organic farming operation.  Past farming experience including operating large farm equipment a plus.

Start Date (approx): May 1

End Date (approx): November 1

Contact: Scott Shriver, shriverfarms@gmail.com

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Warhover, Donna

Farm and Location: Morning Glory LLC, Mount Vernon

Experience: 6 years

About the Farm: We raise vegetables and herbs for our CSA, four farmers markets, restaurants, chefs and college food service, and we raise eggs for our CSA shareholders. Though not certified, we practice organic production, and we also use cover crops in our crop rotation. We also host community and learning events throughout the year.

Job Title: Farm Assistant

Terms, Hours, Status: Pay rate is $10/hour or commensurate with experience; hours are full-time and variable.

Other Benefits: Workers Comp insurance, fruit & vegetables available, connection to larger farm/mentor/local food movement community.

On-farm Housing: N/A may be able to help find housing

Work Activities: Activities include seed starting (soil blocks, germination chamber), greenhouse and high tunnel management, planting, organic soil management, pest and weed management, harvesting, processing, and marketing crops. Also prepare site for hosting students, visitors, and other community events, working with volunteers and staffing farmers market table and distribution of CSA shares.

Minimum Qualifications: Be able to work outside in all weather, stand for long periods of time, lift at least 50 pounds, possess a valid drivers’ license, strong work ethic, ability to work in a fast-paced environment, commitment to local foods movement, adherence to Morning Glory’s vision.

Start Date (approx): April

End Date (approx): October

Contact: Donna Warhover, donnawarhover@gmail.com

Website: https://www.morningglory.community/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MorningGloryACommunityHarvestFarm

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