The UW community has an outstanding opportunity for an AmeriCorps position as the UW Farm Food Security Lead for the 2021-2022 season. The position is at least 40 hours per week, but varies according to the season. AmeriCorps provides a benefit and compensation package to all members. This position reports to the UW Farm Manager. The UW Farm, within the Botanic Gardens is housed in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences within the College of the Environment.
The UW Farm works to create and sustain farming activity on three locations across the UW-Seattle campus:
- Mercer Court Apartments-planned urban farm
- UW Farm site at the UW Botanic Gardens’ Center for Urban Horticulture
- McMahon Hall roof-top food production and garden maintenance
Goals of the farm:
Intensive urban farming sites on campus must yield steady production. At the same time, farming sites must be places of teaching and learning, allowing students to blend academic and practical experience. The AmeriCorps volunteer will assist in carrying out long-term urban farm management plans that meet the needs of the campus, the community, and the students.
Care needs to be taken to ensure that all farmed land is visually appealing, safe, highly productive, and provides exceptional value to student learning. This will require practical abilities to manage and work on an urban farm; business skills necessary to build and maintain a balanced budget; and social skills necessary for interfacing with a wide array of operations and academic partners.
Food studies across the Seattle campus include courses, minors, majors and other experiential opportunities in undergraduate and graduate programs in at least 15 academic units, including a minor in Nutritional Sciences and a major in Food Systems, Nutrition, and Health within the School of Public Health, a “Food Pathway” within the Environmental Studies major within the College of the Environment, and courses in Anthropology, Biology, Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management, Geography, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning, to name a few. In addition, an emerging program with the wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ – Intellectual House, the UW Farm provides growing space and support for first nations students regarding food sovereignty.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
The AmeriCorps volunteer works directly with students, staff and faculty to help plan and implement farming activities across campus. The primary responsibilities of this position are:
Production and Field Supervision (25 hrs +/- per week):
- Assist in the 130+ share Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, increasing the number of participants as possible given other land-use and farming constraints.
- Assist with donations to area food banks, especially the UW food Pantry
- Assist with orders for UW Dining, UW Athletics and other campus cafeterias and food retail locations
- Assist all farming operations across campus (3 sites, totaling approx. 2 acres)
- Assist the Farm Manager in weed and pest control as well as soil conditions, using organic food production principles, integrated pest management methods, and natural soil amendments.
- Operate, maintain, and provide training on the use of motorized equipment used in crop production, including tractors and their implements, rototillers, weed abatement machines, etc.
- Assist the Farm Manager with supervising student farming activities, work parties to ensure successful and adequate production
- Assist in maintaining WSDA GAP certification and WSDA organic certification program
- Carry out a sustainable planting plan, crop plan, and perennial plant maintenance and harvests
- Operate farm equipment, soil preparation machinery, hand tools and growing supplies
- Assist with collaborating with the director, staff, and students from wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ (aka the Intellectual House under the Office of Minority Affairs) in meeting their farming and food needs in the Native Garden.
- Assist in UW Farm events, pizza bakes, including an annual Farm-to-Table community fundraiser, dinner.
- Increase farm production in quantity and diversity, while steadily improving predictability in quantity, timing and delivery
- Help carry out the appropriate on-the-ground methods as dictated by production needs, growing cycles, budget availability, and student availability on campus.
- Balance production and academics across the lands managed by the UW Farm
- Other duties as requested
Educational Activities (approx. 15 hrs+/- per week)
- Provide an environment where students can achieve academic goals, including but not limited to: course-based work, independent study and independent research projects, service learning, and capstone and culminating experiences. Interface with faculty who will provide research guidance and mentoring for farm-based students.
- Co-creation of farm materials including newsletter, social media content, website improvements, etc.
- Provide educational support, including tours and field trips for UW academic programs and farm partners
- Manage Community Volunteer logs, Service-Learning Logs, evaluations and communications with volunteers
- Improve of tour guides/documents/videos for the UW Farm for use in supporting academics, giving tours, educational activities, and for the website.
- Create, mentor a sub-group of the UW Farm RSO, The Dirty Dozen that could give tours of the UW Farm sites.
- Complete of an Environmental Stewardship project in collaboration with UWBG Adult Education and the UW Nursery for WA Serve
Bachelor’s Degree in horticulture, urban agriculture, or a related field and/or at least 2-3 years of experience in the following areas:
- Must be between the ages of 18-24 years old
- Experience in organic vegetable farming, preferably in an urban Pacific Northwest area.
- Experience with irrigation systems and in soil management and soil fertility.
- Experience with farm tools, harvest practices, planting and transplanting
- Ability to work with a wide array of personalities in a complex environment.
- Excellent verbal and written communication, organizational, and planning skills.
- Driver’s license and good driving record
- Public speaking, community engagement experience
Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except where there are legal requirements such as license/certification/registration.
- Planning, implementation, and execution of a small farm business, including developing work plans and timelines.
- Knowledge of the national organic program standards (NOP)
- Knowledge of good agricultural practices standards (GAP)
- Demonstrated ability to work with student groups and to mentor college-age students in farming and food production.
- Evidence of an ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups.
- Working with and mentoring young adults.
- Safe use of farm equipment, including tractors, plows, tillers, and backhoes.
CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:
- A satisfactory outcome from criminal-background verification may be required prior to hire.
- Physical ability to do the required work, including manual labor, in outdoor locations and occasionally in adverse weather conditions.
- Must be able to operate a state vehicle, which requires a valid driver’s license recognized by the State of Washington.
- Must be able to lift heavy objects, 50 lbs. on a regular basis
- Flexibility in work schedule, ability to adjust to weather and demands on-the-fly
- Ability to working in all kinds of weather including smoke (wild fire potential), cold, & heat over 90 degrees
- Working in an environment that may have allergens—dust, mold, grasses, etc.
- Working with hazardous materials such as bleach, gasoline, and motor oil
- Wearing and working in personal protection when appropriate or necessary, such as ear plugs, rubber gloves &safety goggles
- Working after-hours, Saturdays, Sundays on an as-needed basis
- View COVID-19 Training video, adhere to UW, UW Farm COVID-19 Operations Plans
Appointment to this position is contingent upon obtaining satisfactory results from a criminal background check.
Members will generally serve 9am-5pm on Monday-Friday and Saturdays, totaling at least 40 hours per week on average. Times and days change with the growing season and the academic quarter. Members will also support some evening or weekend events.
- Living wage stipend of $1,800.00 per month, provided by Washington Service Corps.
- AmeriCorps Segal Education Award of $6,345.00, provided by the National Service Trust upon successful completion of the 10-month term of service and 1,700 hours.
- Health insurance provided by Washington Service Corps which meets the Minimal Essential Coverage provision of the Affordable Care Act.
- Eligibility for student loan forbearance and potential interest accrual payment on qualifying loans.
- EBT/SNAP food benefits, if eligible
- ORCA bus pass, if eligible.
- Childcare assistance, if eligible.
The University of Washington supports a culturally diverse student body and workforce. UW Farm works to create a dedicated team capable of enabling our students to explore and interpret the rich array of disciplines and perspectives that they will encounter. We seek candidates whose teaching, mentorship and/or service have not only prepared them to fulfill our commitment to inclusion, but have also given them the confidence to engage and work with students and audiences from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.
Position Start Date(s): Flexible. 10 months from start date. Position can be extended for an additional year
To apply, submit a resume and cover letter to: Perry Acworth, Farm Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org