Full-Time Crew Leader
DICKINSON COLLEGE FARM – CREW LEADER
Our Farm’s Mission: The objective of the College Farm is to prepare aspiring farmers and food system innovators for leadership positions in farming, food systems, or sustainability related careers. We do this through thoughtful, intentional, and focused training; as well as cultivating a competitive, professional enterprise that produces high quality products. We aim to identify, build, and leverage the strengths, skills, interests, and passions of our employees to the benefit of the farm program as a whole.
Crew Leader Role: The Crew Leader’s primary function is to effectively lead novice student workers, six-month apprentices, and volunteers in tasks pertaining to the production of certified Organic vegetables. In this capacity, it will be important for the Crew Leader to develop rapport, serve as a role model, inspire, and motivate. Additionally, the Crew Leader will drive production by setting the pace, maintaining morale, setting up crews for success, and contributing to our culture of professionalism.
The Crew Leader will be the point person for prescribed tasks throughout the workday. This will require effective communication, delegation, oversight, and follow through in addition to being safety conscious and vigilant. The Crew Leader will work closely with the farm’s three managers to identify and prioritize those tasks. This will include participation in group texts and weekly shared task lists. These forums help inform the goals of the day and week plus allow opportunities to discuss needs or concerns. A successful Crew Leader will be comfortable engaging in direct communication and receiving constructive feedback from farm managers.
The Crew Leader will be supported by a team of 3-4 seasonal apprentices. The Farm’s apprenticeship program is designed to provide recent college graduates with a six-month immersive introduction to farming and team leadership. Apprentices will arrive to this position with varied levels of experience, whether at our farm specifically or from other college/university farm/garden programs.
The Crew Leader will also be asked to assume individual responsibility of certain aspects of the enterprise based on their skills and interests. Successful past Crew Leaders have engaged in pest/disease management, compost production, greenhouse management, advanced tractor operation, and more.
Throughout the course of the Crew Leader’s employment, the managers will encourage additional study through reading and research outside of work hours. This includes the opportunity to participate in the Pasa Sustainable Agriculture Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship Program of which the Dickinson College Farm is an approved partner. For more information on this professional development opportunity please go to https://pasafarming.org/programs/farmer-education-and-training/
The Crew Leader position begins in early spring (date is TBD) and ends in mid-December.
Compensation Package: In addition to earning a competitive hourly pay wage, the Crew Leader receives a complimentary 30-week CSA share plus access to any food raised on the farm, including free produce and discounted access to retail items such as meat and eggs from the farm. The Crew Leader has access to paid sick leave and paid vacation taken outside of peak farming times and per approval.
Importantly, the farm managers aim to provide the Crew Leader with the skills, experience, and knowledge needed to advance toward management roles whether on a production farm or within sustainable food system initiatives. To this end, the Crew Leader will receive individualized training and feedback from the farm managers throughout the course of the season.
It is our hope that the Crew Leader experience is also applicable should the individual return to academic studies or seek other employment related to food, sustainability, and education.
Program Structure: We are a certified organic, diversified vegetable farm. Our workdays are typically from 7:30AM to 4:30PM Monday through Friday, with an unpaid, one-hour lunch break. Those times may adjust seasonally or to accommodate weather. Some farm responsibilities occur on weekends or require work outside of the normal hours. Weekend or evening work can be traded for time off during the normal hours to accommodate doctors’ appointments, long weekends, or other personal needs.
Our Commitment to Employee Development: We endeavor to provide varied opportunities both on and off the farm for personal and career development for all employees. This includes:
1. Weekly paid farm meetings and educational programs during the summer.
2. Occasional field trips to respected, local food system enterprises during the paid work week.
3. Optional social visits or educational visits to other farms during evening/weekend hours.
4. Exposure to ongoing experimental and investigative projects at the farm.
5. Engaging in farm-based community educational outreach events.
6. Access to optional relevant readings.
Required Experience: We are seeking applicants with some developed skills that are ready to contribute to our existing production model. Therefore, applicants must have two full seasons of experience on a commercial, diversified vegetable farm. Personnel management experience is also strongly preferred; however, we are open to candidates with a strong technical background, as well as a willingness and ability to rise to a leadership role. Some tractor operation experience is preferred but we will provide on-the-job training of our operation protocol.
Program Culture: Success in any business, but especially agriculture, is dependent on hustle, efficient workflow, and attention to detail from all participants. The farm management team loves the work they do and finds beauty and joy on the farm nearly every day. However, they have learned through experience that achieving good harvests and a healthy agroecosystem requires constantly pushing themselves to be faster, smarter, and more organized. Farmers do not sleep well at night if the crops and livestock are not properly cared for in a timely fashion. The Dickinson College Farm sets ambitious goals for vegetable and livestock production and health, as well as for a diversity of education and outreach programming. Meeting these goals will require all team members to pay attention to details, think about efficiency of movement, and push themselves to develop a fast pace in repetitive tasks. Crew Leader candidates should be prepared to be pushed to develop their efficiency, precision, accuracy, and speed as core skill sets that will benefit them in any future employment. Everyone can all learn to work like a successful professional farmer if they approach the role with an open mind and a positive attitude. Since the Crew Leader plays an important role in sharing the culture of hustle and efficiency with apprentices, students, and volunteers on the farm, this will be a recurring theme throughout the season. We embrace this mentality as part of the fun of “winning” at the game of farming.
How to Apply
Dickinson College Farm Crew Leader Application
The Dickinson College Farm Crew Leader is a full-time 10-month position that runs from mid-Spring to mid-December. Please refer to the detailed position description for position information and requirements.
Please carefully read over the following questions and reply accordingly. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Favorable candidates will be contacted for an interview. Please direct inquiries and completed applications to [email protected] and [email protected].
1. Please explain your reasons for applying for this position.
2. Please describe the skills and experiences that you bring to this position.
3. How does this position support your long-term professional aspirations?
4. How would you describe your work ethic?
5. How would you describe yourself as a leader?
6. What professional or technical skills would you like to improve upon? How do you foresee this position facilitating growth in these areas?
7. Please explain a recent accomplishment that you are proud of and think best reflects your strengths in the workplace.
8. What specific farm-based areas of responsibility interest you most and why?
9. On a scale from 1-5, how does this position rank with other jobs/opportunities that you are exploring for next year? (1= very interested, 5 = vaguely interested)
10. Please list two professional references along with contact information.
Please submit your application along with an updated resume.
We look forward to hearing from you!