About the Role
We are seeking an experienced, collaborative, skilled farmer to join the AOOA team as our Orchard Lead. The ideal candidate has at least 3 years of orchard experience with a demonstrated track record of producing beautiful harvests, establishing efficient workflows and creating clear operational procedures. A good fit for this position is self-motivated, organized, an excellent communicator who is passionate about maintaining a diverse orchard which enhances habitat for beneficial wildlife.
The Orchard Lead is a full-time (35-50 hours) position with hourly pay commensurate with experience starting at $25/hour. Benefits include 401k, health insurance, PTO and sick days according to NYS standards, and farm goods discount. Weekend availability is needed during the summer and flexibility is required depending on the weather and workload. Reports to the Farm Manager.
Crops include apples, pears, plums, peaches, cherries/bush cherries/nanking cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, chestnuts, hazelnuts, aronia, elderberries, persimmons, pawpaws, mulberries, hardy kiwi, currants/gooseberries and beach plums. This is our fourth growing season with all trees and bushes having been planted in that time. Not everything is fruiting yet. We aim for holistic orchard health, primarily using good monitoring, neem, Bt, Surround, and focusing on soil health. The orchard is widely-spaced to allow for sheep to graze between the rows without ever having direct access to the fruit trees. We have blocks of small shrubby forage trees planted for the sheep to graze in between the orchard rows. The Orchard Lead co-manages this silvopasture system in tandem with the Livestock Manager.
● Demonstrated success and fluency in the management of a tree-based farm ecosystem.
● A track record of excellent time management skills and effective organization around directing other staff members.
● Strong written and verbal communication skills.
● Positive attitude and solution-oriented.
● Strong work ethic and excellent attention to detail.
Duties & Responsibilities
● Plants, waters, weeds, mulches, prunes/trellises, fertilizes, manages pests and diseases, harvests, and propagates orchard trees.
● Installs irrigation and repairs and maintains the system as needed.
● Co-manages silvopasture trees: planting, irrigating, tubing.
● Works with Livestock Manager to coordinate sheep/chicken moves through the orchard, to avoid conflicts with spray/manure/harvest timing.
● Manages spray program in compliance with the Worker Protection Standard.
● Coordinates harvests with the farm stand, distillery, and future restaurant.
● Administrative responsibilities include data entry and record keeping in anticipation of Organic or other certification, inventory tracking and the placement of orders, writing SOPs and plans for improvements and future enterprises.
● Identifies and oversees tasks that are appropriate for other staff members and volunteers.
● Operates tractors and equipment safely and effectively.
● Weeds, tends, and expands wildflower meadow areas.
● Maintains and enhances habitat for beneficial wildlife as part of a conservation biocontrol strategy.
● Promotes continuous improvement of workplace organization, safety and practices.
● Maintains and improves on the farm's physical appearance so that it is presentable, welcoming and safe for all.
● Participates in farm programming (educational workshops, volunteer days, etc.).
Please send a resume and letter of interest explaining your fit for the position to firstname.lastname@example.org.