About the Role
We are seeking an enthusiastic, collaborative, skilled farmer to join the AOOA team as our Silvopasture/Orchard manager. The ideal candidate has at least 10 years of orchard experience, is motivated, reliable and an excellent communicator; has a deep passion for a diverse orchard which enhances habitat for beneficial wildlife; the ability to develop efficient workflows; implement clear and transparent operational procedures; and is committed and excited about building a stellar farm and work environment.
The Silvopasture/Orchard Manager 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. Some weekend work is needed occasionally during the summer and flexibility is required depending on the weather and workload.
Crops include apples, pears, plums, peaches, cherries/bush cherries/nanking cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, chestnuts, hazelnuts (inoculated with truffle fungus), aronia, elderberries, persimmons, pawpaws, mulberries, hardy kiwi, currants/gooseberries, beach plums, asparagus, horseradish, and rhubarb. Plus incidental crops like black locust flowers, rugosa rose hips, sumac pods, etc. There is potential to develop a small walnut syrup setup. A broad understanding of applied horticulture is required! It is a lot to keep track of. There are spreadsheets. Not everything is fruiting yet; 2023 will be the fourth growing season. We aim for holistic orchard health, primarily using good monitoring, neem, Bt, Surround, and focusing on soil health. We have copper and Pyganic too, but haven’t needed to spray them yet. The orchard is widely-spaced to allow for sheep to graze between the rows (but they don’t ever have direct access to the fruit trees!). We have blocks of small shrubby trees planted for the sheep in between the orchard rows, managed in cooperation with the Livestock Manager.
● Demonstrated success and fluency in the management of a tree-based farm ecosystem
● Experience with upkeep and maintenance of facilities and farm equipment
● Mechanical and technical ability to troubleshoot issues with equipment, irrigation, and infrastructure
● Excellent time management and strong sense of pace and urgency
● Strong communication skills
● Positive attitude and solution-oriented
● Strong work ethic and excellent attention to detail
● Ability to operate with autonomy
● Intention of working at least three full seasons is required. The ideal candidate will be interested in working up to a long-term partnership and has a deep interest in building a farm and work environment they want to be a part of
Duties & Responsibilities
● Plants, tends, weeds, mulches, prunes/trellises, fertilizes, manages pests and diseases, harvests, and propagates orchard trees
● Weeds, tends, and adds to wildflower meadow areas.
● Maintains and enhances habitat for beneficial wildlife as part of a conservation biocontrol strategy
● Co-manages silvopasture trees in coordination with the Livestock Manager
● 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
● Keeps records, creates and documents procedures
● Creates tasks that are appropriate for volunteers and manages those tasks
● Applies and obtains organic and other certifications, or keeps records in anticipation of future certification applications
● Participates in farm tours, field days and workshops as requested
● Ensures proper care in the use and maintenance of equipment and supplies
● Promotes continuous improvement of workplace organization, safety and environmental practices
● Maintains and improves on the farm's physical appearance so that it is presentable, welcoming and safe for all
● Farm equipment, supplies and facilities upkeep, maintenance, management, organization and procurement
● Manages irrigation system
● Conducts research and explores new production methods and crops.
● Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned
● Operates tractors and equipment safely and effectively
Please send a resume and letter of interest explaining your fit for the position to firstname.lastname@example.org.