Description: Growing Home’s organic urban farm and job training program is seeking a highly motivated detail-oriented individual to join our staff as a Farm & Program Assistant. This position entails day-to-day farm and site maintenance, harvesting, and processing of produce, and daily training of all Production Assistants (participants in our transitional job program). The Farm & Program Assistant reports to the Director of Urban Farms.
Growing Home operates USDA-certified organic farms that produce between 25,000- 40,000 pounds of vegetables and herbs annually. We use our farms as a platform for our 14-week job training program serving up to 60 individuals facing barriers to employment on an annual basis, and as a source for affordable healthy produce in the Englewood neighborhood.
Bed Preparation (clearing, tilling, amending, raking), transplant production and transplanting, direct seeding
Ensure quality, sanitation, and freshness standards
Record keeping and farm data entry support (Must be proficient with Microsoft Excel, Word)
Basic carpentry and repair work; examples include irrigation line installation and repair, fabricating trellises, installing/repairing thermostats
Assist with food distribution and farmers markets, includes some weekends
Treat all customers respectfully and courteously
Take part in weekend watering split amongst staff
Assist with bee-keeping as needed
Assist with snow removal in the winter and other general site maintenance tasks
Job-Training and Production Assistant Supervision:
Provide direction and supervision to Production Assistant working groups (crews of up to 10 PAs) during morning and afternoon work periods
Take responsibility for group work performance and outcomes of work crews under their direction
Conduct farm-skills trainings for Production Assistants and consistently review skills as needed in the field
Ensure that Production Assistants are courteous and helpful to all those on-site, immediately addressing and correcting problems
Model and demonstrate excellent communication skills with other staff and participants, especially under frustrating conditions
Provide verbal and written feedback to Production Assistants concerning work performance and job readiness in relation to specific program themes and measures
Communicate any notable issues and/or successes to staff as needed
Participate in “case note” system for communicating information concerning Production Assistant work performance between farm and employment training staff
When needed, transport Growing Home Production Assistants using company vehicle
Participate in program-related activities such as motivational morning meetings, Monday afternoon staff meetings, and performance evaluation
At least one season of farming experience
Experience working on a team, ability to connect with a variety of audiences
Detail-oriented, dependable, and punctual
Attention to quality-control
Able to work independently; self-directed
Able to lift 50 lbs.
Able to squat and bend for long periods of time
Ability to work well in all weather conditions
Experience using a four-point seeder and Earthway
Experience supervising and/or training
Valid Illinois Driver’s License
Additional Salary Information: Compensation: This is a full-time salaried position. Salary is commensurate with experience, and competitive for industry standards. Salary is based on an 11-month work year with flexible time off in the first three months of the year. Includes option to enroll in health insurance, 401k program, and generous paid time off.
About Growing Home
Growing Home works to build healthy people and communities in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood through their innovative work in urban agriculture. Their farm-based employment training program helps individuals with barriers to employment such as criminal records, homelessness, and lack of experience, find and keep stable full-time jobs. Their USDA-certified organic farms also provide healthy food and food education to families living in an area considered a food desert. Through farming, Growing Home seeks to bring good jobs and good food to all.