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Coordinator, Windy City Harvest Youth Farm in Lake County

Requisition Number: 
Windy City Harvest
Job Status: 
Since 2003, the Windy City Harvest Youth Farm has served as a vital youth development program for high school students in and around the City of Chicago. This summer employment opportunity exposes youth to various issues around food systems and leadership through paid employment on an urban farm. The site coordinator’s role is to oversee and coordinate all aspects of program delivery. This includes working as part of the larger Windy City Harvest team to ensure the program and produce is of the highest quality.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Train and lead a team including a full-time seasonal grower and two three-month, full-time interns. Provide regular opportunities for feedback and team development.
  • Work in partnership with area high schools and nonprofit organizations to recruit Youth Farm participants.
  • Participate in the recruitment, training, and management of volunteers on-site, including regular communication and follow-up.
  • Oversee administration of student documentation, including collection of employment information and processing student pay.
  • Participate in all training workshops and other requirements from partner agencies and the Windy City Harvest department, including but not limited to: orientations, technical assistance workshops, safety training such as CPR/first aid, etc.
  • Participate in planning meetings and assists in special events with partner organizations, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and the Windy City Harvest department.
  • Oversee farm planning (including crop planning), planting, and maintenance in cooperation with grower.
  • Coordinate and lead educational workshops, tours, and field trips for Youth Farm and outside organizations.
  • Plan cooking days for Youth Farmers, including menu planning, food procurement, training to interns and students on proper food safety and tool safety in the kitchen, and time management skills.
  • Coordinates procurement and delivery of materials necessary for program delivery and farm operations (i.e., plants, soil, building materials, student lunches, etc.).
  • Track program expenditures and advise on annual budgets.
  • Collect and organize written, anecdotal, and photographic documentation for education, publication, and reporting purposes.
  • As necessary, assist with the coordination of on-site and off-site symposia, presentations, classes, workshops, demonstrations, contests, fairs, and other special events that educate, support, and/or recognize urban gardeners and gardening efforts.
  • Support the establishment of horticultural standards for the Urban Agriculture Department; maintains current knowledge of industry trends, practices. and policies relevant to department operations.
  • Support department and institutional projects as requested.

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred
  • Strong knowledge of urban agriculture with at least one season of vegetable production experience
  • Familiarity with issues surrounding local food systems
  • At least one year of experience working with teenagers in a mentorship or supervisory role
  • Willingness to work in all neighborhoods of Chicago and surrounding communities with diverse audiences
  • Availability for evening and weekend work, particularly May-October
  • MUST be licensed driver, with constant and reliable access to personal vehicle, willingness to commute to several locations within the week or day, and familiarity with Chicago area a plus.
Physical Demands: 
This is a diverse role with physical demands dependent on the season. Frequent outdoor work in all weather will be required. Ability to lift 50+ lbs. Ability to stand/walk for 8+ hours/day. Ability to move from physical tasks to office work/driving significant distances in a day is required.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.