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Farm Production Crew Leader

Requisition Number: 
Windy City Harvest
Job Status: 
Join a team of dedicated, mission-driven, urban farmers to oversee a crew in the Windy City Harvest Corps jobs training program. Windy City Harvest Corps is looking for three farm production crew leaders who are prepared for hard work and self-motivated with high energy for day-to-day manual labor. Experience working with adults returning to or entering the workforce is necessary. The ideal candidate for these positions is well-versed in leading others and enforcing workplace standards. Crew leaders will work on multiple Windy City Harvest sites with farm coordinators to train Corps participants in workplace skills related to local food systems. The crew leader also assists with job development classes on Fridays. Please refer to our website for details about the Corps program:
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role, you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Work closely with the Corps manager and site coordinators to carry out daily work assignments for the crew
  • Oversee crew punching in and out and maintain clear, accurate records for payroll and grant compliance procedures
  • Lead participants in developing employability skills such as appropriate workplace behavior, attendance, communication, pace, teamwork, and workplace safety
  • Guide and work side-by-side with crew on farm site tasks such as: planting, weeding, harvesting, post-harvest handling, composting, and site maintenance
  • Enforce Windy City Harvest standards through weekly feedback. Crew leaders will document crew members' performance and share written and verbal feedback with the Corps manager and crew members every Friday
  • Support participants with Individual Employment Plan goals and connect farm transferrable skills to their employment goals
  • Teach job development classes. Provide general support for job development and job search activities, including assisting participants with writing resumés and cover letters, completing job applications, and preparing for interviews
  • Give and log weekly safety talks
  • Act as a resource for program information for project partners, community members, Garden staff, and media


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 and self-motivated; 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:

  • One to two years of experience working in the local food system
  • Understanding and commitment to the model of transitional jobs and the Chicago Botanic Garden's mission is essential
  • Candidate must have experience managing direct reports and be comfortable giving constructive verbal and written feedback to participants in order to prepare them for full-time jobs or continue to the Windy City Harvest Apprenticeship program 
  • Adaptable communication skills: Google Drive, Outlook, email, phone, in-person
  • Be available to work full-time, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., February to October 2019
  • A valid driver's license and must be insurable by the Chicago Horticultural Society
Physical Demands: 
This is an urban farm setting. Staff members must be able to work on their feet all day, in all weather conditions, performing manual labor. There will be frequent lifting, standing, walking, bending, farm tool usage, and machinery operation, as well as speaking to the public, staff, and program participants. There will also be daily use of small farm machinery and post-harvest handling equipment. Staff members are required to lift, push, and pull items up to 50 pounds.
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.