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Youth Farm Grower A - C

Requisition Number: 
587
Department: 
Windy City Harvest
Job Status: 
Seasonal
Hours: 
Full-time
Overview: 
Candidates should be interested in the intersection of sustainable agriculture and youth development. The ideal candidate for this position will be well-versed in organic growing techniques; able to work independently and as part of a team; a mentor for youth who can generate excitement around growing food; possess a strong attention to detail, the ability to move with purpose, and the ability to plan strategically to uphold high standards of production; and a desire to foster respect for the earth and the food we grow (and eat) with all of our program participants and the communities Windy City Harvest serves. There are three positions available, at the Washington Park Youth Farm, North Lawndale Youth Farm, and Lake County Green Youth Farm. For more information about the Youth Farm, visit our website: chicagobotanic.org/urbanagriculture/youthfarm
Duties and Responsibilities: 

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

  • With the site coordinator, implement a crop plan for sustainable vegetable production to meet a designated sales goal, utilizing succession plantings, integrated pest management, and season extension
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm for working alongside teenagers in an agriculture-focused youth development setting
  • Assist the coordinator in the management and training of all onsite staff, including seasonal interns, volunteers, and teen participants, with production and programming tasks. Growers are expected to facilitate programming when the coordinator is not present.
  • Assist the coordinator in program facilitation as requested, and serve as a mentor to youth, exercising appropriate judgment and decision making to ensure a safe and supportive environment
  • Harvest and process vegetables in compliance with GAPs standards and the Windy City Harvest post-harvest handling guide. Maintain accurate records for harvest, sales, and food safety requirements.
  • Supervise the Market Crew (five to seven teens) in advertising, setting up, running, and closing a weekly farm stand
  • Complete all logs and records in an accurate and timely manner associated with production, site safety, food safety, and sales
  • Follow standard operating procedures related to food safety, farm maintenance, and programming
  • Work with other Windy City Harvest sites and programs as assigned to support a seven-day production schedule and meet programming goals
  • Attend weekly staff meetings
  • Operate Chicago Botanic Garden vehicles and equipment in a safe and responsible way
  • Work with the Production and Market staff to assist in the distribution of food to local retailers and markets, including overseeing the entire operation of the weekly, onsite farm stand and supporting retail operations at the Farm on Ogden
  • Perform and manage site tasks, such as tool/machinery use and maintenance, produce deliveries, and general security during operating hours
  • Act as a resource for program information for project partners, community members, Chicago Botanic Garden staff, and the media; give scheduled and impromptu tours as needed and train youth in leading tours
  • Meet and uphold expectations for aesthetics and site maintenance as outlined in the site guidelines

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.
Qualifications: 

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • At least two seasons of sustainable vegetable production on a ½ -acre site or larger
  • Possess a driver’s license and access to reliable transportation. Occasional use of a personal vehicle will be expected.
  • Ability to strategically plan and work full days independently while performing physically demanding tasks in all types of weather
  • Experience selling produce to a wide variety of markets, including walk-up customers at farm stands, restaurants, small grocery retailers, and/or wholesale markets
  • Experience with food safety, integrated pest management (IPM), and production protocols
  • Experience working with teens in an experiential education setting—other youth-focused farm settings is a plus!
  • Flexibility and comfort with shifting demands and schedules. Working outdoors and in an urban farm setting is dynamic. Evening, early, and Saturday shifts are part of this position.
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 is 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.