Employment at the Garden

Youth Farm Interns, Windy City Harvest (Chicago, IL)

Job Status:
Paid Internship
Requisition Number:
Windy City Harvest
Reports to:
Windy City Harvest Youth Farm Coordinators
Work with Chicago’s most innovative, sustainable urban agriculture training program, the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Windy City Harvest Youth Farm. The Youth Farm interns will work as part of a dedicated, energetic team at one of our sustainable farms, working alongside high school students to produce sustainably grown food in Waukegan, North Lawndale, and Washington Park. Youth Farm participants learn about principles of sustainable agriculture, teamwork, leadership, and entrepreneurship as they cultivate crops and their own career and professional skills. The Chicago Botanic Garden has four positions for three-month internships. Positions are available at the Washington Park Youth Farm, North Lawndale Youth Farm, and Green Youth Farm in Lake County.
Duties and Responsibilities:

As a Youth Farm intern, you are responsible for the following:

•     Assist with training 15 to 18 high-school age students on organic growing 
techniques, including weeding, planting, and harvesting
•     Demonstrate enthusiasm for working alongside program participants, including youth, 
adult learners, veterans, and formerly justice-involved trainees in an agriculture-focused job 
development setting
•     Facilitate team building exercises
•     Support coordinator in supervision of students during work in a variety of 
activities including, but not limited to, farm tasks, landscaping, safe tool usage, and following food 
safety protocols
•     Facilitate weekly hands-on lessons for crews of three to five Youth Farmers
•     Provide detailed feedback at the end of each day for each student to the coordinator 
and student crew leader following the Windy City Harvest Straight Talk format
•     Report any concerns about a student’s safety or well-being or conflicts among students 
to the Coordinator or Manager immediately
•     Assist with other program and operational needs as assigned, such as meal/snack 
preparation and set up, and securing daily supplies

•     Support with farm operations at all Windy City Harvest locations as directed
•     Support with deliveries of produce and programming supplies as needed, utilizing 
Chicago Botanic Garden vehicles and following department Fleet Standards
•     Assist with implementing crop plan for sustainable vegetable production to meet a 
designated sales goal; utilizing succession planting, integrated pest management, and season 
extension in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures
•     Act as a resource for program information for project partners, community members, 
and Chicago Botanic Garden staff; support with tours as necessary
•     Assists with site maintenance, such as tool/machinery care and maintaining a safe 

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:

•     Experience working with youth—prior work in outdoor or experiential education a plus
•     Ability to complete Illinois Mandated Reporter Training upon hire
•     Basic knowledge of horticulture and/or sustainable agriculture a plus
•     Flexibility and comfort to work with shifting demands and schedules. Occasional evening, early, and Saturday shifts are part of this position.
•     Willing and able to perform manual labor in all weather conditions, including rain and heat
•     Positive, can-do attitude and an interest in the intersection of youth development and urban agriculture within a highly dynamic and collaborative environment

*The Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires after this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire or may request a medical/religious exemption after an offer is extended.*



Apply for Intern - Youth Farm, Windy City Harvest (Chicago, IL) using the link below:

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Physical Demands:
This is an urban farm setting. Staff must be able to work on their feet all day, in all weather conditions, performing manual labor. This will involve frequent lifting, standing, walking, bending, farm tool usage, machinery operation, and speaking to the public, staff, and program participants. Staff is also required to lift, push, and pull items up to 50 pounds. Staff are expected to work in multiple locations.
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.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

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.