Equipment Operator


Company: Boldly Grown Farm
Location: Bow, WA
Compensation: $17-$19 DOE
Employment Type: Full-Time
Job Categories: Agriculture
Region: Neighboring States
Date Posted: December 13, 2021

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Boldly Grown Farm is a mid-scale, high-production, certified organic mixed vegetable farm located in the beautiful Skagit Valley of Washington State. 2022 will be our 8th season in operation. It will be a momentous year for BGF as we move operations to the 58-acre farm in Bow, WA that we purchased in 2021. Our primary focus will continue to be on fall and winter vegetables, but we’re also increasing our spring & summer vegetable production, growing and selling vegetables 52 weeks per year. We’re also expanding into small grains, seed crops and perennials, reinvigorating our flower program, and adding a farm stand/store on site. We’re excited about what the future holds for 2022 and beyond!

BGF sells to numerous retailers and wholesalers throughout the Pacific Northwest with an emphasis on grocery & regional distributors. We also offer a ~250-member winter CSA program. We utilize scale-appropriate machinery to save time, reduce wear and tear on our bodies and increase efficiency and productivity.

BGF is owned and operated by Amy Frye and Jacob Slosberg, with day-to-day operations overseen by experienced managers. Our crew is 6-12 people depending on the time of year. We strive to foster a positive, collaborative team environment. We take pride in our high-quality products, and we love growing a lot of food and feeding a lot of people!

Position Summary      The Equipment Operator is part of our Production Team and reports to the Production Manager. The Production Team is responsible for all aspects of field crop production, including tillage, cultivation, irrigation, materials application, farm equipment operation and maintenance, direct seeding crops, mechanical harvest, and bulk crop harvest.

The Equipment Operator will spend a good amount of time in the tractor seat operating equipment safely and effectively in pursuit of our production goals. At times, the Production Team may flex to assist the Greenhouse & Harvest Team and the Pack Shed Team.

BGF equipment includes:

  • Tractors: Kubota M6060, Kubota M5-091, ACG, IH Cub, JD 2155
  • Vehicles and trailers: Standard transmission flatbed trucks, automatic transmission 2WD trucks, flat bed trailer, dump trailer, tilt deck trailer
  • Forklift
  • Transplanting equipment: Mechanical transplanter, water wheel transplanter
  • Cultivation: Kult kress finger weeder, basket weeder, flame weeder
  • Tillage: Spader, perfecta, power harrow, stalebedder/bed shaper
  • Irrigation: aluminum hand line, Bauer reel and boom, drip line
  • Other: flail mower, PTO driven boom sprayer

Our operations are fairly mechanized; however farm work still involves long hours spent standing, bending, squatting and kneeling in all weather conditions while carrying out repetitive tasks and lifting heavy/awkward things.

Job Duties

  • Perform tractor work, including but not limited to: primary tillage, bed prep, spreading fertilizer, laying plastic, cultivating, flame weeding, seeding, spraying, mowing, mechanical harvester operation, load moving, etc.
  • Make adjustments to equipment based on soil moisture, soil type, crop etc.
  • Communicate clearly with Production Manager and other team members regarding tractor work priorities, equipment scheduling/use, and repair needs
  • Perform maintenance and repairs—both routine and as-needed—on equipment, vehicles, tools and facilities
  • Maintain shop facilities and tools in clean, working order
  • Review and maintain equipment manuals, spec sheets and training logs to ensure safe and proper equipment use and maintenance
  • Keep repair, service, cleaning and other records as needed
  • Help set up and adjust new implements
  • Help ensure other equipment operators are adjusting and using all equipment safely and properly
  • Help with general repairs/maintenance/building projects around the farm as needed
  • Provide input into discussions regarding equipment priorities, mechanization and systems improvements that will increase efficiency and reduce wear & tear on our team
  • Assist the Pack Shed Team and Greenhouse & Harvest Team as needed
  • Other farm tasks as needed

Required Qualifications

  • Prior experience with tractor/machinery operation, preferably in an organic vegetable production setting
  • Demonstrated mechanical skills and mechanical aptitude/inclination
  • Excellent problem-solving skills; resourceful
  • Able to work independently and maintain focus for long periods while keeping up communication with other team members
  • Good time management skills; able to shift tasks quickly based on changing priorities in a fast-paced environment
  • Strong work ethic and positive attitude; able to keep up morale throughout long days of hard/monotonous work
  • Able to take direction, learn quickly, ask for help/clarity as needed, and accept and act on constructive feedback
  • Willing to jump in and help out on other teams/tasks as needed
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Physically fit; able and willing to work long hours in any weather and lift 50+ lbs repeatedly
  • Valid driver’s license, clean driving record (you will be added to our commercial vehicle insurance) and cell phone access
  • Willingness to follow COVID-19 protocols, including any required mask mandates

Preferred Qualifications

  • Understanding of weed management principles
  • Understanding of farm equipment/implements (e.g., what tools are called for in what circumstances and why; limitations)
  • Familiarity with manual transmission, diesel engines and hydraulics
  • Knowledge/experience with welding, carpentry, plumbing, electrical, etc.
  • Preference will be given to candidates who are interested in pursuing careers in agriculture and who are interested in working with our farm for multiple seasons (two-season commitment preferred)

Schedule  

  • Start date: March 2022 (flexible)
  • Year-round, full-time position (approximately 35-50 hours/week)
  • Sunday-Thursday schedule (Mon-Fri possible) with occasional work on Fri/Sat if needed
  • Our typical day is 8:00-5:00 with longer days during the growing season. Start-time may shift earlier or later depending on weather.

Compensation  

  • ~$17-19/hour DOE
  • Overtime pay: Time and a half above 40 hours/week
  • Paid vacation & sick leave
  • WA State Paid Family Medical Leave
  • Free/discounted farm produce
  • Learning opportunities on a diversified, mechanized vegetable farm

We request all employees be vaccinated as quickly as possible to ensure a safe environment for our staff, family and customers. We are happy to assist in arranging vaccination appointments if needed.