Field Crew Lead


Company: Dharma Ridge Farm
Location: Quilcene, WA
Compensation: Hourly, DOE
Employment Type: Full-Time
Job Categories: Agriculture, Production
Region: Neighboring States
Date Posted: January 2, 2019

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Field Crew Lead

Full-time, seasonal, April through December. Long term employment available

Dharma Ridge Farm is a 100 acre organic farm located on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in the foothills of the Olympic Mountain Range in Quilcene, WA. With 50 acres in annual crop production, we grow a wide variety of vegetables for local and regional wholesale markets. Zach Wailand and Haley Olson-Wailand, a husband-and-wife team, started Dharma Ridge Farm in 2003. Since then, the farm has evolved from a small 1 acre market garden to the much larger farm that we are today. Our fine vegetables are sold primarily through wholesale distribution and to local grocers and can be found in stores across Washington, Idaho and Oregon. We employ a small hard-working crew of amazing individuals. Dharma Ridge Farm does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, or ability. Please visit our website to learn more about our farm, www.dharmaridgefarm.com.

Position Details:

As Field Crew Lead, you will be the primary person responsible for managing our Field Crew, overseeing daily harvests, and overseeing daily and weekly Field Crew field work. This position is one of the most important on the farm, and not only requires a great deal of knowledge and proficiency with organic vegetable production, but also requires the management and oversight of 5-10 workers on a daily basis.

The ideal candidate for this position is proficient in hand harvest of vegetables and all Field Crew tasks, with motivating leadership, organizational and communication skills, as well as the ability to remain calm and level-headed while working under pressure. The Field Crew Lead works alongside the Field Crew, while maintaining an eye on the bigger picture, planning ahead and leading the crew through tasks efficiently and seamlessly, troubleshooting and making decisions along the way.

The Field Crew is the backbone of the farm, and some crew members have worked on the farm for many years, and as such are very skilled, efficient, knowledgeable, and often self-sufficient in their work. Some crew members are new to the farm every season, and as such require more training, supervision, and oversight. You, with the assistance of the Farm Owner, will be responsible for working alongside and overseeing, coordinating, and managing their daily tasks. In April and May tasks primarily entail hand weeding, transplanting, trellising, greenhouse assistance, some harvesting, and other general farm labor. From June through November tasks primarily entail harvesting, washing, and packing produce for orders. As such, applicants must be proficient with prior experience in all of these fields.

Additionally, this position requires a great deal of employee management and oversight, and applicants should have prior experience managing crews. Depending on the time of year, there may be anywhere from 5-10 Field Crew members that you will be directly responsible for, with the assistance of the Farm Owner. We count on our Field Crew Lead to help our Field Crew maintain a positive attitude, quick work pace, and appropriate attention to detail and quality.

In order to do well in this position you must have a strong aptitude for harvesting and packing produce, weeding, performing other farm tasks, managing others, communicating in a positive and timely manner with other managers, be detail oriented with an aptitude for record keeping, and be able to multitask in a fast paced environment.

The Field Crew Lead is in very frequent direct communication with the Farm Owner, who also plays an active role in the management and oversight of the Field Crew. The Field Crew lead will be required to start the work day earlier than the rest of the crew in order to communicate with the Farm Owner and be prepared to manage the day’s tasks. This position requires extra motivation and interest in the farming industry.

Responsibilities can at times be physically demanding, so all candidates must be capable of lifting heavy and awkward items, capable of performing repetitive tasks with a positive attitude and physical stamina, and able to work for long durations even in inclement weather.

Please note: Candidates must be able to repetitively lift 50 pounds and move heavy items. If you have a history of chronic back pain or other serious physical ailments or limitations, this position would not be a good fit for you.

Responsibilities:

  • Managing, supervising, and working well with a crew of 5-10 co-workers to maintain consistent quality and time-efficient work
  • Managing daily vegetable harvests, with an attention towards pace, quality, and crew morale
  • Managing daily and weekly field work, with an attention towards pace, quality, and crew morale. Field work responsibilities include:
  • Hand-weeding
  • Transplanting
  • Greenhouse seeding
  • Irrigation assistance
  • Communicating in a timely and positive manner with Farm Owner, fellow managers, and co-workers.
  • Keeping on-farm trucks and other harvest equipment clean and organized
  • Maintaining harvest supplies inventory and communicating shortages and issues to the Farm Owner in a timely manner
  • Minimal tractor operation related to harvest operations
  • General farm labor as needed

Qualifications:

  • At least three years of experience working on farms, ideally vegetable farms
  • At least three years of experience managing or supervising others
  • Attention to detail
  • Punctuality and strong time management skills
  • Positive and energetic disposition with strong interpersonal skills
  • Strong back with the ability to lift heavy and awkward objects
  • Ability to work well in both a team setting and independently
  • Fast learner and ability to adapt to new positions and working with new people
  • Ability to take direction, accept constructive feedback and to ask for help when needed
  • Ability to give direction and act as a leader among peers and colleagues
  • Ability to work for long durations in inclement weather
  • Ability to perform and endure repetitive physical work

Working Hours:

40-50/wk (hours change with the season). Monday-Friday schedule, with additional working hours available for motivated individuals. Part-time work available through the winter if interested.

Compensation:

Commensurate with experience, and includes all the vegetables that you can eat from the farm. This position receives one of the highest starting wage on the farm due to the high level of responsibility. Performance based raises and/or bonuses available over time.

Reports to:

Farm Owners