School Farmer

Company: Swallowtail Waldorf School & Farm
Location: 33620 NW Camp Ireland St Hillsboro OR 97123
Compensation: 45,000 - 50,000
Employment Type: Full-Time
Job Categories: Agriculture, Education, Nonprofit
Region: North Willamette Valley, Portland Area
Date Posted: April 12, 2024

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The Farmer works closely with the Agricultural Arts Teacher to maintain the Swallowtail Farm Campus in a way that improves the health of the land and enriches the educational opportunities for our students. Our farm property includes sustainable agriculture plots as well as native forest, meadow, and variable wetland areas within the McKay Creek basin of Hillsboro, OR. The majority of the acreage is committed to a 20 year grant project dedicated to the restoration of native habitat in the riparian and wetland zones. Our students visit the property once a week to engage with the land and learn about sustainable food production and how we can care for and restore natural areas.

The Farmer brings knowledge and experience related to biodynamic or other sustainable farming practices as well as natural resource management. This includes the use and making of soil amendments, conservation grazing, cover crops, soil erosion control measures, integrated pest management, management of invasive species, and land drainage and health of waterways and wetlands. The Farmer might also provide input regarding city permitting, grant management, agricultural contracts and bidding, or community engagement.

Specific duties for the Farmer position include:

  • Care for the Swallowtail School farm property
  • Work collaboratively with the Agricultural Arts Teacher to prepare spaces for class activities (for example: by preparing planting beds, mowing fields, or procuring native plants)
  • Assist with property management and restoration activities including mowing, understory thinning, removal of invasive species, and restoration with native plants
  • Occasionally attend Farm Committee meetings related to the use of the property
  • Use agriculture and wild harvest to bring the benefits of the food from the farm to the students and school community

Required Trainings/Attributes

  • Demonstrated knowledge of sustainable farming practices, with preference given for biodynamic farming experience
  • Ability to work outdoors in all kinds of weather
  • A willingness to accept both positive and constructive feedback, and to be part of a culture that values professional growth
  • A desire and ability to communicate and connect with many different groups (students, families, teachers, and community partners) as they use our farm property
  • Knowledge of standard land management practices, materials, and tools such as plowing, mowing, pruning, carpentry, irrigation, planting, and harvesting
  • Ability to operate a variety of tools and power equipment
  • Ability to develop and maintain an efficient workflow, ability to manage several projects simultaneously and adapt to frequent changes
  • Ability to analyze, prioritize, and solve problems

Other expectations/Physical Requirements

  • This is a full time, salaried position. On-site hours are at least 40 hours per week, with some of those occurring during school operating hours. Due to the nature of the work, a flexible schedule with some evening and weekend work may be required
  • Prolonged periods of walking, standing, and frequent bending.
  • Kneel, stoop, crouch, or crawl
  • Must be able to lift, push, pull, or carry up to 50 pounds at a time

Swallowtail School is an associate member of AWSNA and WECAN. Salary is based on education and experience. This position includes 100% tuition remission for dependents and full medical/vision/dental insurance.