Farm Assistant

Employer: Youth Farm Project

Work Location: Ithaca NY

Term of Employment: April - Oct. 2024

Compensation Range: $20/hr.

Duties / Responsibilities

Position Title: Farm Assistant
Location: Ithaca, NY
Reports To: Farm Manager
Hours and dates: April 1st – October 31st, 2024

Seasonal hours range from 20 hrs/wk in the early spring/ late fall to 30 hrs/wk in high summer.
Compensation: $20./hr

Benefits: Three paid personal/sick days. Farm produce for food/medicine for your household

Organizational Background:

The Youth Farm Project is entering its 15th year as a not for profit in Tompkins County. We work on 20 acres of land in Danby, NY, 4 miles from downtown Ithaca. We grow annual and perennial crops, raise chickens, keep bees and cultivate mushrooms.

The Youth Farm Project is unique in our area in that we are an educational farm AND a production farm, growing a substantial amount of food for our community. We hold at the core of our work that food sovereignty is a need, and that growing food directly links us to our own liberation. Our programs are land-based, and center the experiences of black, brown, indigenous and people of color on the land.

Position Details:
The Farm Assistant will assist the Farm Manager with farm care and maintenance, and provide support for youth programming at the farm.

The Farm Assistant is responsible for providing support and care to ensure the growth and development of edible tree, shrub and vine fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers, as well as other farm maintenance duties. They will also be supporting programming, workshops and site maintenance in collaboration with other staff.

General Role Expectations:

  • Assist the Farm Manager with the management of the farm, including:
  • Planting, harvesting, and maintaining annual crops (including weeding, trellising, organic spray application, pruning, etc) in hoop houses and fields
  • Care of perennial herb gardens and fruits; this position will be responsible for specific weekly maintenance and upkeep in and around perennial gardens, including weed wacking and weeding Canada thistle
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Upkeep of the site including mowing and weed whacking
  • Set-up and maintenance of irrigation and fencing
  • Fall field clean-up
  • DIY building projects
  • Care for animals on the farm (feeding, moving fences, cleaning animal housing)
  • Maintain timely communications and contribute to accurate record keeping with Farm Manager and Director
  • Supervise youth employees and participants
  • Engage and lead youth in performing fieldwork on the farm
  • Help maintain an orderly site during programs to ensure the safety of our youth and staff – this will include shared responsibilities towards keeping the barn, outdoor kitchen, and composting toilet in order
  • Organize/ assist with occasional weekend and evening events throughout the growing season. (2-3 weekend days or evenings from April-October)
  • Drive the farm truck for errands, food distribution, and to transport teens as needed
  • Orient farm visitors and provide opportunities for them to connect to the land
  • Assist with food distribution (harvest, wash, pack and deliver) as needed – this position will manage food distribution associated with the DINNERS grant. This includes weekly harvest, packing, and delivery of 25 CSA shares, and weekly harvest, packing, and delivery to No Mas Lagrimas food distribution.
  • Varied relevant projects as assigned

Desired Applicant Experience

Job Requirements

Farm work experience:

  • Knowledge and ability of basic vegetable care (seeding, transplanting, weeding, trellising, pruning)
  • Past experience running small equipment such as mowers and string trimmers
  • Ability to balance quality with efficiency in outdoor labor
  • Anti-racism or anti-bias training and/or lived experience
  • Ability to regularly lift a minimum of 50 pounds. Ability to stand, lift, and bend for extended periods of time
  • Ability and willingness to work outside in all weather
  • A driver’s license in good standing, and a clean driving record. Reliable transportation is needed to ensure you arrive consistently on time for programming and farm responsibilities. We acknowledge that accessible, efficient, affordable, and safe alternatives to car travel, and especially to driving solo, are not currently available to get to and from the farm. The bus route we are on is limited, and is not effective at meeting the transportation needs for this job.
  • Satisfactory background and reference checks. YFP runs background checks for the safety of vulnerable populations in an educational setting. People with criminal records other than sexual assault and/or child abuse of any kind will be considered equally.
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to work with a high level of productivity and attention
  • Reliable cell phone communication
  • Ability to legally work in the USA

The ideal candidate will possess some or all of the following:

  • Experience working with natural, ecological, organic, and/or indigenous agriculture operations, gardening, or nutrition
  • Experience working with youth and ability to relate easily to high school aged youth and support their growth
  • Interest and/or knowledge in some or all of these topics: social justice, anti-racism, black liberation, consent, feminism, LGBTQ+ rights, indigenous sovereignty and community organizing
  • Capable of and committed to cultivating a safer space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and LGBTQ+ youth
  • Beekeeping, forest farming, mushroom production, seedkeeping, medicine making and other land-based arts and skills are welcome!

This Job Is Ideal for Someone Who Is:

  • Dependable — more reliable than spontaneous
  • Adaptable — enjoys doing work that requires frequent shifts in direction
  • Independent & Collaborative — enjoys working with little direction and alone as well as working on a team
  • Highly organized with materials and time management and can see through tasks steadily
  • Patient – able to communicate instructions and tasks clearly and to work with folks with various skill levels
  • Able to exercise sound judgment, discretion, tact, and diplomacy

How to Apply / Notes / Other Information

Accepting applications now!
Black, Indigenous, People of Color and LGBTQ+ folks are encouraged to apply.

Send work experience/resume and a cover letter or multimedia introduction to:

Applications accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. @youthfarmproject on facebook and instagram