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Second-year Farmer-in-training

Position Summary:

The Farmer Training Program focuses on three areas: running a productive farm, providing an educational experience for Farmers-in-training (FITs), and providing a space for reconciliation and healing. Second-year FITs continue to gain hands-on experience growing vegetables at high elevation, while taking on more on-farm responsibilities. Second-year FITs work with program staff to tend about two acres of vegetables, learning new and traditional skills and techniques vital to farming at high elevation, and join the Old Fort staff and program partners in a network committing to supporting beginning farmers through incubator and land access opportunities, business planning, and community support. Second-year FITs work with and assist other program staff in tasks including but not limited to the following, which may take place in both the FIT Plot and the Education Garden: working with FITs in field work; using hand tools; operating small equipment; assisting with irrigation repairs and daily operation; succession planting; weed management; harvest/processing; deliveries; events; and assisting in other daily farm tasks. Second-year FITs are also eligible to apply to be a Market Lead for either the Farm Stand or the Farmers Market.

Job Description:

Essential Functions and Responsibilities:
  • Second-year FITs work to accomplish highest priority tasks, which may take place in the FIT Plot or the Education Garden and may include weed management, equipment operation, harvesting, processing, propagation tasks, cleaning, general farm maintenance and other tasks as identified by managers, including the Production Manager or Program Coordinator.
  • The Second-year FITs are also responsible for setting a positive, professional and respectful tone; following training and work guidelines created by management and setting an example for farm team and volunteers in terms of timeliness, focus, pace, and accuracy in the field; adhering to Food Safety SOPs; following instructions and training and responding to feedback; demonstrating care for tools and farm equipment by appropriate use, cleaning, and storage, and completing online trainings to become a FLC authorized driver.
  • Additionally, Second-year FITs are expected to demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and student success, as well as working with broadly diverse communities
Additional Functions and Responsibilities
  • Restocking and cleaning the Country Store
  • Caring for perennials in the Education Garden
  • Processing storage crops
Required Education, Specialized Skills and Experience:
  • Interest in farming and food systems
  • Interest in gaining experience working collaboratively as part of a team
  • Interest in using Slack messages for farm communication
Reports To / Supervisory Responsibility:

Reports to the Farmer Training Program Coordinator.

Work Environment:

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that an employee can expect while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • Work is primarily conducted outside in all weather
  • Work may occur in heat, cold, snow, rain, wind, and other extreme weather conditions.
Physical Demands:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by the employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential function.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to, stand, sit; talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to perform fine motor functions such as weeding, harvesting, packing, gripping, typing, texting, and operating tools.
  • The employee is required to lift at least 40 pounds and regularly lift items weighing 10 – 40 pounds, many times per day.
  • On a daily basis, the market lead must perform actions such as lifting, stooping, kneeling, crouching, and reaching.
  • · Less than 5% is expected for this position.
FLSA Status/ Position Type/Expected Hours of Work
  • Exempt
  • Hourly, 21-28 hours/week, must include Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; please describe in your cover letter if you would also like to work Mondays or Fridays
  • Seven-hour work days start at 7:30 or 8 a.m.
  • 30 minute unpaid lunch break
  • April 29 (must start by May 6) through October 11 (somewhat flexible, please address desired start and end dates in cover letter)
  • May take one unpaid week off during the farming season
  • Must be available May 15 – 16 and August 30-31.

The hourly rate for this position is $16 - $17/hour (depending on extent of farming experience) plus fringe benefits, which include worker’s comp, retirement, and paid sick leave. Separately from the hourly rate, second-year FITs may be eligible for living stipends to support their participation in the program (up to $500/month).

A complete application packet includes:
  • Cover letter explaining your interest in the position and ideal weekly schedule and desired start and end dates.
  • Resume
  • Names and contact information for three current, professional references
Application packages received by February 2, 2024 will receive full consideration. The position will remain open until filled.

The successful candidates will be required to pass a background check and possess a clean driving record.

About Fort Lewis College:

On a sage-brushed mesa overlooking downtown Durango and the La Plata Mountains, Fort Lewis College is Southwest Colorado’s premier public undergraduate research institution. With more than half of the 3,300 students identifying as people of color, FLC’s academic programming and campus life thrive on nurturing safe, diverse spaces for intellectual exploration and helping people achieve their career goals. A Native American-serving, Non-Tribal Institution, FLC is committed to promoting economic development in neighboring tribal communities and connecting students with the education they need to be the change in the world they want to see. Degree programs span the arts, business, education, health sciences, humanities, and social and natural sciences. Coursework builds on the natural, cultural, and historical resources found around the Four Corners region. Students work closely with faculty on research projects with real-world implications. Like the mountain town it resides in, FLC promotes a culture of work-life balance for students, faculty, and staff. Skyhawks enjoy unparalleled access to a healthy outdoor lifestyle thanks to 300 days of sunshine a year and more than 300 miles of hiking and biking trails in and around Durango

Notice to Prospective Employees:
The Fort Lewis College is required by the Clery Act of 1990 to notify prospective employees, current employees, students and applicants where to access our Campus Security Report. The report is updated and published annually in accordance with the Higher Education Amendments of 1998, Federal Student Right-to-Know, the Federal Drug-free Schools and Campuses Act of 1989. This report contains information about:
  • Fort Lewis College's alcohol and other drug policy
  • Sexual assault policy
  • Campus security policies
  • Campus/community resources
  • The Colorado Riot Offense Statute restriction on enrollment
  • Where to find registered sex offender information
  • Crime statistics for the previous three calendar years
  • Reporting crimes
The Campus Security Report can be accessed in two ways:
By going to the internet website at: Fort Lewis College Student Affairs Office will also provide a paper copy of the annual security report upon request. You can reach them at (970) 247-7331.

Equal Opportunity
Fort Lewis College does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, sex*, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, family or domestic status, political beliefs, veteran status, pregnancy, or genetic information. Accordingly, equal opportunity for employment shall be extended to all persons. The College shall promote equal opportunity, equal treatment, and affirmative action efforts to increase the diversity of students, faculty, and staff. The College is dedicated to building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty and staff committed to teaching and working in a multicultural environment. To file a report, get resources, read policies, or make an appointment, See

Discrimination Questions?

Office of Compliance and Community Standards
David Pirrone, Director of Compliance
192 Education Business Hall
1000 Rim Drive
Durango, Colorado 81301
(970) 247-7182

Questions about Title IX sex discrimination?
Office of the Title IX Coordinator
Kate Suazo, Assistant Director of Compliance and Title IX Coordinator
230 Skyhawk Station
1000 Rim Drive
Durango, Colorado 81301
(970) 247-6729

Information about Fort Lewis College’s alcohol and drug policy, sexual assault policy, campus security policies, campus crime statistics, fire safety procedures and fire statistics, and campus/community resources can be found in the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. Hard copies are available upon request.

* Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Part 106 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, including in admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and CFR 106 to Fort Lewis College may be directed to FLC's Title IX Coordinator and/or to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights of the Department of Education.

ADAA Accommodations
Any person with a disability as defined by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) may be provided a reasonable accommodation upon request to enable the person to complete an employment assessment. To request an accommodation, please contact Kristin Polens by phone 970-247-7459 or email at least five business days before the assessment date to allow us to evaluate your request and prepare for the accommodation. You may be asked to provide additional information, including medical documentation, regarding functional limitations and type of accommodation needed. Please ensure that you have this information available well in advance of the assessment date.

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