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Greenhouse Manager and Farmer

Employer
Unity College
Location
Maine, United States
Salary
Salary Not specified
Posted Date
Jan 24, 2022

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The Company

At Unity, sustainability isn't a buzzword. It's the foundation of our entire approach and has been for more than 50 years.

We apply sustainability principles to everything we do, from our properties around the State of Maine, to our online degrees offered to students everywhere, to our enrichment experiences and entrepreneurial endeavors at locations from northern Maine to Arizona to Brazil.

Engage with Unity College and you'll start to ask tough questions, challenge the status quo, and envision new possibilities. If taking the lead in creating a more sustainable future sounds like the future you want, we can make it happen.

JOB OVERVIEW

The Greenhouse Manger and Farmer is a revenue-generating position responsible for identifying, developing, and executing agricultural opportunities that drive successful results against established revenue goals. McKay Farm and Research Station is a 13-acre production farm, that includes 38,000 square feet of greenhouse space in five facilities, one hoop house, and a residential dwelling on 13 acres. The Greenhouse Manger and Farmer is expected to bring creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit, ensuring strategic decisions that will grow this revenue stream and serve as a model for a sustainable business venture.

Unity College is committed to creating a sustainable world with the environment and our natural resources at the forefront of all we do. As a steward of the environment, this position is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of McKay Farm, including crop care, climate monitoring and regulation, systems and equipment maintenance, business administration, wholesale operations, and supervision. Within the framework of functional leadership, the Greenhouse Manager and Farmer supports and is supported by other members of the Environmental Business and Sustainable Ventures team while working with all constituencies to realize the Unity College Mission and Strategic Plan.

POSITION SPECIFIC RESPONSIBILITIES AND EXPECTATIONS

  • Develops strategy and tactics to enhance current operations and go-to-market strategy to prioritize and pursue new opportunities for revenue generation.
  • Prepares overall annual and individual product and service revenue and expense budgets, identifying monthly targets.
  • Recommends financial, human, and technological investments needed to achieve growth with a 30% margin.
  • Oversees all areas of crop production at the greenhouses and farm including crop scheduling, watering, weeding, climate control, fertilization, planting, harvest, post- harvest handling, and pest management.
  • Develops, plans, evaluates, and improves production activities for target crops and products.
  • Works with Unity College Dining Services to plan crop production for College food service.
  • Coordinates use of the greenhouse facility between Unity College students, employees, and community partners and maintains master schedule.
  • Hires, trains, and supervises workers in sustainable agricultural techniques and safety, as well as planning, coordinating, and directing their activities.
  • Ensures that routine and seasonal maintenance schedules for facilities, systems, equipment and tools are carried out and repairs made when necessary.
  • Handles core aspects of business administration, such as budget management, and analysis relating to expenses, revenue, production, and sustainability outcomes.
  • Ensures Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) organic certification compliance.
  • Ensures farm operations and practices meet health, safety, and environmental standards and regulations.
  • Works with academic leadership to integrate McKay into curriculum and faculty research.
  • Implements comprehensive facility safety plan, including identification and mitigation of hazards and training of personnel.
  • Follows protocols for safe use of chemicals and inputs, maintains certification in proper use of pesticides and trains other staff as necessary.
  • Ensures farm operations and practices meet health, safety, and environmental standards and regulations.
  • Stays up-to-date with developments in the field in order to implement beneficial changes when necessary.
  • Enlists the Marketing unit in developing promotional and informational strategies and materials.
  • Identifies and nurtures beneficial business, research, or community partnerships both in-state and out-of-state.
  • Pro-actively communicate challenges, successes, and failures with leadership.
  • Other duties as assigned.

POSITION SPECIFIC EDUCATION, SKILLS AND COMPENTCIES:

Required:

  • Bachelor's degree, in agricultural sciences or a related discipline.
  • 3-5 years relevant experience working in a greenhouse agricultural setting.
  • Implements a hands-on approach to effectively manage the quality of daily operations.
  • Must be able to live on site in Thorndike, Maine
  • Ability to work as part of a team or independently as needed in a rural setting.
  • An entrepreneurial mindset and revenue-focused attitude.
  • Must have business acumen, excellent communication, leadership, relationship building and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Proven ability to manage inventory and control costs through accurate costing, sourcing, pricing, and comparative analysis.
  • Ability to look for, suggest, and implement improved efficiencies.
  • Strong knowledge of MS Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook. Must be able to quickly adapt to new software products.
  • Must possess a positive attitude.
  • Ability to think creatively and produce superb work under multiple deadlines.
  • Must be willing to participate in a learning environment and integrate education opportunities into McKay Farm's business practices.
  • Knowledge of Integrated Pest Management principles and practices, plant propagation and culture methods, soil and growth media preparation required.
  • Working knowledge of fertilizers and pesticides, including how, why and when to apply, relevant safety and legal requirements, and the correct use of related equipment.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills with all levels of the organization and with a variety of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Organized and able to juggle multiple tasks at the same time and establish priorities for meeting deadlines, using time efficiently.
  • Works under general supervision; resolves routine questions alone and many complex questions with input from your supervisor.
  • Exercises independent judgement on a regular basis.
  • Ability to identify crop plants and their problems (disease, pests, and others).
  • Ability to conduct routine maintenance and small repairs on equipment such as tractors and farm implements, forklift, climate control systems, chemical sprayers, and hand tools.
  • Experience with carpentry and/or mechanical repair.
  • Ability and willingness to work with students from diverse political/socioeconomic backgrounds and a wide range of physical and academic abilities.
  • Contributes to the College's commitment to sustainability and contributes to the College's commitment to support a diverse and inclusive working and learning environment.
  • Demonstrates commitment to Unity College's core values and serves as a role model for the College's standards of conduct.
  • Personal commitment to the environmental focus and mission of the college.
  • Ensures compliance with established Unity College: McKay policies & procedures
  • Experience with sales and marketing. Specifically with the development of wholesales accounts and maintenance of vendor relationships.
  • Hands on social media experience with a working knowledge of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and other social media platforms.
  • A good driving record with the ability to obtain a valid Maine Driver's License.
  • Ability to function effectively within a matrix organizational structure, maintaining open lines of communication while being discreet, courteous and well poised.

PI162060085

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