Are you an experienced agriculture professional with a passion for teaching, mentoring, entrepreneurship, and community development?
Refresh Appalachia (www.refreshappalachia.com) works to increase the success of farmers in Central Appalachia, strengthen local food systems, increase access to healthy food, and help farmers access regional and national markets. We operate five training farms, a mobile poultry processing enterprise, and a Food Hub distribution business that sells products from farmers to customers throughout the region. Our farms are in Wayne, Lincoln, Mingo and Cabell counties and we source products from farmers throughout Southern West Virginia. Refresh Appalachia is a social enterprise of Coalfield Development Corporation in partnership with Wayne County Economic Development Authority, The Wild Ramp, Unlimited Future, Inc., the Williamson Health and Wellness Center, Mingo County Redevelopment Authority, RCBI and others.
We are looking for a motivated, talented, socially-minded, and experienced Crew Chief to manage our Lincoln County, West Virginia area operations and serve as lead mentor to crew members. This is a unique, challenging, and rewarding position to work within a creative and hard-working partnership of leading non-profits, businesses, academic institutions, public agencies, and community members. As a social enterprise, Refresh Appalachia strives to blend the efficiency and production of the for-profit sector with the compassion and purpose of the charitable sector. The Crew Chief will have the opportunity to develop, test, and adopt innovative and cost-effective production techniques that can be used for our operations and transferred throughout the region; the Crew Chief will also be expected to develop and implement innovative training and mentoring techniques to build skills and leadership abilities within the region’s growing agricultural community.
This is a fast paced and diverse work environment where attention to detail and open communication is critical. The successful candidate should have the ability to work independently, prioritize tasks, anticipate issues, and develop solutions. The Crew Chief will work in collaboration with crew members, other Refresh Appalachia staff, and various project partners. The successful candidate must have a sincere interest in mentoring beginning farmers. The Crew Chief will report to the President of Refresh Appalachia.
If you are looking for a job where you can truly make a difference in the lives of others, we hope you will consider applying for this position.
The Refresh Appalachia Crew Chief will lead a variety of activities, including: farm management, mentoring, education, sales, and team building. Major activities will include but are not limited to:
- Manage high tunnel, hydroponic greenhouse, aquaculture, and pastured poultry production;
- Develop regionally-appropriate indoor and outdoor sustainable agriculture production techniques with project partners and crew members;
- Host, coordinate, and facilitate public workshops and trainings;
- Assist in developing sales plans and interfacing regularly with customers;
- Train and mentor beginning farm entrepreneurs;
- Keep excellent and detailed records;
- Supervise crew members and all farm activities;
- Develop and implement learning curriculum for crew members;
- Attend regular meetings with Refresh Appalachia staff and partners.
REQUIRED SKILLS AND EXPERTISE
- Commercial vegetable production, farm management, and record keeping experience;
- Interest and experience in taking on new challenges and overcoming obstacles with little supervision;
- Excellent communication skills;
- Experience with farm equipment and light construction.
PREFERRED SKILLS AND EXPERTISE
- Familiarity and experience with certified natural or organic growing practices;
- Experience as a crew supervisor, educator and/or mentor
- Experience with irrigation systems; hydroponic and aquaponics experience is a major plus;
- Mechanical, construction, and/or welding skills;
- Pest and disease identification and management experience;
- Experience and passion for community and personal development;
- Experience working within and for disadvantaged communities;
- Knowledge of and experience with GHP and GAP certifications and practices;
- Experience selling to or operating a food hub;
- Personal and/or professional experience in Central Appalachia is an advantage but not required.
REQUIRED LICENSES, CERTIFICATIONS, AND EDUCATION
- High school education
- Driver’s license
PREFERRED LICENSES, CERTIFICATIONS, AND EDUCATION
- Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in agriculture, environmental science, or related field.
- Health insurance, retirement, professional and personal development opportunities.
This job will be based in the Hamlin, WV area.
Applications will be accepted until November 15th, 2017, but the position will be filled as soon the right candidate is identified.
Refresh Appalachia provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.
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