Type of farm?
The AMI Farm Manager is a full-time position at our Highland County Campus. Work hours may fluctuate and are dependent on the time of year and organizational needs (preparation at the beginning of the season and end of season, for instance). Education of the broader community is a key component of the Allegheny Mountain Institute, and a competitive applicant will have an interest in this area. All of our work is rooted in organic, regenerative agricultural practices, so the AMI Farm Manager should have a deep philosophical and operational agreement with such methods.
GENERAL DEFINITION AND PURPOSE OF WORK:
Reporting to the AMI Executive Director, the AMI Farm Manager is responsible for most operational aspects of the AMI Farm and Facilities in Highland County.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS/ TASKS:
• Responsible for the organic, sustainable management of all operational aspects of the AMI agricultural and
meat production including: plant propagation, cultivation, succession planting, pest and nutrient management, harvesting, processing, distribution, quality and quantity control, organic orchard management, and animal husbandry including poultry, bees, and possible future bovine, swine, caprine, sheep, and dairy operations)
• Develop, establish and maintain the nourishment (fertility) and health of the soil food web of AMI gardens to promote and sustain vitality in the food we produce.
• Manage greenhouse propagation of seeds and starts
• Manage and develop crop rotation for season extension in the high tunnels.
• Orchard management, including the establishment, pest protection, and plant guild selection of orchard and
• Mulching and weed control
• Garden tools and equipment storage and maintenance; keep inventory and maintenance records
• Develop and maintain livestock facility as needed including grazing systems, fence and gate moving and repair,
and water management
• Develop, establish, maintain healthy pasture management, disease control, and animal rotation
• Regular garden set up and maintenance, including:
• Irrigation systems
• Inspections and managing repairs of the operational farm infrastructure; garden fences; rodent control
• Plan and implement an efficient, working composting system for garden and orchard use.
• Responsible for maintaining a high standard of cleanliness, neatness and order on the AMI Highland Farm
• Establish processes for upkeep of pantries, cold storage, root cellars, and feed rooms to ensure appropriate
temperatures are maintained, and the vitality, safety and quantities of foodstuffs meet requirements.
• Establish best practices and processes for AMI Farm record keeping systems
• Manage budget for Farm expenditures, including ordering, purchasing, and maintaining records
• Manage and mentor Fellows on farm-related work and educational opportunities during Phase I of the
• Meet with AMI staff team, once per week to review and plan assignments. Work closely and collaboratively
with the AMI Education Director to ensure proactive guidance and supervision of Farm Fellows and the learning environment. Work in collaboration with AMI Mountain Farm Caretaker on routine maintenance needs of farm and equipment and with the AMI Farm Committee on big picture strategic plans and needs of AMI farm.
• Perform administrative tasks essential to the smooth operation of the operational farm
• Participate in Open Houses, public visits and educational outreach events as needed
• Grass cutting and weed eating around gardens and orchards.
• Invasive weed management
• Equipment purchase research, and delivery scheduling or pick up as needed
• Assisting in heavy lifting/moving as needed
• Regular waste removal from the AMI farm
• Winter Snow plowing as necessary
• Regular operational farm maintenance, including:
• General overseeing of facilities, including inspections and managing repairs of buildings and farm infrastructure
• Fixing items or overseeing repairs done by others
QUALIFICATIONS: KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES:
• Bachelor’s Degree or an equivalent amount of training and/or work experience required
• Minimum 3 years of experience in organic vegetable production and management, post-handling, and
processing for sale and storage
• 2- 3 years rotational, multi-species grazing experience
• Experience in Apiary management or desire to master
• Demonstrated understanding and application of Permaculture principles and ethics; Permaculture Design
• Knowledge and experience with medicinal herbs, perennial systems, no till farming, and orchard management
• Experience with heavy farm equipment use and basic maintenance
• Basic carpentry, plumbing, mechanical and electrical skills
• Knowledge of and commitment to building sustainable food systems
• Exceptional multi-tasking, organizational and time management skills
• Excellent interpersonal and communication skills (both written and verbal)
• Ability to work both independently and as part of a team; ability to work closely and communicatively as a peer
colleague with AMI Education Director and AMI Mountain Farm Caretaker.
• Experienced crew leader
• Computer proficiency, including Excel, Microsoft Office
• Interest in cooking and culinary arts/hospitality
• Demonstrates high level of personal and ethical standards
• Ability to understand, interpret and enforce policies in an accurate and equitable manner.
• Ability to complete and maintain applicable training and certifications as necessary
• Have a valid driver’s license with a good driving record
• Mentorship and/or teaching experience
• Ability to deal with Fellows, colleagues, and guests in a professional, timely, fair, and confidential manner
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE POSITION:
Applicant must be comfortable working outside in physically demanding environments, including climate irregularities, cold weather, and snowy winters. Applicant must be able to lift 50 (+) pounds regularly.
The AMI Highland Campus is situated between 4000’ and 4400’ on a 550 acre farm in Highland County, VA, bordering both Virginia’s George Washington National Forest and West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. The headwaters of the James, Potomac, and Greenbrier Rivers all begin their flow from a triple watershed divide (Eastern Continental) located on the top hay field. The farm was originally homesteaded about 110 years ago; about 100 acres have been cleared.
Unique ecosystems abound within the farm’s parameters, with beautiful groves of red spruce alongside mixed hardwoods, old growth rhododendron and mountain laurel thickets. Wildlife is plentiful and the old pastures give way to wildflowers of all kinds, huckleberries, blackberries, and diverse native edibles, medicinal plants, fungi, moss and lichens. This is a lush climate with abundant rainfall and dense vegetation. Summers tend to be quite cool, and the average rainfall is 41.5 inches per year. Plant hardiness zone is 3-4, with approximately 120 frost free days.
TO APPLY: Visit www. alleghenymountaininstitute.org for a complete job description and to download the AMI application form. Please send a single compiled .pdf file including a cover letter, resume, AMI application form, and list of at least 3 professional references to: mailto:EDSearch@alleghenymountainschool.org. No phone calls or mailed applications, please.
MISSION: Allegheny Mountain Institute (AMI) is a 501(c)3 educational nonprofit organization that cultivates healthy communities through food and education.
HISTORY: AMI was founded in 2011 (as Allegheny Mountain School) as an intensive hands-on cooperative experiential learning and training program designed to teach members of our communities to grow and prepare their own food and to understand the nutritional benefits of eating seasonally.
VISION: A thriving network of collaborative, vibrant communities who value the connection between food and health AMI CORE
• Experiential learning
• Regenerative agriculture
The AMI Fellowship is an 18 month, two phase program. During Phase I (May through October), AMI Farm Fellows live, work, and study at the Allegheny Mountain Farm Campus in Highland County, VA. They study sustainable food production, whole foods preparation and preservation, mindfulness, wellness and nutrition, land stewardship and community development, as they train to become ambassadors for a healthier food culture. In Phase II from January – December of the following year, AMI Senior Fellows work in the service of AMI and/or a Partner Organization and focus on activities such as: building community gardens and urban farms, developing school gardens and site based curriculum, advocating sustainable land use, teaching nutrition and cooking for a healthy lifestyle.
Additionally, AMI manages and operates an urban farm at the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) which provides students of all ages a place to learn, play, and grow outdoors, trains educators, and provides nutritious food for the community. Our 3-acre site consists of a 1-acre vegetable farm, educational gardens, outdoor classroom/ kitchen, orchard, and diverse native habitat plantings. The farm hosts community work days, teacher trainings, as well as workshops for our surrounding communities.