Vegetable Program Manager

Website Front Porch Farm

About the Farm:

Front Porch Farm is a 110-acre organic farm located on the Russian River just 10 minutes from downtown Healdsburg in Northern California.  A diverse market farm, Front Porch grows a wide array of vegetable and berry crops, polenta corn, fruit trees, wine grapes, and specialty cut flowers. At our Anderson Valley property—Acorn Ranch—we also raise heritage lamb. With ecological farming principles at the heart of what we do, we strive to be responsible stewards of the land.

About the Job:

We are currently seeking a new farm leadership team member, responsible for the overall management of our 10+ acre vegetable operation on the farm. The Vegetable Program Manager is responsible for executing the vegetable production plan—from crop planning to sales. They work collaboratively with the General Farm Managers and the Farm Owners to maintain and implement the vision and standards of Front Porch as a whole. This position requires a high level of autonomy to make day-to-day decisions, develop and deepen skills, continue to grow the farm, and contribute to the farm’s profitability.

The Vegetable Program operates year-round, with April-November being our busiest season. The Vegetable Program Manager is responsible for managing a team of 2-6 year-round and/or seasonal employees and is expected to work the hours necessary to get the job done, which typically looks like 50-60 hours/week in the peak season and 40-45 hours/week in the off-season (December-March).

We choose what crops we grow in response to the climate at the farm and local demand. We specialize in heat-loving fruiting crops in the summer (tomatoes, peppers, summer squash, cucumbers, eggplants, and melons) and tender cool-weather crops in the late fall through early spring (snap peas, broccolini, bunching greens, scallions, cauliflower, romanesco). We grow a number of storage crops to extend our sales season and keep our market stand stocked into the winter months (potatoes, garlic, onions, shallots, and winter squash). The Vegetable Team is also responsible for the harvesting and selling of our many fruit crops including strawberries, blackberries (triple crown and obsidian), peaches (numerous varieties), nectarines, plums, and figs.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Manage and implement a detailed yearly crop plan for 10-15 acres of vegetables.
  • Track crop mapping in fields, enact sowing schedules, track crop data (planting date, planting amounts, DTM, first/last harvest, etc.).
  • Work with Irrigation Specialist and Equipment Operator to plan timing and systems for tillage, bed preparation and planting, cultivation, storage crop harvest, and more.
  • Coordinate and convey needs for sowings, moving of crops from indoors to hardening off, fertigation, pest/disease sprays, and more with Greenhouse Manager.
  • Maintain crop production and pesticide application records for submission to corresponding agencies, including records for organic certification.
  • Oversee a team of 2-6 people on the planting, cultivation, harvesting, washing, and packing of upwards of 40 different annual and perennial vegetable & fruit crops.
    • Build daily and weekly work plans that are thorough and realistic.
    • Understand and utilize food safety techniques, teach efficiency and quality control, give regular feedback.
  • Conduct sales of products including: produce, tree fruits, berries, and polenta through various outlets.
    • Farmers’ Markets—Thursday and Sunday in San Rafael (year-round), Saturday in Healdsburg (May-Nov).
    • FEED Sonoma—Wholesale outlet receiving deliveries year-round on Mondays and Thursdays at a local drop-off site.
    • Weekly Availability List—Local deliveries and pre-orders for pick-up on farm or at market.
  • Work directly with our Marketing Director to strategize increasing sales at Farmers’ Markets and bring ideas for promotional materials, website updates, etc. to the quarterly marketing meetings.
  • Meet weekly with the General Managers to develop and create short- and long-term plans pertaining to soil health, field mapping, efficiency, budgeting, labor flow, purchasing, and tractor/tillage needs.
  • Conduct quarterly one-on-one sessions with each employee under your supervision to review and edit their job descriptions, receive and give feedback on work culture and job performance, and create strategies for improvements.
  • Attend and participate in farm meetings and events as required, including but not limited to: occasional Farmers’ Markets and U-Pick Events, Wine Release Parties, Monthly Meetings with the Farm Owners, Monthly All-Staff Meetings.
  • Act as an ambassador for the farm both on-site and in the community.
  • Cultivate a work environment based on a strong work ethic, clear communication, commitment to excellence and a job well done, fun, and collaboration with the rest of the farm team.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Minimum of 2 years diversified organic vegetable production experience; management experience is preferred.
  • In-depth knowledge of vegetable production and harvesting operations, including crop rotation, pest control, fertility management, post-harvest handling and storage, etc.
  • Some familiarity or experience with Tend Crop Planning Software and QuickBooks or an ability to learn quickly.
  • Experience, willingness, and interest in managing multiple employees with varying levels of farming knowledge.
  • Basic understanding of greenhouse seedling production.
  • Understanding of budgeting and financial statements and a willingness to keep learning how to better achieve financial goals.
  • Some mechanical aptitude and experience operating farm equipment.
  • Basic Spanish language skills are a plus.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds, bend, lift, and crouch for long periods of time in all weather conditions.
  • Availability to work some weekends to assist at Farmers’ Markets, U-Picks, Wine Release Parties.
  • Willing to cheer on or participate in the farm’s softball team…!

Compensation:

This is a full-time, year-round position. We are looking for a candidate who is willing to make a long-term commitment.

We offer a competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. In addition, this position includes health care coverage (with dental and vision), 5 weeks paid vacation per year, and continuing education opportunities.

Ideal start date is May 4 and will begin with a 90-day transition period of overlap with the outgoing Vegetable Program Manager & training with the General Managers.

If you wish to apply, please send your resume, cover letter, and relevant references to eliza@fpfarm.com. Please include “Vegetable Program Manager Application” in the title.

For more information about the farm, please visit our website at www.fpfarm.com.

To apply for this job email your details to eliza@fpfarm.com