Employment

WE ARE hiring for the 2017 season!

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We're looking for applicants for the following positions:

      

 Application instructions

 

Our farm:

Sogn Valley Farm is located in Cannon Falls, MN, 45 minutes south of the Twin Cities and 20 minutes east of Northfield. We have seven acres plus a high tunnel in vegetable crops this season. Our farm has been certified organic since May 2016. We market our produce at the St. Paul Farmers' Market, through a CSA program, and wholesale to regional restaurants, universities, co-ops, and food processors.

In addition to vegetables, we produce native plants in our greenhouse for use in prairie restoration projects and home gardens. In addition, we continue to plant natives in our own fields for pollinator habitat and seed production.

 

The farmers:

The farm is owned and operated by Dana and Karin Jokela. Dana has been working in agriculture for 10 years. While he has dabbled with livestock farming, his primary focus has been vegetable production. In 2012 and 2013, he managed 30 acres of fruit and vegetable crops for a 1000-member CSA in SE Minnesota. In 2015, Dana completed his Master’s degree in Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, where he carried out research on cover crops and organic no-till systems for broccoli and bell pepper production. Karin’s background is in insect conservation and prairie restoration. She spearheads native plant production, but also has a full-time job off the farm.

POSITION 1: full-season Crew member & marketeer

Summary: This full-time position spans the entire growing season and involves work in all aspects of vegetable production. In addition to field work, this person also assumes responsibility for managing our stall at the St. Paul Farmers' Market every Sunday. We highly recommend that this person live at or near the farm to facilitate the Sunday morning departure for the farmers' market.

Employment details:

Timeframe: April – November, with some opportunities for work in March and December.

Work schedule: From July-October, the work schedule will be five days per week: four days at the farm along with Sundays at the farmers' market. (Dana and Karin will likely manage the Sunday farmers' market in May and June, during which time the Marketeer's normal work schedule will be Monday - Friday.)  A typical farm workday will be 7:30 – 5:00, although we may start earlier in exceptionally hot weather. Sundays begin around 5:00 am to load the van for market, and usually end around 3:00. Expect 45-50 hours/week from May – October, 30-35 hours/week in April and November. (Because weather influences so much of what we do in farming, there will be exceptions to the above guidelines. For example, if we’re expecting thunderstorms at night, we might ask employees to work into the evening to finish tasks such as planting, weeding, or harvesting.) 

Work Activities and Responsibilities:

Full-season Crew Members will be involved in most aspects of production over the course of the season. Areas of work include the following:

  • Greenhouse work (seeding, watering, and monitoring flats for transplant production)
  • Transplanting
  • In-ground crop management in high tunnel (planting, pruning, trellising)
  • Field maintenance, including weeding, thinning, trellising, irrigating, backpack spraying, installing/removing row cover, electric fence upkeep, and end-of-season field clean-up (plastic mulch and trellis removal)
  • Harvesting, washing, and packing for CSA, farmers’ markets, and wholesale orders, and keeping appropriate records while doing so
  • Cover crop seeding
  • Some tractor work, for someone with interest in and aptitude for equipment operation
  • Manage Sunday farmers' market (July - October), which entails loading the van at 5:00 am, driving to St. Paul, setting up the stall, taking orders and handling cash, restocking as needed, and conducting a post-market inventory once back at the farm.

Expectations and qualifications

Previous work experience on vegetable farms is a big plus, but isn’t necessary so long as the individual is eager to learn. We’re looking for someone who is physically fit (able to lift 50 lbs, bend over or crouch to weed and harvest), detail-oriented, and self-motivated. For managing the Sunday farmers' market stall, a friendly demeanor, good customer service skills, and the ability to add up items in one's head and handle cash are all necessary. Prior experience in retail or hospitality is a plus. Farming is incredibly rewarding, but not always glorious. We work in all weather conditions, and although we try to mix up work activities to keep things interesting, some days will be monotonous. Our crew is a team, and the ability to work collaboratively with others is essential. We work quickly and efficiently, and expect our employees to do the same. We seek an individual who is always looking for a faster and more effective way to complete a task.  But above all, we strive to create an open, positive, and fun work environment.

Compensation and benefits

  • Hourly wage of $9-11/hr, depending on experience.
  • Vegetables from the farm, when available (which is most of the time!)
  • Housing in a small cabin with access to a shared, full-featured semi-outdoor kitchen with electricity, running (but unheated) water, and wireless internet access. Bathroom, shower, and laundry facilities are located in the main house, with direct access from outside.

POSITION 2: Peak-season CREW MEMBER

Summary: This full-time position runs during the summer and is well-suited for a college student on summer break or someone who cannot commit to spring or fall work. While work responsibilities will be varied, the focus will be on harvest, wash & pack, and field maintenance.

EMPLOYMENT DETAILS:

Timeframe: June – mid-September, with the possibility of part-time work in May and October.

Work schedule: Typically, the work schedule will be Monday-Friday, 7:30 – 5:00, although we may start earlier in exceptionally hot weather. Because weather influences so much of what we do in farming, there will be exceptions to the above guidelines. For example, if we’re expecting thunderstorms at night, we might ask employees to work into the evening to finish tasks such as planting, weeding, or harvesting.

Work Activities and Responsibilities:

Peak-season Crew Members will be involved primarily in the following activities:

  • Transplanting
  • In-ground crop management in high tunnel (planting, pruning, trellising)
  • Field maintenance, including weeding, thinning, trellising, irrigating, backpack spraying, installing/removing row cover, and electric fence upkeep
  • Harvesting, washing, and packing for CSA, farmers’ markets, and wholesale orders, and keeping appropriate records while doing so

Expectations and qualifications

Previous work experience on vegetable farms is a big plus, but isn’t necessary so long as the individual is eager to learn. We’re looking for someone who is physically fit (able to lift 50 lbs, bend over or crouch to weed and harvest), detail-oriented, and self-motivated. Farming is incredibly rewarding, but not always glorious. We work in all weather conditions, and although we try to mix up work activities to keep things interesting, some days will be monotonous. Our crew is a team, and the ability to work collaboratively with others is essential. We work quickly and efficiently, and expect our employees to do the same. We seek an individual who is always looking for a faster and more effective way to complete a task.  But above all, we strive to create an open, positive, and fun work environment.

Compensation and benefits

  • Hourly wage of $9-11/hr, depending on experience.
  • Vegetables from the farm, when available (which is most of the time!)
  • On-farm housing possible

 


How to apply:

Please submit a resume, 2-3 work references, and a letter of interest that addresses the following questions:

  • Why are you interested in working at Sogn Valley Farm?
  • What are your long-term goals in agriculture?
  • Why do you think you are a good fit for this position?

To apply, or if you have any questions about the positions, please contact:

Dana Jokela

dana at sognvalleyfarm.com

763.614.8853