Employment

WE ARE HIRING FOR 2019 POSITIONS! (SEE BELOW)

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the following positions have been filled for 2018:

       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.

2019 POSITIONS

harvest CREW leader

Summary: This full-time position runs from April (or possibly earlier) through November. The Harvest Crew Leader works closely with the Farm Manager and is responsible for leading the farm crew on harvest activities.

EMPLOYMENT DETAILS:

Timeframe: April – November, with flexible start date.

Work schedule: While the general farm crew will usually work 8:00 – 5:00, crew leaders will meet 15-30 minutes earlier with the Farm Manager to go over the plan for the day. We may start earlier in exceptionally hot weather and later when it freezes overnight. 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:

Harvest Crew Leader (HCL) responsibilities include:

  • Conducting pre-harvest walks of each crop on the harvest list to determine the optimal portion of the planting to harvest first, identify potential quality or food safety concerns, and otherwise prepare an approach to most efficiently harvest the crop. This includes planning out the order of harvest so that heat-sensitive crops get picked and put in the cooler before weather warms up, and crops with earlier delivery deadlines are harvested with enough time for them to be washed and packed.

  • Leading the farm crew on harvest days. This means setting high standards for quality control, harvest technique, and work pace, while also overseeing fellow crew members to assure they are working to the same standards.

  • Always think several crops in advance to ensure the appropriate harvest tools and containers are loaded onto the truck to allow seamless flow from one crop to the next without needing to pause harvest activities to return to the pack shed get additional items.

  • Providing initial training to crew members when a crop is harvested for the first time, and providing subsequent “tune-up” training, as needed.

  • In coordination with the Pack Shed Crew Leader, ensuring all harvest and food safety records are properly kept.

  • Along with Pack Shed Crew Leader, maintaining cleanliness and organization of harvest tools and containers.

  • Participating in other farm activities, including, but not limited to, greenhouse seeding, transplanting, field maintenance (trellising, pruning, mulching, row cover application/removal, weeding, etc.), and packing shed/post-harvest work.

Expectations and qualifications

All farm staff should be physically fit (able to lift 50 lbs, bend over or crouch to weed and harvest), detail-oriented, self-motivated, and open to constructive feedback. 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.

The HCL should have a minimum of one full season of work experience on a vegetable farm. This person should have demonstrated leadership capability, good interpersonal skills, and an aptitude for maintaining crew morale when days get long and weather gets harsh. The HCL receives harvest instructions from the Farm Manager—both daily harvest lists and recommended harvesting techniques—but is encouraged to think critically and provide feedback to the Farm Manager when issues arise.

Compensation and benefits

  • Hourly wage of $12-15/hr, depending on experience.

  • Vegetables from the farm

  • On-farm accommodations in a cabin with access shared employee kitchen is possible.

Application instructions

pack shed CREW leader

Summary: This full-time position runs from April (or possibly earlier) through November. The Pack Shed Crew Leader works closely with the Farm Manager and is responsible for leading the farm crew on post-harvest activities and maintaining inventory and order in the pack shed.

EMPLOYMENT DETAILS:

Timeframe: April – November, with flexible start date.

Work schedule: While the general farm crew will usually work 8:00 – 5:00, crew leaders will meet 15-30 minutes earlier with the Farm Manager to go over the plan for the day. We may start earlier in exceptionally hot weather and later when it freezes overnight. 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:

Pack Shed Crew Leader (PSCL) responsibilities include:

  • Participating in harvest when there is nothing in the cooler to be washed, or when weather constraints require an all-hands-on-deck harvest push (i.e. early morning greens harvests on hot days or when rain is expected).

  • Leading the farm staff in the packing shed. This requires a big picture understanding of the crops that need to be washed and packed, and how to best the

  • Providing initial training to crew members when a crop is harvested for the first time, and providing subsequent “tune-up” training, as needed.

  • In coordination with the Packing Shed Crew Leader, ensuring all harvest and food safety records are properly kept.

  • Along with Packing Shed Crew Leader, maintaining cleanliness and organization of harvest tools and containers.

  • Participating in other farm activities, including, but not limited to, greenhouse seeding, transplanting, field maintenance (trellising, pruning, mulching, row cover application/removal, weeding, etc.), and packing shed/post-harvest work.

Expectations and qualifications

All farm staff should be physically fit (able to lift 50 lbs, bend over or crouch to weed and harvest), detail-oriented, self-motivated, and open to constructive feedback. 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.

The HCL should have a minimum of one full season of work experience on a vegetable farm. This person should have demonstrated leadership capability, good interpersonal skills, and an aptitude for maintaining crew morale when days get long and weather gets harsh. The HCL receives harvest instructions from the Farm Manager—both daily harvest lists and recommended harvesting techniques—but is encouraged to think critically and provide feedback to the Farm Manager when issues arise.

Compensation and benefits

  • Hourly wage of $12-15/hr, depending on experience.

  • Vegetables from the farm

  • On-farm accommodations in a cabin with access shared employee kitchen is possible.

Application instructions

Peak-season CREW MEMBER

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

EMPLOYMENT DETAILS:

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

Work schedule: Typically, the work schedule will be Monday-Friday, 8:00 – 5:00, although we may start earlier in exceptionally hot weather and later when it freezes overnight. 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 $9.50-11/hr, depending on experience.

  • Vegetables from the farm

  • On-farm accommodations in a cabin with access shared employee kitchen is possible.

Application instructions


Part-time CREW MEMBER

Summary: Part-time Crew Members work 2-3 days per week primarily in the areas of harvesting, washing, and packing vegetables for sale. There will be occasional involvement in other activities, such as planting and field maintenance.

EMPLOYMENT DETAILS:

Timeframe: June - October (start and end dates flexible)

Work schedule: The ideal work schedule for part-time employees would be Thursdays and Fridays, 8:00 – 5:00, although we may start earlier in exceptionally hot weather and later when it freezes overnight. 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 a harvest activity before rain.

Work Activities and Responsibilities:

Part-time Crew Members will be involved primarily with harvesting, washing, and packing for farmers’ markets,and wholesale orders, and keeping appropriate records while doing so. Involvement in other aspects of production is possible, depending on farm needs and employee interests.

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 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

[***We do not currently have housing available for these positions; these people must live within commuting distance of the farm.]

Application instructions


Farmers' Market manager

Summary: This new position combines two days of harvest/wash/pack at the farm with two days running our stall at the St. Paul Farmers’ Market. The Market Manager has the responsibility for driving our truck to and from the market and leading our market staff at Saturday and Sunday markets. This person would also participate in harvest and prep for market at the farm on Thursdays and Fridays.

EMPLOYMENT DETAILS:

Timeframe: Early-May – November (earlier start date possible for the right candidate)

Work schedule: Full-time, Thursday-Sunday. 8:00-5:00 Th-F | 3:30-2:00 pm Sat. | 5:30-3:30 Sun.

Work Activities and Responsibilities:

The Farmers' Market Manager is responsible for the following activities: 

  • On Thursdays and Fridays, working with the farm crew to harvest, wash, and pack produce for market.

  • Loading refrigerated truck with a forklift and driving to/from St. Paul.

  • Setting up market display in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

  • Re-stocking to maintain a full and fresh display of vegetables.

  • Providing friendly service to market customers, answering questions to the best of his/her ability regarding farming practices and cooking techniques.

  • Mentally adding up purchase totals and carry out cash transactions.

  • Leading assistant market staff.

  • At the end of the Sunday market, driving back to the farm and completing a post-market inventory.

Expectations and qualifications

Prior experience staffing a farmers’ market stall strongly preferred. Experience with harvesting, washing, and packing vegetables is preferable, but not required. We're looking for someone with a friendly demeanor, good customer service skills, and the ability to add up items in one's head and handle cash. The ability to safely drive a 14’ refrigerated truck to bring produce to market is also necessary. This requires use of side-view rather than rear-view mirrors, backing into parking spots, and use of a wide turning radius to safely navigate streets - we will provide training.

This position also requires waking up very early, particularly on Saturday mornings. The ideal candidate would be a morning person, or at a minimum have a reliable alarm and no history of sleeping through said alarm ;-) For applicants with a residence in the Twin Cities, it may be possible for you to drive the truck—loaded with all the produce for both market days—home on Friday evening and stay in the Cities until after the Sunday market. The truck’s refrigeration unit would need to be plugged in at your house to keep produce cold while you are not at market (Friday night and Saturday afternoon and night).

Compensation and benefits

  • Hourly wage of $12-15/hr, depending on experience

  • Produce from the farm

  • On-farm accommodations in a cabin with access shared employee kitchen is possible.

Application instructions


POSITIONS ALREADY FILLED FOR 2018

POSITION 1: crew leader

All positions filled for 2018.

POSITION 2: full-season Crew member

All positions filled for 2018.

Summary: This full-time position spans the entire growing season and involves work in all aspects of vegetable production. 

Employment details:

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

Work schedule:  A typical farm workday will be 7:30 – 5:00, although we may start earlier in exceptionally hot weather or later when it freezes at night. 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

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!)

  • 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.


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