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Black Oak Farms: Education Co-Manager 2024

Company: Black Oak Farms

Salary: $60000 / per year Location: St. Anne, Illinois

Description

POSITION OVERVIEW

Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living (BOC) is a black-led, non-profit institution dedicated to local food system development in Illinois and the surrounding region. Situated in the historic Black farming community of Pembroke Township, we’ve been actively restoring its legacy of Regenerative Farming since 2011. As of 2024, over 20 parcels, totaling 300+ acres, are earmarked for small farm viability projects, encompassing vegetable and melon production, berry and tree fruit cultivation, livestock management, high tunnel production, hemp, grain, and legume cultivation.

Our 100-year Vision is to restore this once-fruitful farming community to a thriving natural environment and food production hub. We are actively seeking a producer/educator experienced in any of the following to apply: organic, ecological, or regenerative farming.  If you are passionate about what is possible in the current global energy transition, and want to be a part of a land-based solution to the climate crisis, join us in this mission.  The ideal candidate is ready to lead, teach, and contribute to sustainable and regenerative practices.  At BOC, we believe in preserving culture and the planet through our commitment to healthy and regenerative farming, ensuring the highest quality and quantity of nutrient-dense harvests.  Each production season, we grow, harvest, process, package, and distribute fresh vegetables and medicinal and culinary herbs to individuals, health collectives, wholesalers, and specialty retail outlets throughout Greater Chicagoland.

As the Farm Education Co-Manager, you’ll play a crucial role in the training of Farmer Educator trainees. Your responsibilities will span from supporting delivery of the curriculum, to overseeing EcoCampus system upgrades (organization, expansion, repair), to coordinating with the Farm Production Co-Manager in planting and harvest operations. You will oversee trainee personnel, coordinate with visiting instructors, ensure proper training in compliance with company and safety standards, support farm equipment and facilities maintenance, and help to meet production demands. You will collaborate with a Farm Production Co-Manager responsible for farm production yields and system maintenance. Farmer-Educator Trainees will support farm operations and upgrades, train in a comprehensive curriculum for regenerative farming, and support our EcoCampus farm production. Please consider joining us as we grow the Black Oaks Center, and bring our 100-Year Vision closer to reality with each passing year.

Requirements

Ideal Candidates Should Have: 

Experience and efficacy in regenerative, sustainable, ecological farming and education. 

Knowledge

  • Training and education of farmer candidates in a wide variety of regenerative skills and practices
  • Specialty Crops: vegetable, melons, perennial crops, grains, legumes, hemp and hay 
  • Livestock and poultry management and rotational grazing 
  • Soil development and compost production 
  • Irrigation and water conservation  
  • Experience operating and maintaining farm tools, equipment, and machinery 
  • Knowledge of soil and nutrient management, crop rotation, succession planting, plant pathology, IPM/pest and weed management, and post-harvest handling
  • Permaculture Design training would be a strong plus

Skills

  • Strong interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Excellent safety practices (hand tools, equipment, and ergonomics) 
  • Good Agricultural Practices and Food Safety Training
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Proficiency in computer programs (Excel, Word, Email)  
  • A valid driver’s license

Abilities

  • Ability to instruct, motivate, organize, and supervise work crews and volunteers  
  • Ability to contribute ideas on how to expand, diversify, and improve operations
  • Multi-task oriented and organized 
  • Ability to make independent decisions

Education/Experience: 

  • A degree in Agriculture, Agricultural Education, OR work experience equivalent in teaching, with background in produce and livestock production (preferably experience of 5 + years).
  • Possess a comprehensive knowledge of produce and crop management. This includes proficiency in soil health, crop rotation, succession planting, weed management, grain production harvesting, and livestock care. 
  • Excel in collaboration with people, with good knowledge of farm equipment, and exhibit strong problem-solving skills. 
  • The ability to motivate others and establish high standards for organic and sustainable production is paramount. 
  • We highly value candidates with a comfort level in navigating spaces led by individuals of color, demonstrating diverse cultural exposure and awareness. Preference will be given to those who embrace and contribute to the rich tapestry of our community as we work towards our collective vision of sustainable and regenerative farming.

 

How to Apply

Black Oaks Center For Sustainable Renewable Living

Pembroke Eco-Campus & E 3000S, St. Anne, IL 60964

(312) 834-3411  careers@blackoakscenter.org

To apply for any of the three positions offered here, please send a letter of intent (why you want to do this work), a current resume, and three letters of reference to the email above.

https://www.blackoakscenter.org/jobs