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Plant It Forward seeks Farmer Education Manager

Background & Mission: Plant It Forward (PIF) was founded in 2011 with the mission to empower refugees to develop sustainable farm businesses in Houston, Texas. PIF has provided training to over 80 aspiring farmers and has supported ~20 individuals and/or community groups to launch farms in the Houston region. 
PIF programming falls into three (3) areas:
1.      The Enterprise Program connects new American farmers with fair markets. PIF operates a Food Hub, which aggregates and distributes fresh produce from PIF member farmers and other regional farms and operates the largest CSA/Farm Share Program in Houston.
2.      The Farmer Education Program provides training and technical assistance to aspiring and practicing farmers. Our focus is on enabling each farmer to achieve their individual farming goals while simultaneously advancing local agriculture and enhancing regional sustainability. 
3.      The Urban Farming Program seeks to promote a healthy, inclusive Houston by supporting resettled refugees to operate farms on PIF-managed urban land. This program focuses on providing urban farmers with the resources needed to overcome the challenges associated with urban growing. 

PIF is expanding its Farmer Education Programming to better meet the needs of current and aspiring New American farmers. This includes launching new training for aspiring farmers in 2024 and providing new types of support to currently practicing farmers. The latter is the primary responsibility of the new Farmer Education Program Manager. 

Job Overview: The Farmer Education Manager is responsible for implementing PIF’s 2501 Program project through September of 2025. The objective of the position is to ensure that New American farmers in the PIF network are equipped with the resources, knowledge, and skills needed to successfully operate an independent small farm. This person will be flexible, motivated, proactive, organized, hard-working, and patient. You will work with a small group of equally dedicated staff who are committed to empowering farmers and enhancing Houston’s foodways through sustainable agriculture and local food.
Key job duties include planning and coordinating hands-on agricultural and business training to PIF farmers and in collaboration with project partners, providing follow-up coaching to farmers, coordinate activities related to creating an educational website for farmers, and assisting the Program Director with implementation of activities related to the PIF Farmland Access Initiative.

Key Job Duties
Implement PIF 2501 Project, in accordance with grant agreement (95% FTE)
•       Coordinate and/or deliver technical workshops for farmers on specialty crop production, livestock management, agribusiness, and relevant USDA programming and resources
•       Provide technical assistance (i.e. coaching, mentoring) and education to network of ~70 new American farmers in topics related to agricultural production and business management
•       Coordinate creation of farmer-facing educational website
•       Assist Program Director in implementing the Farmland Access Initiative, including by providing training and technical assistance to both landowners and farmers
•       Assist Program Director to manage project budget and complete monitoring & evaluation activities 
•       Conduct outreach activities to identify additional farmers eligible to receive training as part of PIF’s project
•       Conduct other activities to ensure completion of 2501 activities and fulfillment of project objectives, as needed
Support the PIF Urban Farming Program (5% FTE)
•       Ensure that the look and feel (appearance) of the farms are meeting or exceeding the neighborhood expectations so that the farms are a vital part of the neighborhood, to include trash pickup, habitat gardens, and infrastructure management.
•       Maintain and troubleshoot the infrastructure, including irrigation, port-a-johns, hand-washing stations, shelter, fencing, composting, plant support and farm stands.
•       Assist farmers with ordering seeds and supplies, on as as-needed basis.
•       Participate in creating and implementing Farm Improvement Plans on an as-needed basis. 
•       Assist with on-farm events, including service-learning events with schools, as-needed. 
People Management
•       Manage service contractors as necessary
•       Supervise interns and volunteers as needed
Special Requirements
•       Able to work on the farms and office, including hard repetitive physical work (lift and carry 40 pounds)
•       Willingness to work outside in the elements, year-round
•       Ability to independently get to farm sites throughout Houston region
•       Comfortable operating mechanized farm equipment

•       Minimum of 3 years of experience in at least two of the following areas: 1) mentoring and/or teaching; 2) project management; 3) farming and sustainable agriculture; 4) providing services to refugees/immigrants
•       Strong interest in farming, including willingness to participate in physical labor and learn about best-practices in vegetable farming within the Gulf Coast
•       Strong project management and writing skills
•       Demonstrated ability to work with a multi-cultural team
•       Ability to work autonomously and prioritize tasks with minimal daily supervision
Preferred Qualifications
•       Significant experience with sustainable agriculture; in particular, in-field experience with small-scale vegetable farming in the Gulf Coast
•       Experience with small business management/entrepreneurship 

Hours: Salaried at 40 hours/week, some weekends and evenings required. 

Compensation: $45,000-$50,000; commensurate with experience. This position is grant funded through September 2025. Benefits include 401K with 2% match, farm share subscription ($2,028 value), 12 days of paid time off (PTO) annually, 12 paid holidays annually, 5 days of sick leave annually, worker’s compensation coverage, professional development stipend, hybrid work schedule.

Reporting Relationships: Farmer Education Manager reports to the Farm Programs Director. 
To Apply: Send a resumé and cover letter/statement of interest to rachel@plantitforward.farm