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This job expired on December 03, 2023

Forest Farmer Teacher The Farm School

  • Date Posted October 04, 2023
  • Location Athol, MA
  • Category Agriculture / Education
  • Job type Full-Time
Company description The Farm School Inc. is a youth centered 35 year non-profit organization with a mission of connecting people to the land.  The 4 major areas of our organization are the Program for Visiting Schools, which brings over 1500 youth and young adults per year to the farm for overnight trips and to engage with all aspects of the farm (small animal livestock, diary, gardens, forestry and the kitchen) alongside our Farmer Teachers.  The Chicken Coop School is our year round Middle School open to local 7th and 8th graders that includes farm life as part of its curriculum.  Our Food Donation program brings over a thousand of pounds of meat, eggs, milk and veggies to our local community, seniors, co-op market, partner school community in the Boston area and to the Nipmuc tribe. Our Nipmuc Land Project is dedicated to providing the space for Nipmucs to direct a process of connecting back to their ancestral lands where the Farm School resides.   Job description

Forestry Farmer Teacher Job Description

Our Program for Visiting Schools is the centerpiece of The Farm School. Each school year, over 1,500 children come to help us care for our farm during 3-day visits. The students come with their classes, in groups of up to 40 children at once.  

The Role

The Forestry Farmer Teacher works in partnership with the Forestry/Draft Animal Teamster/ Manager. The Forestry Farmer Teacher leads the youth through every aspect of trail maintenance and creation, wood splitting, maple sugaring, mushroom cultivation, reading the forest, youth hikes, felling, bucking and the milling lumber.  This role also offers Farmer Teachers the ability to learn and engage in Draft Animal operations to bring trees out of the forest to the mill and to assist in food crop cultivation.

The role of each Farmer Teacher is to have the foresight and ability to organize your assigned work area in ways that are accessible for youth and allow youth to equally engage, side by side with you, in the core elements of the work area listed above. 


Core Responsibilities

  • To be energized by a full day working alongside youth grades 5th to 12th in all Program Operations
  • Ability to work outside through all 4 seasons with longer work days in winter during maple sugaring season
  • Experience with chainsaws, wood splitters, saw mills and tractors are a plus Experience with draft animals, horse or oxen is a plus 
  • Holding the Maple Sugaring production from Jan/Feb to late March requires collection and boiling of sap for long days which will be offset in the summer months of June through August.
  • To bring various aspects of your nature based hobbies and other interests into your work and to share these as you would like among the youth and farmer teachers.
  • To organize your work area, plans and programs in ways that keep youths ability to engage in splitting wood, operating the saw mill, trail maintenance, driving draft animals and building an appreciation for the land.
  • To organize your work area, plans and programs in ways that uplift the FS mission and goals towards Racial Equity and Liberation
  • Participate in weekly programmatic activities including options, class, chores, dish clean up, evening activities, community meetings, opening and closing circles

 Interpersonal Skills

  • A genuine interest in forest, woods and draft animals
  • Kindness, a team player with a genuine enthusiasm for sharing things you love with youth
  • Kindly and effectively communicate directly to co-workers, coordinators, directors and work area team. 
  •  A passion for working with youth in all aspects of the PVS program including doing dishes, playing games and providing farm tours. 
  • To be thoughtful, respectful, dependable, collaborative in your interactions with youth
  • Flexibility, operating within a shifting schedule, pivoting as farm/youth needs arise to best host the group and take care of the land
  • Reliable with an ability  to work within a schedule that has multiple transitions and independently keep track of your daily shifting responsibilities
  •  Dependable with an ability to prioritize, work efficiently and ask for help when needed.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and participate in team meetings at the start and end of each week.
  • Responsive to slack, email communications in a timely manner.

Community Based Responsibilities

  • Participate in a rotation of weekend chores across the farm
  • Participate in vacation work week activities for your work area and group work projects that fall outside of your specific work area
  • Participate in weekly staff logistical meetings and Race and Equity Within Communities focused meetings and participate in the facilitation and note taking rotation
  • Participate in all Trainings, All-Staff Meetings including those on Race and Equity Within Communities
  • Participate in facilitation and preparation of FS fundraising and community events
  • Participate in all hands on deck activities like harvest, sap collection and bringing in the hay.

HR Based Responsibilities

  • Participate in feedback, check-ins and reviews as scheduled 
  • Follow the FS Handbook & Conflict Resolution Protocols and use them as resources when necessary 

In addition to your particular position, the unpredictable nature of farming/working with youth and our shared responsibility for the care of the farm requires that all employees engage in the process of meeting the needs of the farm/program- gardens, fields, forest, barns, bunkhouses, kitchens etc. and to do so in communication with your Program Director, Co-Directors and fellow farmer/teachers. 

Timing of job:

Immediate opening: This full time, year long position includes a 7 week summer youth program from June to August. February to November (9 months of the year) your schedule can begin as early as 6:15 and end as late as 7:30 pm. December and January schedules are reduced and vacation are taken during the months of December, January, February, June and August.  

Compensation and Benefits include: $38,000 to $45,000 starting annual salary, onsite housing possible based on availability, relocation benefits, employer paid health insurance, professional development funds, farm grown food, 6 days of sick/personal time, 6 weeks paid vacation, 2% annual retirement contribution.

Compensation this position is : salaried, 35,568* - 50k Application instructions
This job expired on December 03, 2023
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