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this job's deadline has passed

Farm Manager McDowell Farm School

  • Date Posted October 30, 2023
  • Location Nauvoo, AL
  • Category Agriculture / Education
  • Job type Full-Time
Company description

McDowell Farm School is a non-profit teaching farm in Winston County, Alabama nestled next to the Bankhead National Forest. We are the only residential, farm-based education program in the Southeast. Our mission is to inspire curiosity, teach problem solving, and empower community connections through sustainable agriculture. 

Each day on the farm, students from schools all over the southeast apply classroom concepts to the natural world. Our multi-day, overnight program gives students a unique opportunity to experience the Farm School as a community. Students share living and dining spaces, complete projects as a team, and are asked to support one another through new challenges. Focusing on where our food comes from, our standards-based curriculum is centered around all types of learners and differentiated for grades k-12. While teaching is one of our top priorities, we are also a full functioning production farm.  Students have the opportunity to milk our dairy goats, collect eggs from our layers, rotate our meat birds throughout pasture, feed and water our pigs, observe and help in rotationally grazing our beef cattle, harvest, process, plant, and cook food straight from our gardens.  Our classroom extends beyond the walls of our teaching kitchen, beyond our 40 acres of gardens and barns, and even beyond the 1140 acres of forests, streams, and canyons of McDowell. We turn the world into our classroom and our place of discovery. Caring, professional instructors, each with a diverse background of knowledge and experience, lead all classes. Farm crews are organized with a maximum student to instructor ratio of 12:1, creating a strong environment for learning, questioning, discussion and understanding. A great farm experience can be life-changing; it forms the way young learners understand the world we inhabit and our place within it.

Job description

General Responsibility: Manage the teaching farm to uphold and embody the program goals and mission of the McDowell Farm School. The McDowell Farm School Farm Manager is not only a farmer, but also an educator and leader.


  • Farm management experience, including sustainable livestock/pasture management and vegetable production - at least 1-2 years
  • Knowledgeable about regenerative agricultural, environmental, and educational issues
  • Demonstrate superb communication and organizational skills with attention to detail
  • Demonstrate maturity, initiative, leadership, enthusiasm, sense of humor, flexibility, and a team spirit 
  • Demonstrate professionalism in appearance and behavior
  • Ability to drive a truck  for monthly feed/supply runs and transportation around the farm
  • Must be willing to work in all weather conditions

Specific Responsibilities:
  • Works with the Farm School Director to Manage and Implement Animal Systems
  • Manage all livestock systems, including health, husbandry, rotations, processing, purchasing and sales (Chickens / Pigs (12) / Dairy Goats (10) / Cattle (2-5)
    • Provide for animal welfare in alignment with the Farm School program
    • Manage record keeping and operational systems related to livestock 
    • Collaborate with the leadership team to determine educational programs/curriculum development and production needs related to livestock systems
    • Responsible for compliance with all city, county and state agricultural, food and safety policies
    • Work with the Director to budget and maintain financial records 
  • Works with the Farm School Director to Manage and Implement Garden Systems
    • Plan, execute, and oversee two acres of vegetable and flower production, as well as perennial fruit (1 1/2 acres in production)
    • Responsible for greenhouse management and high tunnel production throughout the year as well as preparing beds and trays for student planting activities throughout the season
    • Maintain accurate records related to seasonal crop rotation / harvest / soil testing / and soil amending
    • Prepare staff for seasonally available crops for use with students and the techniques and  tools needed for harvest, processing and cooking. 
    • Facilitate vegetable distribution: staff CSA (15 shares), produce donations, and dining hall deliveries
  • Train and Manage Staff 
    • With the leadership team, support the training and management of seasonal employees related to all aspects of the farm school program
    • Train and mentor seasonal staff in proper planting methods and plant management and day-to-day animal chores/responsibilities, and ensure staff are up to date on farm protocols
    • Manage and lead seasonal staff projects
    • Support seasonal staff’s professional development through long-term farm projects, ideas, and goal setting
    • Participate as an advisor/mentor to develop staff personal goals and projects 
  • Support Farm School Program Development
    • With the leadership team, help update curriculum, lesson plans and class materials 
    • Organize, attend and actively participate in staff meetings 
    • Manage pre-season set-up and end of season clean-up of farm area
    • Assist in facilitating additional workshops such as: TAB (Teacher Advisory Board),  teacher workshops, weekend workshops, and summer programming  
    • Teach farm school classes throughout staff training and during season, as necessary (once to twice a month during season)
    • Support farm school programming by leading one meal a week during the season and being on call one night per week during school visits (6 months per year)
  • Manage Sustainable Systems, New Projects and Maintenance
    • Systems include, but are not limited to, rainwater collection, solar power, carpentry projects, and new projects determined by the leadership team
    • Upkeep and maintain farm supplies and tools related to livestock and garden systems
    • Maintain, care for and operate any machinery related to crop and livestock systems (BCS tractor / Massey Ferguson diesel /Weedeater /Chainsaw)
  • Camp McDowell Employee Expectations 
  • Act as a positive role model to visitors and fellow staff members 
    • Work and live respectfully with others 
    • Be willing to help out other departments at Camp McDowell when needed
    • Provide a positive experience for all clients of the McDowell Farm School and Camp McDowell  (students, parents, chaperones, teachers, and guests)


  • meals when available in one of our three dining halls
  • on-site individual housing based on family size and availability.  All utilities are provided including access to washer/dryer high speed fiber optic internet access
  • Access to farm vegetables and eggs when available
  • Individual insurance covered with optional family / dental / vision for additional cost
  • 401K match up to 4%
  • Flexible time off when educational programs aren’t running (December - early February and June - August)
  • 3 weeks paid vacation
  • 36K a year (exempt position)
  • Weekends off during school seasons with one to two weekends a month chore responsibility during off seasons. 
Compensation this position is : salaried, 35,568* - 50k Application instructions
this job's deadline has passed
DeadlineNovember 18, 2023 Attachment click here to download the attached document.

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