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Farm and Garden Assistant Marion Polk Food Share

  • Date Posted February 26, 2024
  • Location Salem, OR
  • Category Agriculture / Nonprofit
  • Job type Part-Time
Company description

Marion Polk Food Share’s mission is to bring people together to end hunger and its root causes.

We distribute nutritious food for individuals and families to more than 100 local partners, including food pantries and meal sites, and deliver Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities. We operate a 6-acre urban youth farm and support a network of over 50 community gardens that connect people and their food and mobilize community members to address systemic issues that lead to hunger. Thousands of local volunteers, advocates and donors bring our mission to life every day.

Job description

Part Time - 32 hours/week - Non-exempt

$18.00 hourly - 6 months (May - October)

All Food Share employees receive paid holidays and earn vacation and sick leave.

Work will occur Monday – Friday between 7am and 3:30 pm; there may be flexibility in scheduling. 

Summary of Role: As the Farm Assistant, you will work to ensure that the Youth Farm is a productive agricultural operation and supportive educational environment by performing general agricultural duties and assisting with youth supervision on the farm and in the kitchen. 

Who we are looking for:

  • You are passionate about farming. You have a strong interest in small-scale organic vegetable production and have experience growing food on a farm or in a home garden. You are excited to share your knowledge and love of agriculture with others, including our teen youth farmers. 
  • You are a team player. Nothing is beneath or above you. You can earn influence without authority and naturally seek to support both small projects and significant strategic goals. You can easily gain trust from staff and youth farmers and are known for your willingness to lend a hand. You convey information clearly, listen actively, and can collaborate with team members. You’re not afraid to ask questions.
  • You enjoy working hard outside. You are an avid outdoor or sports enthusiast who enjoys physically demanding work and are comfortable performing outdoor activities for prolonged periods of time in a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions. You have great stamina and can work quickly and efficiently. You know your physical limits and how to pace yourself and rest accordingly. 
  • You are a problem solver. You approach problems with curiosity and a solutions-oriented mindset.  You can adapt to changing conditions and unexpected challenges and can address problems as they arise. 
  • You want to be a mentor. You are excited by the opportunity to be a positive role model for our teen youth farmers by demonstrating qualities such as responsibility, work ethic, and a commitment to sustainable farming practices. 


Areas of responsibility and essential functions:

Agricultural support: This position supports the Youth Farm staff and youth crew in growing 20,000-25,000 pounds of organic vegetables for community distribution. 

  • Assisting with greenhouse transplant production.
  • Operating tractor for mowing, tilling, and bed preparation. 
  • Using a variety of hand tools & cultivation equipment to reduce weed pressure. 
  • Assisting with irrigation maintenance and installation. 
  • Implementing organic pest & disease control methods.
  • Assisting with maintenance of farm facilities and equipment.

Landscaping and maintenance: This position helps to maintain accessible pathways, clear work areas, functional garden infrastructure, and beautiful public spaces. 

  • Mowing main pathways. 
  • String trimming around irrigation valves, fence lines and hedgerows. 
  • Mulching and weeding gathering spaces and perennial plantings. 

Youth program support: This position ensures a supportive and safe educational environment for the teen participants at the Youth Farm by assisting with supervision of the youth crew.

  • Demonstrating safe agricultural work to youth crew.
  • Helping youth crew leaders troubleshoot problems with agricultural work.
  • Supporting youth farmers in harvesting, washing, and packing operations to benefit Farm Share Rx distributions. 
  • Assisting with grocery and supply purchases.
  • Overseeing summer program kitchen operations and supporting youth farmers in cooking lunch using farm produce. 


More about the Food Share: 

The mission of Marion Polk Food Share is to bring people together to end hunger and its root causes.

 At the Food Share, our commitment is to:

  • Treat all people as our neighbor 
  • Encourage creativity and be willing to take risks
  • Listen first and seek to understand 
  • Focus on shared goals
  • Celebrate diversity, ensure dignity and act equitably


Job Conditions:

 Work will be performed mainly outdoors, in all types of weather.  Will regularly involve sustained periods of standing and walking and moderate to heavy manual labor, including bending, reaching, squatting, crawling, stooping and use of the hands, arms, and fingers.  Will regularly be required to lift up to 50 pounds.  Work will involve regular travel and use of a Food Share truck, tractor, and other equipment.  

The Food Share provides essential services to our neighbors in Marion and Polk counties. As a result, all Food Share employees may be asked to report to work during local public health, weather, or other environmental emergencies.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty and physical demand satisfactorily with or without a reasonable accommodation. EOE.

Education and/or Experience; Certificates/Licenses/Registrations:
  • 1+ years of experience in organic farming, gardening, and/or landscaping required.
  • 1+ years of experience working with teenagers preferred.
  • Must have current driver’s license and be cleared to drive company vehicles. 
  • Must pass pre-employment drug screen (excluding THC) and full background check, including driving record check - required for all staff and volunteers in our programs to ensure the safety of our youth

Necessary Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds on a regular basis and push/pull up to 300 pounds.  
  • Working knowledge of landscaping equipment including push mowers, string trimmers, and rototillers. 
  • Must be experienced with or willing to learn to drive large trucks (pick up, dump truck) and use farm/garden equipment. 
  • Good verbal communication skills. 
  • Willingness to learn new things and problem-solve creatively. 
  • Strong interest in farming and gardening or community food security. 
  • Proven ability to work effectively on a team. 


Compensation this position is : hourly, $15-20/hr Application instructions Please click here to sign in and view application details.
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