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School Farmer Swallowtail Waldorf School & Farm

  • Date Posted April 11, 2024
  • Location Hillsboro, OR
  • Category Agriculture / Education
  • Job type Full-Time
Company description Swallowtail Waldorf School & Farm serves students from Preschool through 8th Grade. We are located in the heart of Washington County where forest and farmland meet the Portland suburbs. We are passionate about helping our students develop a sense of connection to the earth and a feeling of responsibility for their role as stewards of the land. Our farm property includes sustainable agriculture plots as well as native forest, meadow, and variable wetland areas within the McKay Creek basin of Hillsboro, OR. Job description

The Farmer is responsible for maintaining the Swallowtail Farm Campus in a way that improves the health of the land and enriches the education opportunities for our students. The Farmer also finds ways to bring students into the work of the farm with the support of the Farm Programming Liaison. Our farm campus includes farmed agricultural zones, a pond and river, low lying fields that flood each year, and native forest. We have been involved in grant work to develop new processes for the removal of invasive species and restoration of native habitat. Our students visit the property once a week in the fall and spring to engage with the land and learn about sustainable food production and how we can care for and restore natural areas.


The Farmer brings knowledge and experience related to biodynamic or other sustainable farming practices as well as natural resource management and the particular ecology of the Pacific Northwest. This includes the use and making of soil amendments, conservation grazing, cover crops, soil erosion control measures, integrated pest management, management of invasive species, and land drainage and health of waterways and wetlands. The Farmer might also provide support for city permitting, grant management, agricultural contracts and bidding, or community engagement.

Specific duties for the Farmer position include:

  • Use agriculture and wild harvest to bring the benefits of the food from the farm to the students and school community (perhaps by planting vegetables for Early Childhood soup days, harvesting herb bundles to send home with a class of students, or bringing harvest boxes to the school to sell from time to time)
  • Complete enough agricultural work to maintain our farm tax deferral status. Plan agricultural spaces, including crop rotations, seasonal plantings, irrigation, and harvest. 
  • Care for the Swallowtail School farm property. Guide and/or carry out property management including beautification, mowing and weeding, understory thinning, removal of invasive species, and restoration with native plants. This includes working with the Farm Programming Liaison and collaborating with grant partners as well as performing the actual labor of the work.
  • Plan and facilitate opportunities for student engagement for each Grades class, so the students are involved in the care of the land and animals, planting and harvesting, restoration work, and building projects related to the farm property. The Farm Programming Liaison will assist in developing the schedule for the week and supporting the classes as needed, under the guidance and direction of the Farmer.
  • Develop and maintain a list of farm chores for each class to complete independently upon arrival at the farm property.
  • Occasionally attend committee meetings related to the use of the property, to offer insights into the physical space and potential needs or considerations.

Required Trainings/Attributes

  • Experience working with the local habitats of the Pacific Northwest, and an understanding of the flora and fauna of the Willamette Valley.  
  • Demonstrated knowledge of sustainable farming practices, with preference given for biodynamic farming experience.
  • Ability to work outdoors in all kinds of weather.
  • A willingness to accept both positive and constructive feedback, and to be part of a culture that values professional growth.
  • A desire and ability to communicate and connect with many different groups (students, families, teachers, and community partners) as they use our farm property.
  • Knowledge of standard land management practices materials, and tools such as plowing, mowing, pruning, carpentry, irrigation, planting, and harvesting.
  • Ability to operate a variety of tools and power equipment
  • Ability to develop and maintain an efficient workflow, ability to manage several projects simultaneously and adapt to frequent changes
  • Ability to analyze, prioritize, and solve problems

Other expectations

  • This is a full time, salaried position. On-site hours are at least 40 hours per week, with some of those occurring during school operating hours. Due to the nature of the work, a flexible schedule with some evening and weekend work may be required. 

Physical requirements

  • Prolonged periods of standing and frequent bending.
  • Kneel, stoop, crouch, or crawl. 
  • Must be able to lift, push, pull, or carry up to 50 pounds at a time.

Swallowtail School is an associate member of AWSNA and WECAN. Salary is based on education and experience. Benefits include tuition remission for dependents and medical/dental/vision. 


Compensation this position is : salaried, 35,568* - 50k Application instructions
this position has been filled
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