Farming Internship Program

Organic Farm Intern, 2022 Season

Seasonal position between early February and late October

Temporary, Full Time or Part Time

Responsible To:

Farm Manager and Assistant Farm Manager

Organization Description:

Crown Point Ecology Center (CPEC) is green space that matters – a biologically diverse living laboratory that serves to demonstrate practical applications of ecology. The 115-acre property in northeast Ohio (10 miles northwest of Akron, and 25 miles south of Cleveland) is a regional model for sustainable and organic agriculture and environmental education. At CPEC we believe that ecological land stewardship encourages structural and social change through local food production and community engagement. 

Position Summary:

Crown Point is seeking summer interns for sustainable vegetable production and marketing on our 8-acre organic farm. Our summer internship program is designed for those who are interested in sustainable agriculture, community engagement, public horticulture and/or environmental education. Interns will learn practical skills in greenhouse production of seedlings for our plant sale  and field experience growing produce. The primary tasks from March - May include watering, tray filling, seeding, transplanting, preparing beds for seeding and transplanting and support for our annual organic plant sale over two weekends in May. Major tasks from June - October include harvesting, weeding, washing, packaging.  Over 250 varieties of vegetables and fruits are grown for the CSA, market sales and for donation.  

The farm crew will consist of the farm manager, assistant farm manager, and interns. The farm team and staff will provide training, mentorship and guidance in growing, maintaining and harvesting produce on Crown Point’s vegetable farm, which serves a 110 member CSA, the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank, farmers’ markets and restaurants. Interns will gain the basic skills necessary to manage their own farms.

A strong work ethic, a positive attitude and good sense of humor are essential for this position. Interns must be able to withstand challenging weather conditions; do repetitive, tedious tasks; and be able to “go with the flow,” as plans often change quickly in farming. Good teamwork skills are also essential, including the ability to communicate effectively and to stay calm, professional, and focused in a fast-paced, sometimes stressful environment. This is a physically demanding position. Interns must be able to squat, bend over, and keep hands moving for long periods of time. Candidates sometimes work independently and are expected to stay focused and maintain a quick pace. Conversation and listening to music are encouraged but should not be a distraction from the task at hand. Jean-Martin Fortier, famous organic farmer says, “Your hands should always be moving faster than your lips.” 

People with a demonstrated interest in pursuing a farming career are especially encouraged to apply.  Candidates must be able to commit to 3 or 6 consecutive months between early February and late October.

Essential Duties and Learning Objectives:

Other responsibilities may be assigned as necessary.

Field work

Seed starting

Greenhouse management and season extension

Bed preparation

Direct seeding and transplanting

Field preparation which may include tractor use

Cultivating and weeding using organic methods

Pest and weed management

Irrigation systems

Compost management

Operating and maintaining relevant machinery 

Harvests and Sales

Harvesting, washing and packing crops for distribution to all accounts

Keeping records of produce distributed through each avenue

Assisting with Crown Point’s annual spring plant sale production and sales 

Education, Management and Outreach

Set up and manage farm markets 

Trains, supervises and directs CSA shareholders and volunteers on farm tasks.

Orients and educates CSA shareholders on an informal basis. 

Required Minimum Qualifications:

      Education

·       High School diploma or equivalent required. 

      Experience

·       One growing season of experience with organic vegetable farming is preferred. Some experience (paid, volunteer, or hobby) doing outdoor, physical work (e.g. gardening, landscaping, carpentry, outdoor-based camp counselor, etc.) is required

·       Experience with farm equipment and machinery helpful

·       CSA or farmers’ market experience helpful

·       Experience cooking/preserving diverse fresh vegetables helpful

      Skills

·       Strong work ethic; Listens carefully and follows directions. Communicates clearly and effectively, and asks questions when clarity is needed

·       Multi-tasks and works efficiently. Delegates tasks and supervises others in a professional, courteous manner in what is usually a fast-paced and sometimes stressful environment

·       Helps create a community-focused environment that supports the Crown Point mission and its guiding principles and promotes a positive, healthy work environment for all farm and CPEC staff; abides by all safety protocols

·     Maintains a valid driver’s license

Working Conditions/Physical Requirements:

·       Flexible hours based on the weather, season and required activities. Interns generally start the day at 8:00am and finish between 5-6pm depending on the tasks needing to be completed. CSA pick up assignments may start later in the day and work later in the evening. Weekend days will be assigned and shared among interns for weekend watering, market sales or such. Work requires physical exertion and activities such as stooping, bending, lifting and pushing/pulling heavy equipment. All apprentices must be able to lift and carry 50 pounds.

·       Farm work goes on, even when it is cold, wet, windy, hot, etc.  Apprentices must dress appropriately and be ready to work under challenging weather conditions.

·       Farming is not without risk. Slip and fall accidents, equipment-based injuries, etc. can happen. Interns must have their own health insurance and medications for allergies and such.

  Please submit your application and cover letter to:

Danielle Soroczak, Farm Manager at: danielle@crownpointecology.org 

Carolyn Kean, Executive Director at: carolyn@crownpointecology.org 

Crown Point Ecology Center

P.O. Box 484

Bath, OH  44210

330-668-3222

 

Include:

Detailed résumé that highlights your qualifications for the internship position.

Cover letter that explains why you are interested in the position, and why at Crown Point particularly. Please also include the earliest date at which you would be able to start, and the latest date you could work in the fall.

Telephone number(s) and email addresses of three references, of which at least one MUST be a former or current employer/supervisor. Please include a short description of how you know this person (Supervisor from Acme Landscapers, etc.)

Upon review of the application materials, the farm manager will contact the top candidates to schedule a 2-3 hour working visit and interview, in which candidates can see the farm, work with the farm staff, and both candidates and farm staff can determine whether it would be a good fit. Depending on scheduling, the working visit and interview may have to take place on different days. If you are applying from a distance and are unable to do a working visit, please let Danielle know when you send your application materials. Crown Point will accept applications and schedule working visits/interviews on a rolling basis until February 28, 2021, or until the open positions are filled. 

Thank you for your interest in Crown Point!

Benefits:

Daily Stipend; paid bi-weekly

Occasional attendance at farm-based workshops and farm visits

Workers’ compensation

Paid vacation days (depending on total weeks of internship for full time interns)

Paid holidays (if occur during intern’s work schedule for full time)

Rustic housing may be available for small fee

How to apply:

Download the full application here.