Full-time (2 crew members) POSITIONS FILLED
Part-time (1 crew member) OPEN
Our Farm: Prairie Drifter Farm is a certified organic vegetable farm located in Litchfield, MN, approximately 40 miles south of St. Cloud and 65 miles west of Minneapolis. Prairie Drifter Farm is owned and operated by Nick and Joan Olson. The upcoming growing season will be our eighth season in operation, growing for approximately 150 CSA shares and several wholesale accounts including three local food co-ops, one local restaurant, and the Harvest for the Hungry program.
The Farmers: Nick and Joan both have backgrounds in formal and environmental education. Through these teaching experiences, travels here and abroad, and time spent on our grandparents’ farms we have taken a path to produce healthy, organic food while promoting stewardship to the land in which we live and farm. In addition to his work on the farm, Nick works with Land Stewardship Project’s Farm Beginnings program, a beginning farmer training program that focuses on holistic goal setting and holistic farm planning. Through his work he has helped many beginning farmers along their path to begin, enhance, or grow their own farm business. Nick is also on the board of MOSES (Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service) and our local food co-op. Joan has a background in geology and science education and has a passion for soils, biology, and the details needed to make a farm and business run efficiently and smoothly. We farm with our two children, Abe (4) and Freya (2). Through our work both on and off the farm, we are actively creating a vibrant community on our farm and within our CSA membership, while engaging in the community in which we live.
The Crew: The farm crew for the 2017 season will consist of Nick and Joan, 2 full-time seasonal farm crew members, 1 part-time seasonal farm crew member, and 5 work share members.
Employment Details: Our employment opportunities are especially beneficial for, but not limited to, someone exploring or pursuing vegetable farming as a career as there will be opportunities for significant education on the farm as well as in conjunction with neighboring organic farms. Preference is given to qualified applicants who could return to the farm for an additional season or more.
Time Frame: Beginning of May through the end of October.
Work Hours: Monday-Friday, 7:30am-5:00pm for full-time positions. Start time varies slightly between 7:00am-8:00am depending on the time of the season. Part-time employee will work 1-2 days per week, 8:00-5:00pm.
- Greenhouse work, weeding and transplanting.
- Harvesting, washing and packing for CSA deliveries/wholesale accounts.
- Cover cropping, irrigation and record keeping.
- Care of farm animals including pigs and a small flock of laying hens.
- Involvement with share member events.
- Upkeep of farm grounds.
Prairie Drifter Farm is looking for individuals who are self-motivated, have great attention to detail and are eager to work and learn. Previous farm experience is a great benefit but not required. Crew members should be in good physical condition with the ability to lift 50 pounds. Farm work is physically demanding and we work in all weather conditions. Employees should expect to work efficiently and quickly and maintain our standards of high quality produce and customer service. Efficiency in production is what helps to make the farm financially viable; we work at a fast pace and expect our employees to do the same. A smoothly operating farm helps to create a positive living and working environment for the entire crew. Employees should be able to work independently and in a group and have an interest in sustainable agriculture and good food! It is important for us to work in an enjoyable environment for the benefit of our family, our crew and our membership.
- Hourly wage of $8.00/hour (negotiable based on past experience).
- On-farm housing and amenities (provided for full-time employees but not required) include private room, summer kitchen, composting toilet and access to an indoor shower in the farm house.
- Abundant produce from the farm.
- Access to canning equipment and freezer space to preserve produce.
- Networking with other area sustainable and organic farms. We are lucky to be in a region with several other organic and sustainable farms, which raise vegetables, fruits, sheep, and grass-fed beef. We connect our employees to other farms to broaden their farm experience.
- Bi-weekly educational gatherings in conjunction with a neighboring organic vegetable farm to include topics determined by the employees of both farms. In the past we have covered topics such as cover cropping, budgeting, soil health, post-harvest handling, organic certification, and pest management.
- Development of a growing season learning plan to help direct particular educational goals of each employee. Employee check-ins at the beginning, middle and end of each season to ensure employees are gaining the skills and background they need to be successful in their future pursuits.
- Ability to take on more responsibility of certain aspects of the farm as the season progresses based on interest and abilities.
TO APPLY: If interested in employment and mentorship, please submit a letter of interest and resume which include the following information:
- Past work experience
- Farming goals
- Explanation of why you are interested in working on our farm
- Explanation of your qualifications for this position
- 3 work references (farm references are a plus)
APPLICATION TIMELINE: We will accept applications on a rolling basis until positions are filled (ideally by February) with interviews beginning in January. If applicants are able, we would prefer an in-person interview on the farm.
We are happy to connect interested applicants who go through our interview process with past employees to give you a reference for our farm and employee management.
For more information or to apply, please contact:
Nick or Joan Olson