Role Mission: The Child Nutrition Program (CNP) Farm Manager reports to the CNP Director of Farms within the Healthy Kids Here (HKH) initiative to fulfill the mission of making IDEA Public Schools the healthiest school district in the nation. They lead the farm team under the guidance of the CNP Director of Farms in all matters relating to the operation of our farms and gardens, in order to create a best-in-class farm-to-school educational program. CNP Farm Managers generate the resources that guide the work of CNP Farmers and CNP Farmer Substitutes, from standardized operating procedures and lesson plans to presentations and digital tools used for professional development. Hands-on support and expertise in fruit and vegetable production are provided by the CNP Farm Manager as needed. The CNP Farm Manager conducts audits and develops strategies for ensuring the Farm Program continues to be financially and operationally viable. This role ensures the successful replication of the program in existing and new regions by establishing collaborative relationships with program partners. The CNP Farm Manager oversees staffing and development of farm personnel to continually improve and refine all processes, while leading CNP Farmers to success through any challenges they face. The Farm Manager also collaborates with IDEA’s functional groups as well as external stakeholders to generate interest, philanthropy, and exposure for the Farm Program. Lastly, the Farm Manager develops and oversees the farm’s educational programming to drive results for the goals created to make College For All a reality.
FARMS MEET TOTAL POUNDS HARVESTED GOAL BY JUNE 30
- Fosters strong integration between the farm program and the cafeteria program to increase the diversity and quantity of produce that can be effectively incorporated into student meals to maximize student health outcomes and success in getting to and through college.
- Oversees development, review, approval and updating of yearly production plans, educational scheduling, and operational processes for each farm and ensures that they are strategically aligned to the IDEA academic calendar for a successful school year
- Conducts field walks with CNP Farmers regularly to share expertise in crop management, including pest and disease control, fertilizer application, pruning and trellising, crop replacement, wildlife damage control, irrigation management, and mitigation of environmental stress factors to identify corrective actions needed for production goal attainment
- Develops the farm playbook, which involves the standardization of all farm production and educational operations across the district through data analysis and the creation of standard operating procedures
REGIONAL FARMS AVERAGE 90% RATING ON QUALITY OPERATIONS AUDITS BY JUNE 30
- Supervises the implementation of USDA Good Agricultural Practices Food Safety Audits and Quality Operations Audits at all regional farms, ensuring that farms are safe at all times and equipped to provide high quality produce and educational experiences that lead to student success in college.
- Manages training and food safety protocol education for all individuals interacting with the farm, and provides additional training on findings from audits that result in point deductions
- Verifies that records and documentation are entered by the farmers in a timely manner and archived to be readily available for potential state audits
- Creates new SOP’s as needs arise and updates all SOPs on an annual basis to ensure consistency of farm operations across the district
REGIONAL FARMS MEET THE COST PER SQUARE FOOT GOAL BY JUNE 30
- Manages all aspects of fiscal viability, ensuring that the Farm Program can continue supporting student health and college access for years to come. This entails ensuring purchasing compliance across the program, including providing guidelines on proper procurement, overseeing the submission of requisitions and processing of purchase orders, completing budget transfers, submitting Capital Expenditure Requests, and conducting Formal Procurement with the Texas Department of Agriculture
- Develops and delivers training for staff members on efficient resource stewardship including proper use, maintenance, storage, and repair of all supplies, and monitors the farm’s financial performance on a weekly basis to identify cost reduction opportunities in the areas of payroll, supplies, and maintenance
- Establishes and maintains positive working relationships with all vendors and ensures timely payment and vendor adherence to IDEA policies, and ready availability of goods and services
- Coordinates with the Advancement team to write and submit public and private grant applications, tracks grant spending and project implementation, and provides documentation for grant reporting
100% OF FARMS ARE OPERATIONALLY READY WITH CROPS PLANTED, QUICK-START & PREP WEEK COMPLETED AND STAFF TRAINED ON FOOD SAFETY BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
- Establishes a strong relationship between the Farm Program and IDEA farm campuses to ensure a high-quality farm-to-school program at each campus that supports equitable access to higher education for all IDEA students
- Assesses crops in the field, hydroponic columns, and nursery, and provides expert guidance on crop management as needed to reach pounds harvested goal
- Travels as needed to troubleshoot challenges that arise on the farm that would jeopardize farm safety or functionality for the first day of school.
- Ensures completion of Quick-Start & Prep Week schedules and approves once complete
- Leads farm-based projects as needed in each region to implement improvement projects and meet BOY deadlines
85% RETENTION OF FARM STAFF BY JUNE 30TH
- Ensures respect, inclusivity, and equity for CNP Farm staff to create a healthy, productive working environment and maximize the retention of institutional knowledge and a unified focus on the mission to get all IDEA students to and through college
- Leads weekly one-on-one coaching sessions with CNP Farmers to assess progress towards goals, and leads direct reports through the annual Staff Development Cycle
- Incorporates feedback from CNP Farmers on program operations, initiatives, and policies to create an environment of continuous improvement and employee satisfaction
- Creates and facilitates monthly trainings and yearly Summer Institute sessions for CNP Farmers, coordinates, attends, and presents at conferences along with the Farm Team, and invites speakers and attends conferences to maintain mastery of the latest industry findings
- Screens, interviews, hires, and onboards new team members throughout the district, manages schedules, and approves timesheets, and paid time off for CNP Farmers
- Develops scorecards and advocates for opportunities for development and promotion within the Farm Team
LIVE VALUES OF IDEA
- Believes and is committed to our mission and being an agent of change: that all students are capable of getting to and through college
- Has demonstrated effective outcomes and results, and wants to be held accountable for them
- Has a propensity for action, willing to make mistakes by doing in order to learn and improve quickly
- Works with urgency and purpose to drive student outcomes
- Thrives in an entrepreneurial, high-growth environment; is comfortable with ambiguity and change
- Seeks and responds well to feedback, which is shared often and freely across all levels of the organization
- Works through silos and forges strong cross-departmental relationships in order to achieve outcomes
- We believe in education as a profession and hold ourselves to high level of conduct, professionalism and behaviors as models for our colleagues and students.
Required Experience and Certifications:
- Education: Associate’s degree required; Bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture, education, public health, or a related field (botany, horticulture, agronomy, soil science, agricultural biology, environmental science, extension education, etc.) preferred
- Experience: 4+ years in horticulture/crop production; 4+ years in a leadership role
- Experience working with sustainable agriculture, hydroponics, education, data analysis, and budgetary management
- Licenses or Certifications (if applicable): Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule training
Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
- The ability to motivate, delegate, and lead a diverse team to accomplish goals across different regions
- Has knowledge and understanding of local, state and federal guidelines relating to agriculture management and processes
- Has knowledge and understanding of Child Nutrition Program guidelines
- Knowledge of methods, materials, equipment, and processes used in small-scale sustainable and regenerative farm management
- Strong mathematical skills with ability to understand and interpret data (charts, graphs, etc.)
- Can follow verbal and written instructions
- Ability to guide grade level teachers in afterschool gardening club and provide vegetable growing information
- Demonstrate problem solving, adaptability and flexibility; can reprioritize workload due to inclement weather, schedule changes, and any other potential setback
- Strong computer literacy, that includes an understanding of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
- Strong organizational and interpersonal skills.
- Excellent oral communication, written communication, and presentation skills.
- Can work independently with little direction to achieve programmatic goals
- Can handle stress well to meet time sensitive deliverables
- Understanding of written and verbal communication in Spanish
- Up to 20% travel outside of the Farm Manager’s home region is required
In this role, you will be responsible for supporting the team to reach the following ambitious goals:
- Farms meet total pounds harvested goal by June 30
- Regional farms average 90% rating on food safety and quality operations audits by June 30
- Regional farms meet the cost per square foot goal by June 30
- Attain an “A” rating on the farm BOY (beginning of year) scorecard by June 30
- 85% retention of regional staff by June 30th
Commitment to Diversity and Core Values:
To achieve our mission of 100% College For All, IDEA commits to being a diverse, equitable, inclusive and anti-racist organization, where we honor and include the voices, values, and beliefs of all our students, staff, alumni, families, and community members. Click here to learn about IDEA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Anti-Racist and Anti-Bias commitment.
Our core values are:
- We Act with Integrity: We put the best interests of the IDEA Team & Family—and most importantly our students—at the forefront of all our decisions and actions, taking personal responsibility to model the honest and ethical behavior we want our students and each other to demonstrate every day.
- We Build Team & Family: We foster a sense of belonging and inclusivity by treating every member of the IDEA Team & Family—our students, staff, families, and community—with compassion, respect, and humility. We maximize our individual best efforts through collaboration and support of each other in the focused pursuit of our collective mission.
- We Achieve Academic Excellence: We believe ensuring college success for 100% of our students is the best way to help them succeed in life and in seeing obstacles they face as opportunities for learning and growth. Every member of the IDEA Team & Family works together to ensure each student on every campus and in every classroom receives a high-quality education.
- We Deliver Results: We set ambitious goals, hold ourselves and each other accountable for achieving results, and believe that our students will succeed to and through college. Our results show what’s possible when the adults in the system get it right and represent the collective effort and focus of the entire IDEA Team & Family.
- We Ensure Equity: We set high expectations and share compassion and empathy for every member of the IDEA Team & Family. We differentiate our support and resources, proactively address racism and discrimination, and advocate alongside our students and staff to empower them with the opportunities to succeed and ensure the respect they deserve.
- We Bring Joy: We create a positive, uplifting, and joyful environment for every member of the IDEA Team & Family, every single day. We operate with a sense of optimism, and our traditions celebrate learning, growth, and the accomplishments of our students, staff, and community.
- We Sweat the Small Stuff: We embrace that achieving excellence lies in paying attention to and carrying out the details—the ‘small stuff’—that go into effective execution and positive implementation. Every step of the way, the IDEA Team & Family prioritizes actions contributing to our mission of College for All.
- Salaries for this role typically fall between $60,569 to $72,683, commensurate with relevant experience and qualifications
- This role is eligible for a performance bonus based on individual and organizational performance and goal attainment
We offer a comprehensive benefits plan, covering the majority of the employee premium for the base medical plan and subsidizing the majority of costs for a spouse/domestic partner and children. Other benefits include dental and vision plans, disability, life insurance, parenting benefits, flexible spending account options, generous vacation time, com‐muter benefits, referral bonuses, professional development, and a 403(b) plan. We also offer an inclusive environment where staff are encouraged to bring their whole selves to work every day. IDEA may offer a relocation stipend to defray the cost of moving for this role, if applicable.
Please submit your application online through Jobvite. It’s in your best interest to apply as soon as possible.
About IDEA Public Schools
At IDEA Public Schools, we believe each and every child can go to college. Since 2000, IDEA Public Schools has grown from a small school with 150 students to the fastest-growing network of tuition-free, Pre-K-12 public charter schools in the United States.
IDEA Public Schools boasts national rankings on The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report’s top high schools lists. IDEA serves nearly 75,000 college-bound students in 137 schools across Texas, Southern Louisiana and Florida and is on-track to maintain its legacy of sending 100% of its graduates to college. Be on the lookout for IDEA schools opening near you—with new launches in Jacksonville, FL (2022). Cincinnati, OH (2022), and Arkansas (2023)!
When you choose to work at IDEA, you are part of our IDEA Team and Family. You will work alongside team members who set and reach ambitious goals every day, are excited to continue to grow with IDEA, and work relentlessly to make college for all a reality.