Role Mission: CNP Assistant Farmers assist with farm education programming which includes coordinating with campus leaders on Junior Master Gardener (JMG) classes, instructing K-12 students through outdoor lessons and Food Systems curricula, and supervising students during outdoor classroom instruction. The CNP Assistant Farmer executes the implementation of a four-season diversified vegetable farming system that includes cover cropping, crop rotation, orchard cultivation, native habitat maintenance, and an integrated pest management plan across a specified campus farm. Additionally, the Assistant Farmer contributes to farm safety and efficiency by updating inventory, data tracking, and implementing food safety protocols.
The IDEA Farm Program works within the larger Child Nutrition Program (CNP) and Healthy Kids Here initiative dedicated to making IDEA Public Schools one of the healthiest school districts in the nation. The IDEA Farm Program collaborates with campus leaders, students, and community stake holders to create a successful farm-to-school curriculum by providing exceptional educational experiences and high-quality produce. CNP Assistant Farmers report directly to CNP Farmers and support farm operational processes and student academic performance by leading a best-in class farm education program to support IDEA’s mission of making College for All a reality.
What We Offer
- Compensation for this role is set at an hourly rate ranging between $16.96 for 0 years of experience and $21.20.
- This role is also eligible for a performance bonus based on team 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. Some of the special benefits we offer at IDEA include:
- Paid Family Leave: Eligible staff may receive up to 8 weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, based on their tenure with the organization and caregiver designation.
- Tuition Reimbursement: Staff members may apply for up to 50% of tuition paid toward a qualifying degree program, up to $5,250 maximum per year subject to manager discretion and budget availability.
- Employer-Paid Mental/Behavioral Health: 5 face-to-face counseling sessions within a year, unlimited 24/7 telephonic counseling, and other work-life services available at no cost.
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Professional Development: We offer staff opportunities to engage in identity-based affinity space and leadership training covering a variety of topics such as culturally competent leadership, models of equity, mitigating bias, and more.
Other benefits include dental and vision plans, disability, life insurance, parenting benefits, generous vacation time, referral bonuses and professional development. IDEA may offer a relocation allowance to defray the cost of moving for this role, if applicable.
What You Bring -- Competencies:
- High School Diploma or GED Required
- 1 year experience in horticulture, agriculture, gardening, or desire to learn
- Reliable transportation
- Certification in Horticulture, Agriculture, Ecology, or a related field
- 1 year experience teaching or working with pre-K through 12th grade students is a plus
- Knowledge in sustainable horticulture, agriculture, and hydroponic systems
What You’ll Do – Accountabilities:
Facilitate Student Learning
- Supports in the implementation of agricultural education for students on the farm that enhances their campus education
- Increase student awareness and participation in agricultural issues to create a lifetime of healthy eating habits
- Collaborates with teachers to lead student tours and educational projects
- Logs 100% of student educational hours at the end of every class for record keeping
- Logs 100% of certified students into the JMG website to be registered as certified Junior Master Gardeners
- Coordinates with the CNP Farmer to plan a successful JMG certification ceremony
Implement Farm Production
- Adheres to production plan developed one year in advance based on IDEA menu requirements, and ensures weekly and monthly goals are met
- 100% of crops on time via direct sow, transplant, in order to have crops ready and harvested for students to eat from the First to the Last Day of Schools
- Treats biological and environmental disorders impacting production plan goals effectively
- Coordinates the delivery of produce to Cafeteria Managers on Farm Campus and neighboring campuses when excess produce is available for distribution
- Conducts field walks with CNP Farmers regularly to develop next steps in crop management and daily tasks
- Implements effective weed management strategies to ensure aesthetic quality and consistent yields
Uphold Farm Compliance
- Enters 100% of all food safety and harvest farm logs into tracking system by end of week for auditing purposes
- Completes QuickStart checklist and submits signed checklists to CNP Farmer to ensure farm is ready to serve students by first day of school
- Complies with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Harmonized operation audits requirements to meet a minimum 90% rating to provide safe, quality produce
- Updates physical inventories for all materials and equipment on a monthly basis
- Reports maintenance and safety issues on the farm to the CNP Farmer as soon as they are identified to ensure a safe working and learning environment
Support Financial Stewardship
- Utilizes consumables such as seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides conscientiously and reports need for restocking or replacement of depleted supplies
- Provides oversight for the completion of contracted projects on the farm
- Tracks delivery of items and receiving of invoices to ensure timely vendor payment
- Collaborates with the planning of in-ground farm expansion, including a pollinator garden, outdoor classroom, and other areas which enhance the student farm educational experience
In this role, you will be responsible for supporting the team to reach the following ambitious goals:
- Meet farm JMG certification target by June 30th
- Meet an average score of 90% or higher on GAP harmonized and Quality Operations Audits each quarter
- Meet cost per square foot goal by June 30th
- Facilitate three farm outreach events by June 30th
- Grow and harvest a minimum of 12 different crops to meet production target by June 30th
· Must be able to sit, stand, walk, bend or work on hands and knees for extended periods of time without being able to leave the work area.
· Must be able to work in an outdoor space, walk on uneven ground, crawl, or move about on hands and knees.
· Must be able to lift and carry or otherwise move 50 pounds regularly
· Physical ability to work around small children including sitting, standing, running.
· Must be able to work in indoor and outdoor environments, including in times of excessive heat or cold
We look for Team and Family who embody the following values and characteristics:
- 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
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 a multi-state network of tuition-free, Pre-K-12 public charter schools.
IDEA Public Schools boasts national rankings on The Washington Post and U.S. News & World Report’s top high schools lists. IDEA serves over 80,000 college-bound students in 143 schools across Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Ohio, and is on-track to maintain its legacy of sending 100% of its graduates to college.
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.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
At IDEA we recognize that racism, bias, and privilege exist in society. We are committed to an organizational culture that promotes awareness and inclusivity for our students and staff and supports their path to positively impact our broader society. We are committed to recognizing the impact of racism and privilege, and commit as an organization to have equitable practices, policies, and structures. Visit https://ideapublicschools.org/dei/ to learn about IDEA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Anti-Racist and Anti-Bias commitment.
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