ABOUT THE COOPERATIVE
Dandelion Homesteads is a start-up cooperative ecosystem of land co-stewarded by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [BIPOC] members who thrive and create Home together. Dandelion Homesteads’ ecosystem will be powered by Black and Indigenous wisdom, values, and strategies for sustainability, self-determination, and cultivating land and relationships. Dandelion Homesteads’ members are inclusive, interconnected, and intergenerational, and we celebrate our spectrum of identities and lifeways. We seek to live, work, and learn together to actualize liberation within ourselves and our communities.
Each Dandelion Homestead will exist in a gracious relationship with its local and kindred communities. A homestead’s land-based and people resources will be available to community members in ways that center the holistic health, joy, and liberation of BIPOC folks. Each Dandelion Homestead will partner with individuals and organizations to move forward equity and justice in their community and beyond.
We are in our launch and development phase of the first Dandelion Homestead in The Berkshires--the ancestral homeland of the Mahican Nation. This Dandelion farm homestead [name to be determined] is nestled at the base of a mountain in Sheffield, MA, and in-community with a flowing brook, natural spring, waterfalls, forest trails, an array of plant and animal life, Race Brook Lodge, and The Stagecoach Tavern. The values, offerings, and programming of the farm homestead will be informed by the legacies of our leadership team and of those who lived with, worked, and cultivated this land. In addition to the legacy of indigenous land stewardship, Sheffield is where the revolutionary Elizabeth Freeman [also known as Mum Bet] resided, and it is a short distance away from the childhood home of W.E.B. DuBois in Great Barrington. The Berkshire region also holds a legacy of activism, Abolitionism, solidarity economy, progressive principles, and African American liberatory practice and leadership.
The farm homestead will offer the following resources and experiences:
Polyculture and regenerative farming
Added value products
Short-term and long-term dwelling
Indoor and outdoor community programming
Experiential, project-based, and popular education for all ages
Community art and play projects
Dandelion seeks to cultivate a polyculture farm for the regenerative production of fresh food, added-value products, and programming that synergizes the arts, agriculture, community, and activism. The farm currently holds space for vegetables, fruit, herbs, chickens, goats, and bees, and there is the potential for flower and maple syrup production.
We seek a passionate Farm Manager who has experience with Afro-indigenous regenerative agriculture strategies for production and who is confident with farm administrative tools and technology. The ideal candidates exhibit enthusiasm for our mission as well as for collaborating with worker-owners and members to responsibly steward the land while co-creating and growing our ways of production, distribution, education, programming, and community engagement.
Dandelion’s leadership team is working to grow the capacity of the farm homestead team while also shaping pathways to worker-ownership for team members.
Dandelion Homesteads is currently comprised of four worker-owners who will work with the Farm Manager, consultants, advisors, and a Farmer [to be hired] to manifest the broader strategic goals and day-to-day operations of the cooperative. The current worker-owners will manage:
Educational, arts, and community programming
Member and volunteer farm engagement [i.e. member work parties and volunteers]
Sales and marketing
Food and product packing and distribution
Finance, budgeting, and fundraising
Training and cooperative business development
The worker-owners will also be key team members in ongoing daily operations of the farm as scheduled and agreed upon, which include, but are not limited to planting, animal care, maintenance, and harvesting.
The Farm Manager’s responsibilities require a balance of autonomy, collaboration, and support.
Farm Operations & Administration
Assess the current state of the farm operation, resources, and grounds.
Guide strategic thinking around farm-planning approaches that are in synergy with The Cooperative’s mission and values.
Create a farm plan that will serve as a guide and tool for ongoing project management.
Co-develop and implement strategic goals for farm operations and programs.
Develop systems for farm maintenance of assets, such as structures, equipment, and tools.
Shape and guide the livestock program’s day-to-day operations and planning, including:
Animal care and wellness
Partnering with livestock consultants or advisors as needed
Manage vegetable, fruit, herbs, and flower operations and planning, including:
Maintenance and enhancement of soil health
Seeding, planting, cultivating, and harvesting produce
Design and co-manage food storage, maintenance, and cleaning systems.
Farm Operations and Administration
Organize and manage the farm budget--with an emphasis on agriculture, livestock, tools, supplies, and administrative expenses. The farm budget would interact with the overall cooperative budget, which would be managed by the worker-owners.
Identify opportunities for partnerships and capacity-building.
Assess the need for and to hire and manage seasonal farmworkers or consultants.
Collaborate with worker-owners to ensure the quality of produce and products for various revenue partnerships including:
The Stagecoach Tavern
Race Brook Lodge events catering
Local farmer’s markets and shops
Co-create educational and community engagement programming goals.
Co-develop, guide, and implement the farm educational curricula and programming.
Co-facilitate experiential learning with visiting groups of all ages.
ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES [as time permits]
Contribute to the process of the worker-owners’ management of farm-based community engagement experiences.
Serve as a representative of the farm in the following ways:
Attend and co-present at seminars, workshops, panels, and/or conferences.
Contribute to the holistic marketing strategy, which includes press and social media initiatives.
Serve as a liaison between the farm and other entities in our network of cooperatives, farms, and community-based organizations invested in arts, agriculture, and activism.
Interface with environmental committees locally and with the State of Massachusetts.
DESIRED STRENGTHS & EXPERIENCE
Demonstrated experience with and knowledge of the principles of soil biology, Afro-indigenous approaches to regenerative agriculture, and strategies such as organic low-till crop production, permaculture, growing perennials, and biodynamic farming.
Experience farming in a production, educational setting.
Basic farm carpentry and proficiency with power tools.
Enthusiastic about being an integral part of a farm-based cooperative homestead with community engagement, social justice, and cultural and community impact goals.
Willingness to learn and deepen skills; seeks out professional growth and development.
Strong listening, analytical, and critical-thinking skills.
Solid organizational skills and intuitive attention-to-detail.
A positive attitude and flexibility.
Self-starter with the ability to work collaboratively.
Takes initiative and exhibits proactive creative problem-solving skills.
A valid driver’s license and a commitment to the safe operation of machinery and other vehicles.
The following physical abilities are essential to the role:
Work outdoors in all weather conditions and elements, including dust, dirt, high/low temperatures, and rain.
Walk extensively, stand for long periods, bend, stoop, and shovel.
Lift and carry 25 lbs frequently and occasionally up to 50 lbs.
Operate farm equipment.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
The Farm Manager role is a 12-month independent-contractor position--$35,000-40,000 USD + on-site housing and access to food. Benefits include: 7 days of paid personal time-off, flexible paid sick leave, and cooperative member benefits.
The State of Massachusetts offers competitively-affordable, low-cost, and no-cost health insurance plans.
Volunteers In Medicine Berkshires [https://vimberkshires.org/] offers free comprehensive healthcare to uninsured or underinsured residents of the Berkshire region.
Please email the following materials in separate attached PDFs to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Letter expressing your interest in the role and highlight relevant experience and values or philosophy.
Dandelion Homesteads is an inclusive and equitable work environment. BIPOC candidates, people identifying as LGBTQIA+, and all who may contribute diverse perspectives and abilities are welcome and encouraged to apply.