Rock Bottom Ranch Agriculture Manager
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) is a non-profit environmental science education organization with three locations in the Roaring Fork Valley: Hallam Lake, Rock Bottom Ranch, and the Catto Center at Toklat. Since 1968, ACES has been meeting its mission of educating for environmental responsibility.
Making more than 125,000 educational contacts in 2019, ACES reaches Colorado residents and visitors through guided hikes, environmental science lessons in schools and in the field, kids camps and adult classes, public lectures, and community events. Our programs focus on ecological literacy, regenerative agriculture, forest and ecosystem health, land restoration, and environmental civic leadership.
ACES seeks a mission-driven professional to support our regenerative agriculture program as the Agriculture Manager at our Rock Bottom Ranch (RBR) site in Basalt, Colorado. Rock Bottom Ranch’s livestock and vegetable products are featured at our summer dining events, weekly farmers’ markets, local restaurants, and on-farm sales.
Rock Bottom Ranch’s vegetable and livestock production is inspired by natural systems and is continually working toward more regenerative and sustainable practices. The 113-acre site dedicates approximately 70 acres to natural wildlands and 35 acres to pasture-based, rotationally grazed livestock systems. To maximize production and extend the growing season at our mountainous 6,400 feet elevation, our one acre of outdoor vegetable and cut flower production is supported by four season extension structures (a stationary hoop house, mobile hoop houses, and a passive solar greenhouse).
Our production farm and educational site is open to the public six days a week during the summer and offers daily farm tours, youth and adult programs, and food events. Agricultural staff are given the opportunity to become involved in a diverse array of agricultural operations in addition to numerous customer service, event, and educational experiences.
Primary Duties and Responsibilities
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
1) Agriculture Production
- Coordinate with the RBR Director and Crew Leads to plan and implement annual livestock, vegetable, site, budget, and staffing plans;
- Ensure Crew Leads have the tools and information available to execute annual production plans and site maintenance to RBR ag standards;
- Continue to develop training standards including the Crew Member Handbook, SOPs, and checklists;
- Train current and incoming staff on RBR agriculture systems;
- Perform weekly production check ins with livestock and vegetable teams to identify priorities, problem solving, and determine plans of action for the upcoming week;
- Assist with all aspects of vegetable production including seeding, transplanting, harvesting, washing, packaging, trellising, cultivating;
- Assist with all aspects of livestock production including setting up and taking down electric fence, moving animals, filling up feed, washing eggs, slaughter, daily chores of chickens (laying and meat), sheep, goats, ducks, rabbits, cattle, bees, and turkeys;
- Build positive team morale through existing and future strategies;
- Ensure tools and equipment are being properly maintained, used, and respected;
- Determine and execute sales strategies through various outlets – (retail, wholesale, CSA, in-house).
2) Farmer Training
- Contribute to the development of ACES Farmer Training Program;
- Coordinate with the Farmer Training Facilitator to ensure the success of the Farmer Training program;
- Create and inform content to assist with launching and maintenance of the ACES Ag website.
- Be a point of contact to communicate between all ACES;
- Assist Operations Director to gather any necessary employment paperwork and bi-monthly timesheets;
- Work with RBR Director and Ag Crew Leads to ensure budgeting goals are met;
- Work with Admin team to support their daily operations;
- Attend Admin meetings, as needed;
- Assist in hiring and daily management of Agricultural Crew;
- Create scheduling for Agriculture Crew including weekend chores;
- Assist with invoicing internally and wholesale accounts for all agriculture products.
4) Outreach and Events
- Continue to refine and improve the visitor experience;
- Improve farm tour with RBR Director and Education Team;
- Ensure staff is adequately trained and scheduled to execute farm tours;
- Support events with the assistance of the Agriculture Crew and Site Coordinator:
- Communicate pertinent info for events (dates, ticket prices, descriptions) to Marketing Director and ACES Admin Team;
- Assist in the execution of events;
- Create standards, checklists, and outlines for recurring events;
- Work with RBR Director and ACES Marketing Director to create communication systems to customers and visitors as well as relay any marketing opportunities and/or ideas;
- Assist the Marketing Director with any marketing needs including content collection, print and radio media marketing, social media marketing, and/or written contributions to various outlets.
5) Customer Service
- Provide a welcoming and educational environment to all guests;
- Lead farm tours, interact with guests, and support educational programming;
- Be an ambassador of ACES at work and in your daily life.
Secondary Duties and Responsibilities:
- After hours, on-call responsibilities which may include animal emergencies, animal birthing, or site maintenance issues.
- Site maintenance including cleaning, event preparation or other site duties that may arise.
- Participation in on-farm events including, but not limited to, dining events, educational programs, and farm tours.
- Other duties as assigned to further the mission of ACES.
Candidates must have the following:
- A minimum of 3 years’ experience working with diverse vegetable and/or livestock production systems;
- Strong work ethic and understanding that farm work is rewarding, yet physically demanding;
- Enjoy working outdoors in varying weather conditions;
- Able to lift heavy items;
- Ability to work with a sense of urgency;
- Friendly, inviting personality and positive attitude;
- Ability to be organized, yet flexible;
- Respect for farm products, fellow crew members and ACES staff; and
- Strong willingness and desire to learn.
Preferred but not required, candidates will have the following:
- Bilingual, particularly conversational Spanish;
- Able to drive manual transmission and comfort with towing large trailers;
- Construction/woodworking skills;
- Culinary and/or food service experience.
Reporting Relationship: This position reports to the Rock Bottom Ranch Director.
Location: This position is located at ACES’ Rock Bottom Ranch site in Basalt, Colorado.
Work schedule: 5 days per week, 8 or more hours per day, 2 consecutive days off per week. This is a full-time exempt position.
Compensation and benefits: Compensation based on qualifications and experience. This position is currently eligible for the ACES benefits package which includes health insurance, paid time off and holidays, and retirement plan.
Housing: Housing provided.
Start Date: February 16, 2021
To Apply: Email cover letter and resume to [email protected]. This position is open until filled. Applications due by January 1, 2021. Please direct any questions to [email protected]. Please do not make any phone calls to the ranch regarding this position.
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Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is an Equal Opportunity Employer. ACES does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, genetic information, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and organizational need.