Number of Workers Sought5
Type of FarmVegetable
Marketing StrategyCommunity Supported Agriculture, Farm Stand, Farmers' Market, Restaurant, Wholesale
Pay RateOur farm team is paid based on experience and skill set. Starting pay ranges from $14-$17 per hour. Workes who take on additional responsibility, such as packshed or CSA management, will be paid more. See our employment listings at Twobearfarm.com for more info on positions available.. Average work week is 45 to 50 hours. Housing is available on farm for discounted rent amount.
Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interestsTwo Bear Farm is co-owned and operated by Todd and Rebecca Ulizio. This is our 15th season in production. We both love farming, and believe that access to healthy foods free of ag chemicals is one of the most important things our society needs right now. We have built a strong following in our community by consistently producing high quality produce and providing friendly customer service. We take a lot of pride in our work and our farm business, and we seek motivated people who are passionate about good food and farming. Our goal each year is straighforward....grow as much high-quality, nutritious produce as possible for our community, with as little stress as possible, while taking care of the land. Given our level of sales and production, we seek applicants who already have experience working in a market farm setting. While we spend a lot of time training workers on the specific techniques we use on our farm, it is difficult for us to train new farmers from scratch. In other words, this is not an internship, but rather a good paying job on a production farm that comes with performance expectations.
Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you liveTwo Bear Farm is located in a quiet and beautiful agricultural area 5 miles west of Whitefish, Montana along the Stillwater River. We have 100 acres, with approximately 14 acres in vegetable production, and the remainder in cover crops and small grains that we use for compost production, straw production, and growing our own cover crop seed. We are located in a rural area, yet close to Whitefish, which is a small yet popular town due to Whitefish Mountain Resort ski area and our proximity to Glacier National Park. This area has strong outdoor recreation vibe to it, with many opportunities for fishing, mountain biking, trail running, backpacking, etc, including the Spencer area trails right out the front door.
Describe your farm operation
Our farm has 14 acres in raised bed intensive vegetable production. We have a 250 member CSA program, attend 2 farmers markets each week, sell wholesale to 35 restaurants through Wicked Good Produce, and co-own and operate a retail food market in Whitefish named The Farmers' Stand. For a farm our size, we use a small number of people, but make up for that by being relatively mechanized and efficient where possible. All our crops are grown in a raised bed system using a tractor mounted bed shaper. We have a large propagation greenhouse for starting all our crops from seed, six large high tunnels for season extension, and a state of the art processing barn for washing, packing, and storing our produce. Peak season can be a fairly frenetic pace, where we are harvesting and selling a lot of food, so it makes for very full and productive days. I would definitely describe our farm as bustling (and fulfilling), as opposed to sleepy or laid-back. If you like growing lots of food and interacting with the community that loves it, then you will enjoy this position.
Describe the work to be performed by applicantThe farm consists of the two farmer/owners, and 6-8 seasonal employees. While we try to hire specifically for field crew managers and packshed manager, it is difficult to find people with those skills. So, most years everyone starts out contributing to all of the tasks, so everyone gets broad experience and serves as a integral role in the success of the farm. Responsibilities will include greenhouse seeding/transplanting, field transplanting both with a water wheel transplanter and by hand, moving irrigation pipe, weeding with hand tools, harvest, setting silage tarps/hoops/row covers, washing/bagging produce, packing CSA shares, and working farmers markets. During the 18 week CSA season, everyone harvests all morning, and then we split up in afternoon with some people working in the packshed washing and bagging produce, while others will be in field moving irrigation, planting, or weeding. We do our best to set people up for success by assigning them the tasks where they do best. And if you show a desire and proven ability to take on a manager position, we will train you into one of those positions.
What do you expect of a worker?A good attitude. A beginners mind, where you are willing to learn our techniques specific to this farm and then apply them each day with focus and care. A desire to learn and become proficient at tasks. A passion for fresh local food and the community we serve. A team mentality, and an understanding that the farm is depending on each member to contribute each day to achieve our goals. We try really hard not to overwork our team, and we try to keep our days at 8-10 hours...but, this is totally dependent on how much effort and efficiency the team contributes. Employee success and farm success are linked, and so we try to make it a win/win scenario. Market farming requires a lot of efficient physical labor, so there is the expectation that you are applying to this job with the understanding that this is hard work, and you will be expected to do it 5 days a week for the entire season. We want folks to enjoy their time here, and we want to enjoy our farm as well, so we're in it together.
Employees will work 5 days a week, including at least one farmers market each week, with weekends off.... unless you are working the Saturday market.