Listing Information

Number of Workers Sought

3

Type of Farm

Hay & Forage, Large Animal (cattle, sheep, goats), Vegetable

Marketing Strategy

Farmers' Market, Restaurant, Wholesale, Other

Marketing Strategy (Other)

Direct to consumer, local grocery and restaurant, wholesale

Paid

Yes

Pay Rate

I am seeking potential partners to join worker-owned cooperative initiated around garlic enterprise. Should translate to approximately $20/hour work investment.

Housing

Yes

Describe yourself, your family, background, farming experience, philosophy, goals and interests

Eric founded Groundworks Farm with first growing season in 2010. He has a BA in biology and MEd in science education. Native to Montana he has done diverse work over the years.
Eric describes farming as the "confluence" of his understanding and interests in economy, ecology and energy. Philosophy is that to affect positive interaction in the world, we can work to build models and relationships that reflect our values.
Long term goals are to contribute to cooperative food production and economic systems that accommodate integrated health for ourselves, the landscape and neighbors.

Describe the physical setting of your farm and the nature of the community in which you live

Groundworks Farm is a 40 acre irrigated farm located in the fertile prairie of the Sun River Valley in Central Montana. Some additional organic acreage is leased for pasturing cattle. The farm is located 25 miles west of Great Falls (pop. 55,000) in the small village of Fort Shaw. There are no retail businesses in Fort Shaw. The nearest convenience store/gas station is 5 miles away and the nearest other services are 13 miles away.
We are within an about an hour from the public wildlands of the Rocky Mountain Front and there is plenty of other outdoor recreation to be had in the region. Great Falls has all expected features of a small city.

Describe your farm operation

Groundworks Farm has, to date, been built on direct to consumer marketing of vegetables and livestock products. 2010 will produce certified organic garlic and grass fed cattle with a Management Intensive Grazing (MIG) model. All practices are organic with a focus on integration.
We utilize a tractor and other mechanization as applicable to our scale, but there is much hand tool work to be had.
We value conservation and regenerative practices along with low-input and other approaches that allow for economic viability.
Our current crop portfolio requires a relatively low-level of processing.

Describe the work to be performed by applicant

Currently seeking partners ready to assume ownership of a farming enterprise under a worker-owned cooperative model. This is being organized around the seed garlic enterprise and may expand from there. Work includes weeding, harvesting, topping, sorting and planting garlic along with other land and business management needs. The garlic enterprise is not full-time work, but other opportunities may be available on farm or otherwise. Current owner has garlic crop planted, good markets developed, land, equipment etc.

What do you expect of a worker?

Garlic production involves pulses of work over the course of the year. "Popping" and planting occurs mid-October to early November; Weeding May through early July; Harvesting and curing late July; Topping, sorting and shipping to buyer(s) late August to early September.
Worker must be able to lift and carry at least 50 pounds, be able to work from a kneeling and/or crouching position, and walk, accumulatively, 5 miles/day. Please contact me to discuss details.

Describe the learning and educational opportunities available to a worker

Farm owner has a graduate degree in education. In addition to several years of managing and training farm workers, he spent several years managing and teaching in a field-based learning program. Most learning occurs hands-on/experientially. Looking to 2020, the goal and relationship to workers is quite different that what we've done in the past. I'm looking for someones read to take on the risks and rewards of ownership.

Describe what other occupation(s) you have

Cooperative business development. Community water system operator.

Do you require a trial period or require a prospective worker to visit your farm before hiring?

Yes

Explain the room and board arrangements or describe options in your area

Housing arrangements are a potential for cooperative member/partners.

Please attach any photos of your farm and operation

Farm Address

8 Clark Street, Fort Shaw, MT 59443, USA

What are the dates of your position?

Approximately May 1, 2019 - November 1, 2019 with long-term partnerships negotiable.

Are you open to shorter periods of employment or do you prefer that workers stay the full season?

Shorter periods of employment possible

Please share three things you think people should know about living with you.

We work hard on the farm and are conscious of our efforts in the context of broader personal, social and environmental understanding. Farm owners are engaged in work and obligations off of the farm, largely connected with sustainable farm economy and cooperative organization. We tend to approach life "organically," but try to institute structure and routine where valuable.

Currently Hiring

Yes

Do you have a website, social media account, or job posting anywhere else?

Yes

Online Listing URL

http://groundworksfarmmt.com

Trial Period Description

Potential partners will need to agree on values, mission and organization of partnership.

Location