Project Assistant (Urban Agriculture)

University of the District of Columbia

Washington,  District of Columbia

Brief Description of Duties
The Project Assistant for Urban Agriculture reports to the Assistant Farm Manager of the University of the District of Columbia’s Firebird Farm and its satellite Urban Food Hubs. The signature Urban Food Hubs of CAUSES are outposts of Firebird Farm in urban neighborhoods throughout Washington DC. Each Hub is a production, demonstrations and training site committed to Food Production, Food Preparation, Food Distribution and closing the loop through Waste and Water Recovery. The Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education (CUAGE) is responsible for the Food Production component of the Urban Food Hubs.

The incumbent will have a passion for sustainable urban agriculture and for employing cutting edge technology and cutting edge production methods to grow high yields of produce in small urban spaces. S/he will work closely with the Assistant Farm Manager to ensure that all operational, food production, and training objectives of the Center are met, including the day-to-day operation of the farm and its satellite Urban Food Hubs, assisting with preparation of workshops, certificate programs, and on-farm demonstrations, supervising students and volunteers as directed, and leading field walks as needed.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Works directly with the Assistant Farm Manager on daily and seasonal tasks at the Firebird Farm and the Urban Food Hubs.
  • Implements the production management plan of Firebird Farm and its satellite Urban Food Hubs and ensures management practices that are consistent with organic and sustainable farming to achieve harvest goals for vegetables, herbs and flowers to support the UDC CSA, farmers markets and other production targets.
  • Implements the propagation schedule, harvest goals, crop selections, rotations & sequencing of plantings, cultivation, pest and disease management, harvesting, and soil fertility objectives of the Firebird Farm and its satellite Urban Food Hubs.
  • Implements the greenhouse propagation schedule for the season to give a head start on the season for the Firebird Farm and its satellite Urban Food Hubs.
  • Carries out daily and seasonal tasks related to the high intensity aquaponic and hydroponic production systems at the Firebird Farm and its satellite Urban Food Hubs.
  • Assists in preparing for workshops, demonstrations and enrichment activities, which may include demonstrations on the farm, guest speakers, hands-on activities, and extension staff training.
  • Conducts field walks with student interns and volunteers to teach seasonal concepts, identify pests and diseases, and answer questions as needed.
  • Supervises group workdays in the hoop houses, greenhouses, aquaponic and hydroponic facilities and fields as needed and as directed by the Assistant Farm Manager.
  • Carries out tasks related to the implementation of Organic Pest and Disease Management and with Food Safety standards and assists with workshops on such practices and standards as needed.
  • Performs property maintenance as needed and directed incl. but not limited to mowing, pruning, trimming, watering.
  • Assists with projects that enhance the educational outreach to the community especially as it relates to educating urban populations unaccustomed in farming.
  • Records, itemizes, and submits records for operational purposes as directed and performs other related duties as assigned.

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • High school diploma plus 60 hours of advanced tertiary education (BS in agriculture preferred) or significant demonstrated applicable experience in farming and horticulture.
  • Demonstrated experience in successful sustainable farming and natural resources management.
  • A strong work ethic and love of sustainable agriculture.

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