High Rocks is seeking a farm manager/student coach to grow and sell organic produce for market in partnership with young people. Looking for a self-starter with a love for local foods, high tunnel production, and young people. This position will coordinate the High Rocks local foods growing programs in Hillsboro, including Ruby Grow and Grow Appalachia. This position will work with partners to determine growing plans, procure and install high tunnels, project business income and expenses, recruit, select, and supervise young people who will be paid to work on the High Rocks farms, and organize and provide training on social enterprise, growing techniques, customer service, and business and financial management. Position starts with an average 20 hours per week through the year, with the goal to grow the program over time as we generate increased revenue through produce sales. Much of this time will be supervising students after school and on the weekends. Experience with teaching, growing, and small business a major plus. Prefer fluency with computers, word, excel, email, social media, etc. Good communication, highly organized, dependable, and flexible are a must.
Young people in the Ruby Grow Program are social enterprise business partners learning to run their own organic market vegetable production business. We provide entrepreneurship support toward quickly scaling their systems and increasing their production capacity. We partner with Sprouting Farms to coordinate our production and sales with their aggregation systems into wholesale market channels as the volume of their produce aggregated with others is able to consistently meet the demands of the wholesale market. Students will sell produce to Sprouting Farms partners, as well as to our own Hub Cafe and summer camps. Sprouting Farms assists us in determining which products have high value and large unmet demand. We then create product specifications and train our producers, reducing their risk while increasing their production capacity. Crops include cooking greens, salad greens, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, and watermelons, produced in high tunnels as well as outdoor fields.
The land for the project is leased from Ralph Burns in Hillsboro, who is contributing both the value of the lease and his own expertise as a member of the project’s advisory council. The farming operations at this property are named “Ruby Grow”, in memory of Ralph’s mother, the late Ruby Burns. This is an opportunity for local young people to develop leadership and community engagement as they create pathways to stay here in Pocahontas County, building a secure economic future for themselves and their communities. In this program, curriculum from High Rocks’ other entrepreneurship programs at the Hub in Lewisburg, the Café and Tech Express, are replicated and adapted to the agricultural business model.