Farm Manager, Walkers Reserve
Walkers Institute for Regenerative Research, Education and Design (WIRRED)
WIRRED is seeking an experienced professional as a Farm Manager to be a valued member of its team. The Farm Manager will play a vital role in carrying out the daily operations at Walkers Reserve and will report to the Director, Regeneration and the Managing Director. WIRRED is working to transition Walkers Reserve from a sand quarry to a vibrant food forest and the Farm Manager will be a central player in managing the organization’s farm operations including the permaculture zones and nurseries to achieve its regenerative vision. The ideal candidate will be detail-oriented, strategic, quick thinking, trustworthy and flexible, and an experienced farm manager. S/he will interact with both internal and external stakeholders and will also work closely with WIRRED’s partners; Slow Food Barbados, Slow Fish Barbados and the Caribbean Permaculture & Research Institute (CPRI). The Farm Manager will:
- Oversee the functioning of all farm operations on and associated with Walkers Reserve.
- Responsibly lead the regenerative and nursery teams (full-time and part-time) workers.
- Coordinate regenerative activities with ongoing quarry operations and resources.
- Maintain the highest professional standards and produce rigorous work product in a timely and reliable manner and elicit the trust of the Chairman, the senior management team, colleagues, the Board of Directors and external partners.
WIRRED is committed to building a regenerative future that will improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the communities we serve, and this position is an excellent opportunity for an individual looking for exposure to high-impact environmental stewardship work. The core ethos of WIRRED is based on the principles of permaculture and the successful candidate will be required within the first six (6) months of employment to complete a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) that will be provided by the organization. The organization is committed to building a regenerative future based on the Eight (8) Forms of Capital framework. This framework promotes the holistic recognition and maximization of various forms of capital; Financial, Living, Cultural, Experiential, Intellectual, Spiritual, Social and Material in a manner which will improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of the communities we serve.
Planning & scheduling
- Plan out weekly schedule in coordination with Nursery Manager and permaculture coordinator/consultants, leading the various teams in planning work.
- Design and manage the schedule for part-time workers, interns and volunteers.
- Coordinate weekly activities taking into consideration shared resources with quarry operations.
- Set in writing deliverables on a weekly basis. Deliverables should be submitted on the Thursday of each week and an oral and written status report should be delivered at the team meeting every Wednesday of each week.
- Arrive daily at 7 am to open gates and start crews and assign tasks for the morning and afternoon sessions according to timetable established at meetings.
- Organize and dispatch field crew and part timers each morning.
- Monitor weather patterns in advance so as to plan for unfavorable or adverse weather events.
- Ability to alter schedule if necessary to accommodate any unforeseen shifts e.g. crew members sick, unfavorable weather or machines down.
Supervision & Management
- Provide daily oversight for Zone 1, coordinate effectively with the Nursery Manager and CPRI.
- Provide continuous supervision onsite, monitoring crews and troubleshooting problems that arise.
- Frequent monitoring and walk-throughs of the various zones to determine if there are any problem and to accurately forecast future work and maintenance.
- Oversees the Nursery Manager to ensure that seedlings flowering plants, slipping, rooting, potting, and boxing plants, transferring plants to beds; preparing soil for beds, re-potting plants, and a wide variety of similar greenhouse tasks are being completed in an efficient and effective manner.
- Management of nursery inputs production such as compost, potting mix, etc.
- Oversees the Nursery Manager, checking at least once per week, to ensure that there is a comprehensive inventory management system for the nursery.
- Oversee the daily operations of the nursery, ensuring that the inventory is being maintained and that new stock is being added in a strategic manner.
- Coordinate with the Nursery Manager for the collection of cuttings, both on and off site.
- Oversee the care and maintenance of greenhouse and equipment; compost tea brewers, sprayers, mowers, and other gardening tools and equipment.
- Manage the implementation of irrigation throughout the site. Manage irrigation operation times and adjust to suit seasonal variations in rainfalls or maturity of plants.
- Monitor and maintain the irrigation system and troubleshoot problems.
- Coordinate maintenance and repair of equipment with project mechanic and vendors.
- Effectively run the daily operations of the organic food hub, which will primarily be a storage and distribution center for locally produced, sustainable food from Walkers and local farmers.
- Interpret and disseminate the organization’s policy to subordinate personnel; and evaluates employee performance with the Managing Director.
- Manage cleanliness, aesthetic, and safety of Walkers to public – specifically for tours and workshops.
- Coordinate the disposal of garbage, collection of recycling, etc. Ensure all steps feasibly taken to become plastic free.
Budget, Purchasing & Record Keeping
- Develop labor budget that addresses the production plan, maintains existing inventory and anticipated harvest quantities.
- Coordinate purchase of supplies and ensure that the necessary stock is available to ensure the smooth operation of farm activities e.g. PVC fittings, glue, oil, fuel etc.
- Collaborate with the Accounting department to ensure that the allotted agriculture subsidies are being maximized and applied.
- Oversee the ordering of seeds, tissue cultures and other consumables for the Nursery in collaboration with the Nursery Manager.
- Work with the Nursery Manager to develop and execute a cost-effective propagation plan, incorporating production plans and the constraints of the facility.
- Set up and maintain a comprehensive online inventory management system for tools, equipment and personal work items issued to workers.
- Keep accurate records of labor hours, equipment usage, and material inputs of all activities and projects including ensuring that labor time is accounted for when calculating in-kind contribution for grants.
- Develop and update an online maintenance schedule for farm related mechanical equipment e.g. tractors and coordinate with the drivers and heavy equipment operators.
Sales & Client Relations
- Ensuring that there is a weekly sale-able inventory during the growing season based on physical review of all container and field plants and crops.
- Develop relationships with clients and ensure that produce is delivered on time and in correct quantities.
- Ensure all food product leaving Walkers is appropriately recorded and labelled in accordance with guidelines.
- Take the lead in marketing new products in collaboration with management team that may be available and ensure clients are always up to date on what is available for sale.
- Develop and implement ideas for value-added products.
- Work closely with Slow Food to provide the necessary inputs for the school garden programme and develop projects involving local farm to table initiatives.
- Work closely with CPRI to provide the necessary inputs to ensure effective operations.
- Work closely with other WIRRED projects in and outside of Walkers Reserve to provide necessary inputs to ensure effective operations.
- Serve as a liaison between Walkers and the Ministry of Agriculture on farm related issues.
- Organize and supervise various aspects of the organic food hub including but not limited to; retail outlet, pop-ups, farmers market, cafe etc., community space, delivery and distribution service, incubator kitchen, sustainably process and preserve food and an educational resource.
- Assist in the development of Walkers as an Agriculture attraction.
- Ability to lead tours of Walkers if necessary and give input to the development of different types of tours for difference audience.
- Contribute to the development of Walkers as an Agricultural product through introduction of technologies or investment in infrastructure.
- Engage clients, tenants, contractors, visitors etc. in a courteous and businesslike manner.
- Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks; participating in professional societies.
- Research and recommend best-practices in the industry.
- Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
- Performs other activities as assigned.
- Post-secondary qualification in Agriculture, Horticulture, Farm Management or related discipline.
- A Bachelors degree in Agriculture, Agronomy, Horticulture, Farm Management or related discipline is desirable.
- A recognized Permaculture qualification and/or demonstrated practical experience of equal value in permaculture, environmental science, horticulture, hydroponic growing, aquaculture, animal husbandry, botany or landscape design is desirable.
- Relevant Agricultural or Horticultural training, CVQ, CXC, NVQ or related certification.
- Five (5) + years of progressive experience as a farm manager or highly responsible work relating to tasks assigned to this position, or any combination of education and experience provided the candidate has the required skill and knowledge for successful performance would be qualifying.
- Familiarity with local regulation and/or statutory standards regarding Agriculture in Barbados (or in the Caribbean) would be an asset.
- Experience or a basic understanding of as mechanics, carpentry, plumbing or masonry would be an asset.
- Experience with using online/electronic reporting/data management systems.
- Experience in the use of Microsoft Office Suite.
- Ability to arrive at 7:00 am each day to lead the farm teams.
- Ability to lift 25 + pounds on a routine basis.
- Ability to bend and stoop on a continual basis and work outside under varying weather conditions.
- High level of motivation and energy with desire to “roll up sleeves.” Proven track record with and enthusiasm for building from the ground up.
- A deep commitment to the mission and values of Walkers and its affiliates.
- Valid driver’s license
- Acumen and Agility, open to change and flexible in a fast-paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
- Effective Communication, expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.
- Partnership, demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Excellent negotiating skills. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others.
- Ethical Conduct, conduct business in an ethical, open and transparent manner. A responsible steward of the organization’s funds and its relationships with donors, partners, clients, employees, volunteers, interns, communities and supporters. Accountable for the way in which resources are used and strive to do so in an efficient and effective manner.
- Integrity and Inclusion, treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high-standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
- Leadership, Ability to lead self and others, acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. Ability to effectively, persuasively, and tactfully interact with employees at all levels of the organization. Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership characteristics.
- Personal Effectiveness/Credibility/Results Oriented, efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries. High level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness with a strong work ethic and the ability to work independently with minimal direction.
- Problem Solving/Analysis, evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
- Strategic Perspective, develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally to positively shape the organization. Strong organizational, analytical, and strategic planning skills with attention to detail and a high quality of work in a transitioning and high-pressure environment. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization. Ability to elicit cooperation from a wide variety of sources, including senior management, clients, and other departments
Reporting and Supervisory Chain
The position will report to Director, Regeneration and the Managing Director. The Farm Manager will be responsible for the regeneration and nursery teams.
- This job operates predominantly in a field environment.
- The incumbent will be required to move between the various business locations and spend extensive time in the field.
- Will be required to work weekends periodically.
- The incumbent will reside in Barbados.
- Use of company vehicle during working hours
Point of Contact
Please submit expressions of interest to: