Farm Production Lead in Ellensburg, WA

Central Washington University
Farm Jobs in WashingtonHousing Included Jobs

Job Description

Central Washington University is recruiting a Farm Production Lead (Farmer 2) to join the Wildcat Farm team in Ellensburg, Washington.

This role is an important member of our team as we look towards future opportunities for our 6-acre farm to provide excellent products, services and experiences for the University community. The role is a campus-based position, which means you get to see the lives you are impacting.

We’re offering a salary, depending on experience, from $33,168 – $43,800 annually plus the awesome CWU benefits.

Who we are:

We are a team of individuals committed to Changing Students’ Lives. No matter what job, each of us plays a part in supporting and empowering our students to fulfill their dreams.

Working in higher education provides career growth and career choice. Think of a university campus like a mini city, operating across 380 acres. You’ll find diverse academics, libraries, athletics and sporting events, full service and quick serve dining, conferences and events from small to large, recreation centers, housing for ~10,000 students, health services, police and public safety.

Central Washington University has been named a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Top Producing Institution for the 2022-2023 academic year. In addition, for the seventh time in eight years, CWU is a recipient of the prestigious Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. Come join us on our journey to encourage, inspire, and create spaces where all identities thrive on campus.

Tour our campus in Ellensburg here:

The Farm Production Lead will play a crucial role in the daily functions of Wildcat Farm as it strives to continue its mission of supporting education, community health & environmental stewardship. The Farm Production Lead will report to the Wildcat Farm Manager and will assist in the daily operations of our 6-acre farm. The primary function of the farm is to supply Dining Services with fresh produce grown half a mile away from their main operations. Wildcat Farm also services local foodbanks in the campus and greater Ellensburg communities and is a place for students and community members to gather, share knowledge & collectively work towards improving the land that Wildcat Farm sits on.

What we offer:

Our investment in you begins the day you join our team, a healthy and successful future for you is important to us. We offer medical, dental, life and disability insurance, retirement and optional savings plans, tuition assistance for you and your dependents, discounts across town, an employee assistance program for individualized counseling, and a wellness incentive program. Learn more:

The Role:

This position supports the goals and initiatives of the Wildcat Farm. Job duties will be assigned based on needs of farm production schedules, projects, and maintenance tasks. Responsibilities for this position may range from farm production and compost maintenance to leading educational workshops. The Farm Production Lead will be responsible for supervision of student farm staff. This position is additionally responsible for maintaining the Farm’s apiary.

This position represents the Wildcat Farm and CWU values. All employees are expected to support CWU’s commitment to diversity and to bring and support inclusion and belonging into the university environment.

Job Duties

Farm production: Carrying out Farm production schedules and associated tasks (planting, harvesting, packing, composting), including but not limited to:

  • Prepping rows for planting using broadfork, tilther, walk-behind tractor + rototiller, and or other handheld or power tools
  • Applying compost and/or soil amendments in proper amounts
  • Starting seeds and preparing crops to transplant according to planting schedules
  • Direct seeding crops according to planting schedules
  • Following and tracking crop rotation
  • Performing pest and weed management tasks according to farm management plans
  • Harvest, washing, and packing produce for delivery or distribution
  • Delivering/distributing produce
  • Carrying out compost pile maintenance, building new piles, and contributing to success of composting efforts
  • Leading student staff and/or volunteers through tasks when needed
  • Installing, maintaining, and implementing irrigation systems and irrigation plans
  • Maintaining and operating equipment
  • Assisting with maintaining records, logs, and documents according to farm management plans
  • Training, supervising, and directing student employees and volunteers
Education support:

  • Leading educational workshops on farm, garden, and/or food related topics
  • Providing support to students doing research or projects at the farm
Apiary management:

  • Carrying out maintenance with beehives
  • Scheduling honey harvest and coordinating procedure
  • Studying and researching needs of hive as needed
  • Collaborating with local beekeepers to ensure hive success
Lead Duties

  • Assigns and checks work and provides training. May provide feedback to supervisor to assist with work assignments and job performance
  • Other Duties as Assigned

Minimum Qualifications

  • At least one season of working experience on a vegetable farm
  • At least one season of experience leading students, volunteers and/or coworkers from various backgrounds and abilities in daily farm tasks
  • Willingness to follow plans, ask questions, and collaborate with a team
  • Ability to effectively prioritize and organize a wide range of tasks
  • Willingness to adapt to or learn new skills, methods, and practices to complete assigned tasks
  • Demonstrated knowledge of plants, soil science, food studies, or related field
  • Demonstrated willingness and/or experience working with students and/or co-workers from a wide range of abilities, backgrounds and experiences
  • OR applicable combination of education and/or experience which demonstrates the ability to perform the essential functions of the position

Preferred Qualifications

  • Multiple seasons of working experience on a commercial vegetable farm
  • Knowledge of driving vehicles with manual operation & using heavy equipment such as walk-behind or 4-wheel tractors
  • Knowledge of composting processes and maintenance
  • Knowledge of beekeeping and apiary management
  • Demonstrated experience leading a group or team & leading students in an education-focused environment
  • Knowledge of Microsoft programs
  • Potential to mentor and educate students who will serve diverse populations
  • Demonstrated commitment to improving access to higher education for students through various activities


Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Meets expectations and schedules on time, or communicates when expectations are not aligned with ability to complete work
  • Analyzes solutions to challenges and determines appropriate course of action, and/or can effectively communicate and work through challenges with a team
  • Promotes cooperation and mutual support to achieve goals
  • Encourages participation and mutual support
  • Responds positively to changing needs and responsibilities
  • Adapts approach and methods to achieve results with available resources
  • Recovers quickly from setbacks and finds alternatives
  • Recognizes the value of inclusive, diverse environments

Don’t meet every single requirement? At CWU we’re dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your experience doesn’t align perfectly with every requirement, we encourage you to apply anyway. This may be the job for you!

Pay, Benefits, & Work Schedule

Salary: $2,764 /month with periodic increases up to $3,650 /month

Schedule/Appointment: Monday – Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm (1 hour lunch) flexible schedule depending on season / 9 month cyclic appointment / WFSE Bargaining Unit 1

Working Conditions
: This position may work indoors and outdoors, at times in hot/cold/noisy/dirty/wet/confined areas such as mechanical rooms, manholes and excavations, and may need to physically access work areas with the equipment and tools necessary for completion of the job. This often requires standing/crawling/bending/walking/climbing while carrying/pulling/pushing/lifting associated with equipment or tools. Occasional overtime is required, and shift work may be required. May need to drive a service vehicle in congested areas. Work may be performed indoors; in cool temperatures (30-50 degrees) while moving produce to cold storage; in group/academic environments; in open farm space with possible hot/cold/noisy/muddy/wet conditions.

CWU offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical and dental insurance, retirement and optional savings plans, life and disability insurance, along with vacation and sick leave plans depending on employment classification. For additional information please visit: .

An employee of CWU may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program if the employee has student loans. To learn more, visit: .

How To Apply

To apply for this position, you must complete the on-line application and attach:

  • A detailed cover letter clearly demonstrating how your education and experience: (a) meet the required (and, as applicable, preferred) qualifications, and (b) demonstrate the ability to perform the responsibilities as described by the posting;
  • Resume including work history, education, training; and
  • Contact information for three professional references.

Screening Begins: June 18, 2023

**Priority will be given to applications received by the screening date. Incomplete applications may not be considered.

Contact Information

Name: Kaitlyn Flesher Graafstra
Title: Wildcat Farm Manager
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (509) 963-1585

Please contact Human Resources at [email protected] or 509-963-1202 if you require technical assistance with the on-line application process.

Conditions of Employment

Prior to employment, final candidate(s) will be required to sign a Sexual Misconduct disclosure in pursuant to RCW 28B.112.080 and submit to a background check. All information obtained through background investigations will be strictly confidential and revealed only to those required to have access.

This position is part of a Washington Federation of State Employees Bargaining Unit I.