Wildcat Farm Manager in Ellensburg, WA

Central Washington University

Job Description

Central Washington University is recruiting the next visionary leader to join our team in Ellensburg, Washington as the Wildcat Farm Manager. This exciting role is an important part of our team as we look to the 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 directly impact lives as you work alongside colleagues, peers, students, and the community in person. We are offering a salary, depending on experience, from $41,000-$48,000 annually plus an excellent CWU benefits package which includes a tuition waiver, excellent health insurance, retirement packages, paid time off, and many more.

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.

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.

The Role:

The Wildcat Farm Manager oversees the leadership, management, coordination, production and continual development of the Wildcat Farm using organic and sustainable principles. This includes a strong emphasis on production specifically for CWU Dining Services through a close partnership. The Farm Manager has the opportunity to continue our vision for the farm to include a CSA program, composting, and future opportunities including photovoltaics and other sustainable practices. The Farm Manager will advocate for sustainability efforts and engage the CWU campus community to collectively lower environmental impact, promote research and best practices in farming and farm production, and enhance the student experience through student employment, research and educational opportunities, and volunteer programs. The Farm Manager will also be responsible for managing the CWU Community Garden.


Auxiliary Enterprises – The Wildcat Farm Manager is member of the Auxiliary Enterprises Senior Leadership Team. Auxiliary Enterprises are a self-supported and internally funded group that work collaboratively across the campus and in the community and are part of the Finance and Administration Division. Auxiliary Enterprises units include: Dining Services, 1891 Catering, Wildcat Printing, the Wildcat Shop, Testing Services, the Early Childhood Learning Center, the Wildcat Farm, Central Access, the Connection Card Office, and Auxiliary Marketing. These departments work collaboratively and enhance the quality of life for students and the university community by delivering excellent services and experiences in a supportive, learning environment. The vision of Auxiliary Enterprises is to be recognized for excellence in providing services and experiences. We invite you to be a part of our award winning team!


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: https://www.cwu.edu/hr/benefits

Tour our campus in Ellensburg here. www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjdhOegDa9A

Job Duties

Operational Leadership of Wildcat Neighborhood Farm:

  • Manage and Lead the Wildcat Neighborhood Farm and Outdoor Classroom on campus production fields, greenhouse production areas, composting complex, and future expansion efforts.
  • Coordinate the care, maintenance, and production activities of associated program areas.
  • Manage the Farm operational budget.
  • Actively work toward a high-volume production output in partnership with CWU Dining Services.
  • Actively partner with Student Organizations.
  • Recruit, train, and lead part time/temp staff and students.
  • Recruit and manage volunteers to work in the Wildcat Neighborhood Farm.
  • Develop a Farmers Market on Campus
  • Develop and manage a CSA program for the CWU Community.
  • Manage the CWU Community Garden including student staff, volunteers, and on and off campus participants. Manage the Service and Activity Fee budget allocated for the Garden and successfully apply for continued funding
Manage Food Insecurity Support Efforts:

  • Partner with campus efforts to minimize food insecurity on campus as well as partner with CWU community food pantries.

Sustainability Leadership:

  • Work to build a sustainable food program between Dining Services and the Wildcat Neighborhood Farm
  • Assist Dining Services in creating opportunities to develop local partnerships to procure raw goods and sustainable services.
  • Work with the campus community to develop and promote a culture of conservation on campus among students, faculty, and staff.
  • Develop and implement strategies to achieve reductions in waste.
  • Participate on the Campus Sustainability Council.


  • Actively engages in recruitment, training, hiring, and evaluating employees.
  • Clearly defines performance expectations, ensure accountability, and provides ongoing informal feedback, coaching, and mentoring. Conducts formal performance evaluations.
  • Ensures employees have necessary resources.
  • Oversees and directs the work of staff; serves as mentor, coach, and leader, and resolves complaints or issues.
  • Promotes professional development opportunities.
  • Develops and fosters supportive working relationships, motivation, and engagement.
  • Communicates information to staff on an ongoing basis to influence staff engagement and to be a part of a larger community.
  • Takes corrective action in a timely manner.
  • Recognizes and rewards employees for good performance.
  • Schedules employee work hours/shifts; monitor hours worked; approve payable time and absence requests.
  • Adjusts leadership style as needed to achieve results.
  • Recognizes value of and promotes diverse workforce. Values and encourages diverse perspectives, creativity, and teamwork.
  • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and/or 2+ years of experience managing commercial or not for profit farm production operations or large-scale community gardens.
  • Experience or training with sustainability efforts
  • Experience in agricultural food production and farming.
  • Demonstrated willingness and/or experience working with students and/or co-workers from a wide range of abilities, backgrounds, and experiences.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team
  • Experience with project and people management
  • OR applicable combination of education and/or experience which demonstrates the ability to perform the essential functions of the position.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in field of study
  • Experience working in a higher education institution or large commercial or not for profit operation
  • Training and coursework in sustainability with an emphasis on sustainable growing practices.
  • Experience working in operations of a university farm.
  • Experience or interest in mentoring students from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Life experiences that demonstrate an ability to contribute to CWU’s commitment to inclusion and diversity.


  • Accountability/Dependability: Accepts responsibility for quality of own work; acknowledges and corrects mistakes. Shows up on time, meets standards, deadlines and work schedules.
  • Judgement: Makes timely, informed decisions. Analyzes options and determines appropriate course of action.
  • Teamwork: Promotes cooperation and mutual support to achieve goals. Encourages participation and mutual support.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility: Responds positively to changing business needs and responsibilities. Adapts approach and methods to achieve results; recovers quickly from setbacks and finds alternatives.
  • Commitment to Diversity: Recognizes the value of diversity and helps create environment that supports and embraces diversity.

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: $41,000 – $48,000 annually

Schedule/Appointment: Monday – Friday, 8:00am-5:00pm (1 hour lunch); may require some weekends and weeknights

Working Conditions
: Work is performed in an indoor office setting with frequent in-person interactions. It is essential to be able to remain at a desk/computer workstation for prolonged periods of time, perform extensive data entry and other computer-related tasks and create/maintain filing systems for departmental records. Some evening or weekend work and/or occasional travel may be required. 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 performed outdoors in production gardens that involves intimate interactions with soil and growing plants. Some light machinery operation may be required.

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: www.cwu.edu/hr/benefits-perks-discounts .

An employee of CWU may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program if the employee has student loans. To learn more, visit:
 https://ofm.wa.gov/state-human-resources/public-service-loan-forgiveness-program .

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 (Cover letter optional);
  • Resume including work history, education, training; and
  • Contact information for three professional references.

Screening Begins: February 10, 2023 and will be open until filled

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

Contact Information

Name: Jospeh Pearson
Title: Executive Director Auxiliary Enterprises
Email: Joseph.Pearson@cwu.edu
Phone: 509-963-1580
Website: cwu.edu/wildcatfarm/

Please contact Human Resources at hr@cwu.edu 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.

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