Job Title: Director of Regenerative Agriculture (Full-Time, On-Site)
Carnation Farms is a community-based hub for regenerative food & agriculture that educates and empowers the work of culinary, food and farm professionals. We aspire to help create a thriving regional food system connecting farmers & culinary professionals around shared values of regenerative food, health & equity.
Carnation Farms (CF), a historically significant agricultural asset of the Snoqualmie Valley of King County, Washington, has embarked on an evolution of its 100-plus year role, purpose and mission in the broader Pacific Northwest farm and food communities. The board, staff, and family members of this nonprofit organization have embraced a transformation, focusing on healthy, regenerative food systems as its purpose and regenerative practices throughout its farming and educational activities.
Decades of factory farming, monocultural farming, and industrialization have led to a badly-managed and -damaged food system. This not only has significant implications for human and community health, but we are also contributing to dire ecological and climate conditions, hollowing out rural economies, and squandering our water and soil, maybe the most precious resources on earth. Transforming our food system is some of the most important work of our time. The quality of what we put on our fork can transform our world. CF has a sense of urgency to make the biggest possible contribution we can to avert a negative future and help create positive changes in our food system.
CF has operated an 800+ acre certified organic farm, mixed vegetable farm with a livestock program, for many years, and the organization’s leadership will now go further to fully engage in regenerative practices that build soil health, protect watersheds, and make resources and farm assets open and available to a broader, diverse community of stakeholders. The Director will play a leading role in this transformation.
This Director will lead the development and implementation of the farm’s future regenerative agricultural strategies, in partnership with the Board and Executive Director. This leader will shape a vision for CF’s role in promoting healthier, regenerative food and farming systems in the Pacific Northwest. This person will need to be entrepreneurial, flexible, and ready to adapt to and lead change. It is a unique moment and opportunity.
Developing and Directing Strategy and Partnerships
- Lead, influence and manage all aspects of CF’s regenerative food and farming strategies. Create an annual strategic plan and budget for the regenerative direction of the farm and lead its implementation.
- Work closely with CF leadership team, including Culinary Director, to develop programs that will effectively reach food, culinary professionals and farmers in pursuit of CF’s mission and vision.
- Develop relationships and work closely with local entities, farms, culinary entities and other civic organizations to identify mutual-value partnerships and establish CF as a valued partner in the region.
- Over time, build CF’s profile locally and regionally (and someday nationally) as a leading presence in the world of regenerative food and agriculture by building networks, being a thought leader and growing awareness of CF.
- Act as a spokesperson and advocate for CF in the organization’s dealings with other organizations and with the general public.
- Think about CF’s work in the context of the broader food system. Don’t look at farming as the end game, but as part of the role CF can play in a healthier food system.
Leadership and Management
- Lead and manage a farm team of 10-12 full-time staff along with seasonal positions. Hire, supervise and support direct reports, including livestock, crops, operations, and education leads. Provide goal-setting, evaluation and performance development for all direct reports.
- Effectively work across all other functions and groups at CF, including Facilities, Farmstand, Culinary, & Admin.
- Create annual budgets and monitor the ongoing results and make adjustments as needed.
- Assist and partner with the Executive Director in fundraising responsibilities.
- Actively participate in a leadership role in strategic and annual planning processes for CF.
Directing the Farming and Land Use (working through and with the whole Regen Ag team)
- Oversee, support and evolve each of these programs (current plan, specificity provided to understand scope)
- Vegetable Production: 5-10 acres of mixed vegetable production including but not limited to annual fruits and vegetables, perennials, flowers, fruit trees, berries, grains and cover crops.
- Livestock Production: 3-40 head cow-calf beef cattle, 15-30 head sheep for meat and fiber, 1-2 250-hen laying flocks, 1200 annual broilers, 100-200 annual turkeys, fledgling rabbit program.
- Small Animal Processing: this program is dormant for the 2023 season, but we have a small Poultry and Small Animal Processing Unit. In the past we processed as many as 8000 broilers + other small animals.
- Work with the team to plan annual vegetable production, livestock production, pasture management, and work with facilities team on forage production and management.
- Oversee and support the following sales revenue outlets: CSA, Farmers Markets, Farmstand, Food Hubs, Wholesale, Online and Direct to Consumer. Unlikely to pursue all, but will be involved in some of these.
- Direct and support the CF team in Organic, Regenerative and other certification processes.
- Bring the mindset of an educator and teacher to the mission and work of CF.
- 10+ years’ experience on an organic / sustainable farm, having played strategic, operational, and management roles. Familiar with practices like diversified crop rotations, no- / low-tillage, rotational grazing, etc.
- 5+ years’ experience leading and managing teams of people.
- Demonstrated leader in and commitment to the importance of regenerative agricultural practices.
- A range of knowledge about various farming practices across produce and livestock.
- A commitment to equity and inclusion as core principles that need to be embedded across CF’s work.
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and problem-solving ability.
- Prior experience working with or in non-profit organizations.
- Local / regional knowledge and relationships
- Familiarity working with potential institutional and individual donors
- Experience in the process of community engagement, including public sector (county and state level)
- Degree in food, food systems, agriculture, soil science, environmental science, land management, or similar.
Compensation and Benefits –
- Full medical, vision, dental, 401k, and other benefits provided upon employment
- Salary Range, DOE – $120-130,000 annual
Please send your resume, along with a cover letter, explaining how your qualifications are a fit and why you are passionate about this leadership role, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will accept applications until filled and begin interviews after Jan 1, 2024.