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Livestock Manager (Sterling College)

Organization Sterling College
Location PO Box 72 16 Sterling Drive
Craftsbury Common, VT 05827

The Livestock Manager reports to the Director of the Rian Fried Center and is primarily responsible for managing and overseeing the livestock and draft animals on the Sterling College Farm. The Livestock Manager coordinates with and takes direction from the Draft Animal Educator with regard to the care of the draft animals and works cooperatively with the Garden Manager to plan and execute farm operations in a way that supports student learning and the work of the sustainable agriculture and food systems faculty while also supplying a meaningful portion of the food consumed by the College community.

The Livestock Manager’s primary responsibilities include:

  • Day to day management and care of all livestock, currently including a 20-ewe sheep flock, small nurse cow herd, up to 15 sows and feeder pigs, layer and broiler flocks

  • Draft horse and oxen care and management in coordination with and as directed by the Draft Animal Educator;

  • Upkeep and management of grazing systems, pastures, barns, fences, livestock health, feed and feeding systems;

  • Coordinating with classes & instructors that use livestock and draft animals in order to help ensure a positive and engaging student learning experience;

  • Working with faculty, staff, and students to develop, articulate, and implement appropriate livestock systems;

  • Overseeing, instructing, and inspiring student work crews on the farm;

  • Maintaining exemplary farm operations and facilities;

  • Planning for management systems and livestock production to fulfill the needs of the Sterling Kitchen and Community Supported Agriculture shares;

  • Supporting the Director of the Rian Fried Center in the creation and monitoring of the farm operating budget.

  • The Livestock Manager shares responsibility for ensuring coverage of farm tasks during breaks in the college schedule.  This may include chore coverage; recruiting, scheduling, and supervising student workers; and providing “on-call” backup to the Farm.  While these responsibilities will be assigned and planned on a mutually agreeable schedule, the Livestock Manager recognizes that unplanned emergency coverage may be required of the position.

  • Development of land management goals in accordance with the tenets of the campus Land Management and Farm Vision documents;

  • Interfacing with the community and our visitors, through an educational lens.

Additional responsibilities include:

  • Low stress handling of large and small livestock;

  • Intensive, regenerative grazing management;

  • Compost building and maintenance;

  • High tensile and temporary electric fence building, maintenance, and use;

  • Basic farm carpentry;

  • Compost application, soil fertility and health management;

  • General equipment use (tractor, rototiller, weed wacker, chainsaw, mower)

Other valued qualities/skills for this position include the following:  

  • A robust knowledge of plant, soil, and animal science;

  • Knowledge and experience in food handling and processing (ie: preservation and storage techniques, meat cutting, charcuterie; cheesemaking, food safety, etc.);

  • Outdoor living skills;

  • A strong connection to the environmental humanities;

  • A deep commitment to ecological agriculture and food systems; and

  • Tractor and/or draft animal use in support of crop production systems.

Desired Qualifications include:

  • At least four seasons of experience farming in a production, educational, or comparable setting;

  • Management experience on a diversified and integrated crop and livestock farm;

  • Teaching and/or personnel training and management experience, preferably in a small-scale farm or other hands-on, environmental education setting;

  • A demonstrated ability to work effectively and productively, both independently and as a part of a team;

  • The completion a B.A. or B.S. program in an appropriate field by the start date of the hire is strongly preferred;

  • A willingness to be an integral part of the campus community is also a key aspect of this position.   

Sterling College and the Rian Fried Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems:

Founded in 1958, Sterling College is the leading voice in higher education for environmental stewardship and rural place-based education. The College was among the first liberal arts colleges in the United States to focus on sustainability through academic majors in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems, and Outdoor Education. Among the smallest colleges in the nation, Sterling is home to the innovative School of the New American Farmstead and the Wendell Berry Farming Program, is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and is one of only eight federally recognized Work Colleges in the nation.

  • The College has received national attention for becoming one of the first institutions in the U.S. to divest from fossil fuels. Sterling has been recognized for its sustainability initiatives by Sierra Magazine and earned a STARS Gold Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The Real Food Challenge ranked Sterling the number one college in the U.S. for two consecutive years, 2015 and 2016, for its commitment to serving locally sourced sustainably produced food.

Sterling College maintains a diversified farm operation on 130 acres of mixed pasture, gardens, and forest.  An integral part of the Sterling College community, the Sterling Farm serves a threefold purpose: to foster a working laboratory for academic inquiry; to demonstrate a range of farming and forestry practices used in sustainable, agro-ecological production systems; and, to provide nourishing food and timber resources for our campus community. Students are integrated into the farm and forest through coursework, the Work College program, and as a part of the Sterling College community. Students complete daily chores, conduct research, perform experiments, and receive hands-on experience growing crops, managing livestock, working with draft animals, and stewarding the College’s woodlot.

Date Posted January 2nd, 2019
Deadline Open until filled
# of Positions Available 1
Categories Colleges / Universities
Type Full Time
How to Apply Candidates ​should ​send ​the ​following ​materials ​electronically: ​cover ​letter, resume, ​and three references. Application review will begin on January 2, 2019 and the position is open until filled. Application ​letters ​should ​be ​addressed ​to: Gwyneth Harris, Farm Manager