Farm & Garden Program Manager
Job Type

Full-time - Management Position

Starting Annual Salary Range: $52,372 - $62,847 

This position is eligible for a 5% bilingual differential if the successful candidate meets the Food Share standard on our Spanish bilingual test.

* The Food Share provides a comprehensive benefits package to our staff who work 30 or more hours per week.

** This position is Open Until Filled - The first review of applications will be on May 11, 2022.  Apply soon!

Who are we looking for?

You are passionate about growing good food and addressing inequities in our local food system. Our Farm & Garden Manager is lead on programs that work alongside communities to change their local food system for the better. The Manager focuses on empowering young people and people experiencing poverty to grow culturally relevant, healthy food, build community and strengthen food sovereignty.   

You are experienced at working alongside or advocating for people who face systemic oppression or underrepresentation. This includes young adults, BIPOC and LGTBQ+ individuals. Our Farm & Garden Manager understands and listens to the voices of experience with poverty and systemic oppression, as well as the complex relationship with food and agriculture experienced by people from all walks of life. They uplift and create space for the voices of our neighbors facing hunger; and are willing to join an organization developing its Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice path.

You are organized and skilled at program management and community education. Our Farm & Garden Manager runs solid, well organized programs that are also flexible and responsive to community needs. Programs are accessible to diverse groups, and are run by and for those experiencing food insecurity. 

Who are we?

Marion Polk Food Share’s mission is to bring people together to end hunger and its root causes.

We distribute nutritious food for individuals and families to more than 100 local partners, including food pantries and meal sites, and deliver Meals on Wheels to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities. We operate an urban farm and support a network of community gardens that connect people and their food and mobilize community members to address systemic issues that lead to hunger. Thousands of local volunteers, advocates and donors bring our mission to life every day.

At the Food Share, our commitment is to:

  • Treat all people as our neighbor.
  • Encourage creativity and be willing to take risks.
  • Listen first and seek to understand.
  • Focus on shared goals.
  • Celebrate diversity, ensure dignity, and act equitably.

Statement of Purpose:

To build community power through food, facilitate educational opportunities and strengthen local food systems through leading the Food Share’s farm & garden-based programs.  

Summary of Role: 

The Farm & Garden Program Manager is responsible for leading, developing and implementing a vision for the Food Share Youth Farm, the Community Gardens Program and our Community Ambassador & Educational Programs. 

Core Areas of Responsibility

  • Youth Farm: Oversees all aspects of farm management of the 6-acre Food Share Youth Farm, a diverse, organic urban farm that engages young people in sustainable agriculture by growing food for a Farm Share Rx program. Develop the Youth Farm as a community-building hub that celebrates Salem’s diverse population, builds local food sovereignty, and empowers youth to be food system leaders.  
  • Community Gardens: Guide and manage the Community Gardens program, which supports a network of over 60 gardens serving over 1,000 families from diverse backgrounds. Support programming that serves BIPOC, immigrant and refugee gardeners and small farmers and provides healthy, culturally relevant food for local neighborhoods.
  • Community Education: Support effective, desired educational programs that build grassroots community leadership in the food system. 

This is a management position and ensures that staff and volunteers have clear work direction and guidance. The incumbent is responsible to carry out the full spectrum of management responsibilities in accordance with the agency’s policies and applicable laws.

Areas of Responsibility, Evaluation and Essential Functions:

Youth Farm:

  • Manages and directs youth development and community education programming at the Youth Farm, focusing on an 11-week summer program for teens and young adults. 
  • Manages a fully functioning small, organic farm, growing a wide range of vegetable crops. Leads seasonal agricultural planning and site development. 
  • Develops and manages distribution through the Farm Share Rx program. 
  • Manages relationships with Farm Share Rx partners, such as health clinics, and oversees patient support and communications. 
  • Leads and develops the Youth Farm team. Hires, trains and supervises an effective, diverse team, including 4-5 staff, interns, youth farmers and hundreds of volunteers. 
  • Leads key Youth Farm partnerships, including those with OSU Extension and Chemeketa Community College. 
  • Responsible for training and safety of all farm participants and volunteers. 
  • Works with Facility Manager to ensure adequate maintenance for all farm facilities and equipment. Evaluates needs and develops facility plans as needed.
  • Develops Youth Farm educational curriculum and oversees curriculum delivery. Ensures the inclusion of leadership development, soft skills, horticultural education and community engagement experiences.  
  • Effectively includes youth in development and leadership of Youth Farm program. Practices inclusion, operates from an equity mindset. 
  • Develops programming that supports and is relevant for youth from a range of life experiences, including youth that identify as BIPOC, LGTBQ+, recent immigrants and youth from low income backgrounds.  

Community Gardens & Community Education:

  • Provides clear direction and guidance for the Community Gardens and Community Education programs. 
  • Leads or supports key programmatic community garden partnerships, such as with the City of Salem and local churches.
  • In collaboration with Program Coordinators, develops a community gardens network that serves the needs of local communities. Cultivates leaders, gauges and develops community buy in and develops new gardens where appropriate. 
  • Manages relationships with a variety of governmental and private landowners of community garden properties. 
  • In collaboration with Program Coordinator, supports our network of volunteer coordinators, provides relevant training and resources.  
  • Oversees Ambassador Garden Education program, which works alongside communities of color to support and develop relevant gardening and food sovereignty programming. 
  • Works with Program Coordinators to provide educational programming reflective of community needs, both in terms of location and course content and delivery. 
  • Develops measures and tracking mechanisms to gauge effectiveness and impact of garden programming. Adjusts programming utilizing feedback
  • Develops strategy to build local community leadership through garden network.
  • Addresses and resolves garden conflicts across diverse communities. 

General Responsibilities:

  • Increases public awareness and engagement in the Farm, Gardens and Educational Programs. Establishes Youth Farm and Gardens as well utilized community assets. 
  • Explores additional programming opportunities through participatory decision-making process. Engages with community partners and neighborhoods to best leverage our assets.
  • Maintains and leads relationships with statewide professional networks related to food systems and sustainable agriculture.  
  • Works with Development staff to write and report on grants, cultivate donors and engage with supporters.
  • Increases community awareness of the Food Share throughout all program efforts.
  • Leads an effective, coordinated and supportive Farm & Garden team. Directly supervises of 4+ staff. 
  • Aligns programs with the strategic direction of the Food Share. 
  • Participates in Food Share Management team conversations, advocate for the Farm & Garden team and build positive relationships with other departments. 
  • Manages program budgets. Effectively communicates resource needs to VP.
  • Develops detailed program reports and gauges program effectiveness through evaluation efforts.
  • Other duties as assigned 

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty and physical demand satisfactorily with or without a reasonable accommodation. EOE. 


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Three years of relevant professional experience. Education may substitute for some required experience. Work in nonprofit program management, social services, community health, sustainable agriculture, food systems, environmental sciences, youth development, community organizing, or related field considered relevant experience. 
  • Experience providing clear and effective communication including explaining programs to a wide audience.
  • Experience using Microsoft Suite (Excel, Word, Outlook, Access, Teams and PowerPoint) in a job environment.
  • Experience participating in successful and inclusive community-informed projects while working across teams, departments, or organizations.
  • Intermediate to advanced skills in organic agricultural production techniques.
  • Experience engaging, building and maintaining relationships with diverse backgrounds such as: racial, ethnic, cultural, geographic, socioeconomic, and other underserved/underrepresented communities.
  • Must be financially literate and able to track and follow a budget.
  • Must be able to develop and sustain strategies, build and support networks and develop and execute plans for public outreach and engagement. 
  • Experience with compiling and analyzing feedback or program data and sharing findings and recommendations in clear and impactful reports.

Additionally, the successful candidate(s):

  • Must be willing to become knowledgeable of food safety laws and regulations including earning a food handler’s card or Serve Safe certification.
  • Must pass pre-employment drug screen (excluding THC) and full background check.
  • Must pass driving record check and be insurable through Marion-Polk Food Share’s vehicle insurance policy.

Necessary Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to support and supervise a team effectively.
  • Ability to design and lead youth education programs 
  • Ability to facilitate in-person and/or virtual engagement processes, classes, trainings, or events with diverse community groups/individuals.
  • Passionate about the work of Marion Polk Food Share and have lived experience of hunger or poverty, systemic oppression, or strong interest in food security or poverty issues.
  • Dedicated to solving issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Ability to work with and support underrepresented youth, BIPOC, LGTBQ+, immigrant or refugee communities.
  • Experience with community organizing, outreach or engagement, a plus.  
  • High level of interpersonal skills with demonstrated poise, tact and diplomacy.
  • Excellent organizational and follow through skills required. Ability to successfully balance multiple projects and prioritize effectively.
  • Ability to manage a small, organic farm. Sustainable agriculture or gardening related certifications or experience, a plus.  

Job Conditions:

Work will be performed regularly in an office environment. Extended time at a work station will be required. Work will also be performed outdoors, in all types of weather. Will regularly involve sustained periods of standing and walking and moderate to heavy manual labor, including bending, reaching, squatting, crawling, stooping and use of hands, arms and fingers. Will regularly be required to lift up to 50 pounds. Work will involve travel and use of a MPFS truck, trailer, tractor, rototiller and other equipment. Work on evenings and weekends will be required.

The Food Share provides essential services to our neighbors in Marion and Polk counties. As a result, all Food Share employees may be asked to report to work during local public health, weather, or other environmental emergencies.

Salary Description
$52,372 - $62,847