Educator Urban Agriculture, Windy City Harvest (Chicago, IL)
Title: Educator, Urban Agriculture
Exemption Status: Non-Exempt
Department: Windy City Harvest
Reports to: Manager, Community Education
Supervises: Youth Farm students, seasonal interns, Windy City Harvest Apprentices, Harvest Corps crews, volunteers
Position Overview: For almost 20 years, the Windy City Harvest Youth Farm has served as a vital youth development program for high school students in and around Chicago. Youth Farm exposes youth to various issues concerning local food systems and nurtures leadership and community engagement through paid employment on an urban farm. Windy City Harvest (WCH) is committed to a continuum of job training. We value an innovative, entrepreneurial, and practical approach to sustainable agriculture and education. We hold high shared standards for all staff and participants to foster personal and professional growth.
The Educator, Urban Agriculture, will play a pivotal role in ensuring these general goals are met. This includes working as part of the larger WCH team to ensure the program is of the highest quality and reflects the vision of the program through individual and community empowerment.
The ideal candidate for this position has deep connections to the communities we work in, experience leading youth and/or nature-based programming, and must enjoy working outdoors. The person in this position is part of a collaboration in community engagement, education, and workforce development of the urban agriculture team.
This position’s focus is 60% on education programming and 40% on production farming. The work production schedule will mainly be Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., but will include occasional weekend and evening work.
In this role you will be responsible for the following:
Train and lead a team including a seasonal WCH apprentice, full-time interns who work for three months, Youth Farmers, and volunteers. Provide regular feedback to all direct reports.
- Collect student documentation, including hiring documents, sign-in sheets, and case notes, and coordinate student pay. Submit documents on time to your supervisor.
- Coordinate procurement and delivery of materials necessary for programming and farm operations (including plants, soil, building materials, student lunches, etc.).
- Report and track program expenditures and support annual budget reports.
- Collect and organize written, anecdotal, and photographic documentation for social media, education, publication, and reporting purposes.
- Participate in all training workshops and other requirements from partner agencies and the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Community Education & Engagement
- Work in partnership with area high schools and nonprofit organizations to recruit Youth Farm participants and promote WCH programming.
- Assist with special events with partner organizations and the Chicago Botanic Garden.
- Serve as a resource by delivering or co-leading educational workshops and tours to community members, partners, and outside organizations.
- Act as a supportive program, job, and agriculture resource to program participants, staff, community residents, media, and collaborative partners.
- Plan and lead Youth Farmers in farm workdays and educational workshops (online and in-person), tours, and field trips during spring, summer, and fall programming.
- Support Chicago Botanic Garden programming by leading workdays and classroom activities with all WCH programs, including Corps and Apprenticeship, as requested.
- Work with the Chicago Botanic Garden team to plan and implement curriculum (online and in-person) focused on developing key social emotional skills and exposure to green careers.
- Maintain current knowledge of industry trends, practices, and policies relevant to department operations and share best practices with the Chicago Botanic Garden team.
- Support WCH programming (i.e. Harvest Corps job club and WCH Apprenticeship classes) as needed.
- Coordinate and work collaboratively on farm production with Growers, Harvest Corps Crew Leaders and WCH Operations team, including (but not limited to), implementing a crop plan, following the production schedule, procuring supplies, planting and maintenance of vegetable production and ornamental areas, and distributing produce through WCH sales channels.
- Participate in seasonal production and food safety farm trainings. Help to train Youth Farm team and students in farm production and food safety.
- Participate in weekly staff meetings and report on programming and farm-related updates. Answer emails and communicate in a timely manner.
- Work as part of a collaborative team to support WCH greenhouse and farm production needs at any WCH sites, as needed.
Chicago Botanic Garden Values & Behaviors:
As an organization, we…
As an organization, we…
Prioritize a culture of GROWTH.
We commit to remaining curious in how we approach our work.
- Create and maintain spaces for learning.
- Test new ideas and are willing to take risks to achieve our vision.
- Collaborate to strengthen our skills and impact.
- Demonstrate perseverance and humility as we work towards our long-term impact.
Seek to UNDERSTAND.
We seek to understand others from their perspective.
- Provide opportunities for input and feedback from others.
- Actively listen to all points of view.
- Consider individuals’ lived experiences.
- Advocate for and protect time for reflection especially during times of conflict or confusion.
See one another through a lens of RESILIENCE.
We believe that all individuals can experience good outcomes with support.
- Give others the space to balance work and personal needs.
- Support others and demonstrate empathy especially during challenging and stressful times.
- Seek opportunities to learn from and about one another.
- Ask questions about and anticipate the needs of others.
Build TRUST through TRANSPARENCY
We hold ourselves and others accountable by centering decision making that honors all people.
- Communicate information in a timely manner.
- Provide clarity in complex situations with the goal of common understanding.
- Discuss both positive and negative outcomes openly.
- Evaluate the impacts of our actions.
Our ideal candidate will have the following:
Community Education & Engagement
- Willingness to provide programming and outreach to multiple communities throughout Chicago and surrounding suburbs.
- Must have a valid driver’s license, and be able to commute to several locations within the week or day. Familiarity with Chicago area a plus.
- A detail-oriented, flexible, dependable, and punctual work ethic.
- Excellent communication skills: email, phone, in-person, etc.
- Bilingual (Spanish and English) preferred.
- Familiarity with issues surrounding local food systems.
- At least one year of experience working with young people in a mentorship or supervisory role and facilitating groups.
- Experience participating in or leading nature-based programming, preferred.
- Strong interest or experience in working with youth development and workforce development.
- Familiarity with structural and cultural contexts, and a desire for personal and community growth in these areas.
- Demonstrated experience working with people from a variety of backgrounds and ability to give clear, constructive feedback.
- Availability for evening and weekend work, particularly from May through October.
- Strong knowledge of urban agriculture with at least one season of vegetable production experience preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to learn farm production and harvest procedures. Ability to effective train and oversee Youth Farmers in farming and harvesting procedures.
- The ability to work independently to coordinate a developing program and as part of a dedicated urban agriculture training team.
This is a diverse role with physical demands dependent on the season. Frequent outdoor work in all weather will be required. Ability to lift more than 50 pounds. Ability to stand/walk for eight or more hours per day. Ability to move from physical tasks to office work and drive significant distances in a day is required.
Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, or basis of disability, or any other federal, state, or local protected class.
Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.
In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX Coordinator should you have questions or concerns. Please do not call this number to inquire about job postings or the status of your application, or with solicitations from companies or third-party recruiters.
Chicago Botanic GardenChicago, IL
Explore similar jobsMore Jobs Like This
You Already Have an Account
We're sending an email you can use to verify and access your account.
If you know your password, you can go to the sign in page.