Employment

Are you passionate about the environment? Do you want to be a part of a cause that strives to maintain biodiversity, provides an alternative to ‘big ag’, and embraces family traditions and history? Based in the beautiful bluff country of Northeast Iowa at 890-acre Heritage Farm, Seed Savers Exchange offers a one-of-a-kind place to work. The city of Decorah is close by and offers large-city amenities in a small-town setting.

Applicants for the following positions must be enthusiastic team players, have an ability to keep accurate, detailed records in a fast-paced work environment, and be flexible to work between the various teams as labor needs fluctuate. In general, garden and facilities jobs will involve considerable physical activity, including lifting up to 50 lbs. and other motion related to general garden activities. Willingness to work outside during hot, cold, or wet conditions is necessary.



Collection Curator


Job Title: Collection Curator
Department: Preservation
Reports to: Seed Bank Manager
FLSA status: Exempt regular full-time
Revised: March 2014
Starting salary: $37,440-$39,520
Position salary cap: $45,760

Summary: The Collection Curator is the advocate for the Preservation Collection of seeds and vegetative plant materials. The Collection Curator oversees acquisitions, collection assessment (evaluation and historic documentation), and data management in accordance with the Accessions Policy and scientific standards for genetic resource conservation, as well as working with the Field Manager to prioritize growouts and optimize regeneration standards. The Collection Curator also serves as part of the Preservation Department’s management team, which guides the policies and practices of the department.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Manage the Evaluation and Collection Origins Research Effort programs including reviewing progress, developing protocols, and reporting in order to ensure that departmental and organizational standards are being maintained.
2. Assess the value and priority of new donations and current accessions based on Accessions Policy priorities.
3. Develop collection maintenance goals, plans, and strategies in accordance with the Accessions Policy.
4. Prioritize accessions for regeneration and evaluation growouts in collaboration with the Field Manager.
5. Collaborate with Field Manager to evaluate and, if necessary, improve regeneration practices.
6. Assist with the development of strategic partnerships that advance Preservation programs and reinforce the organizations mission, goals, and reputation.
7. Serve as a public figure for the Preservation program by writing (emails, blogs, Heritage Farm Companion articles, Facebook posts) and speaking (Conference and Campout presentations, workshops, guest lectures, tours, interviews, phone calls) with diverse audiences in a friendly, professional, and factual manner.
8. Recommend Collection varieties for inclusion in the commercial catalogue’s “From the Preservation Collection” limited editions.
9. Ensure data fidelity by creating and maintaining accurate records in a complex Access database.
10. Assist Public Programs, Marketing, and Commercial staff with the development of educational and promotional materials.
11. Develop and implement program budgets with oversight from the Seed Bank Manager.
12. Hire and train new staff.

Essential Skills:
• Exceptional written/verbal communication and team building/human resource management skills.
• Proficiency with Office Suite and the ability to work in a complex Access database.
• Ability to effectively complete projects with multiple competing deadlines in a timely manner.
• Ability to work effectively as part of a team and individually.

Preferred Qualifications:
A Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, Horticulture, Museum Studies, or a related field, and three years of relevant experience. Proven effectiveness applying international standards for genetic resource preservation in the field of plant collection management. A proven ability to manage a complex Access database (building objects, managing data, debugging, coding events) is also highly sought.

To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to jobs@seedsavers.org. Please include 'Collection Curator' in the subject line of your email. The deadline for applications is April 11, 2014. Seed Savers Exchange is an equal opportunity employer.


Pollination and Preservation Intern

Job Title: Pollination and Preservation Intern
Department: Preservation
Reports to: Seed Bank Manager
FLSA Status: non-exempt seasonal full-time
Salary: $7.25/hour plus housing
Revision date: March, 2013

Seed Savers Exchange, with funding from Silos & Smokestacks Natural Heritage Area, is seeking a summer intern to learn about vegetable crop pollination methods in order to develop educational materials for home seed savers. SSE’s 895 acre Heritage Farm is located 6 miles from beautiful Decorah, IA, among rolling hills and bluffs. Housing will be provided, but transportation will not be provided. The internship will last 8 weeks starting approximately June 2 and ending approximately July 26. The application deadline for this position is April 18th.

Summary: The Pollination and Preservation Intern will assist with the regeneration of heritage crop varieties for long-term preservation by rearing and releasing insect pollinators, performing hand pollinations of corn and squash, and developing educational materials about pollination methods and pollinator conservation.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Gaining proficiency in hand pollinating squash and corn plants in order to produce seed for long-term preservation and distribution to members.
2. Scheduling, rearing, and releasing solitary bees and flies for pollination of crops in isolation cages.
3. Developing educational materials that facilitate participatory preservation among visitors, members, and seed saving organizations.
4. Assisting with the recruitment of future interns and supporters through journal-style blogs.
5. Assisting with the development of promotion seed packets that highlight regionally significant varieties.

Qualifications:
• Currently seeking a degree at an accredited college or university.
• Interest in learning about organic farming and seed saving practices.
• Ability to perform field work in a wide range of weather conditions.
• Ability to accurately communicate complex ideas in simple language.
• Ability to perform physically demanding activities including carrying up to 50 lbs, bending/kneeling frequently, and standing for extended periods of time.
• Ability to keep accurate, detailed records in a fast paced work environment.
• Applicants must have a valid driver’s license.

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and two references to jobs@seedsavers.org with the subject line of “P and P intern.”

Hand Pollination Interns

Job Title: Hand Pollination Internship (Unpaid)
Department: Preservation
Reports to: Seed Bank Manager
FLSA Status: Volunteer Unpaid
Posted date: December 18, 2013
Deadline: Open until filled (4 identical positions)
*The application period for these positions has been extended. Reception and review of applications will continue until April 18.

“My internship with Seed Savers Exchange was one of the best learning experiences I have had.” -Talinna A., 2013 Intern (read about Talinna's experience on our blog)

Want to play a role in preserving our garden heritage? Interested in gaining hands on experience in agricultural biodiversity conservation? Need to fulfill your internship requirement for graduation, but want an experience that is off the beaten path? Seed Savers Exchange is seeking four interns to spend part of their summer at beautiful Heritage Farm in Decorah, IA learning from enthusiastic Preservation department staff excited to share their knowledge and experience. As part of SSE’s collection management program, interns experience SSE’s hand pollination, variety evaluation (including taste testing), seed quality testing, and outreach programs through experiential, on-the-ground training. If you are detail oriented, curious, dependable, and hard-working, consider joining us for a memorable summer.

Internships start mid-July (approximately July 14th) and last 7-9 weeks. Interns who volunteer at the Annual Conference and Campout (July 19-20) will be able to attend workshops, lectures, and panels presented by members, staff, and nationally recognized leaders in the seed and local foods movements. Lodging will be provided.

Interested students should email a cover letter addressing their goals for the internship, a resume, and contact information for three references to jobs@seedsavers.org. Please include "HP Internship" in the subject line of your email.



Retail/Garden Staff


Job Title: Lillian Goldman Visitors Center Retail/Garden Staff
Status: Part time/seasonal
Reports to: Visitor Center Manager
Posted: March 13, 2014
Deadline: March 28, 2014

Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) is looking for people who love to garden and have excellent customer service/computer skills. Applicants should be comfortable speaking with large groups while motivating and educating the public on gardening and the SSE mission. Ability to help in gardens is a must, including lifting, bending and walking. Assistance with visitor education, maintenance of store appearance, products and sales is expected.

To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to jobs@seedsavers.org. Please include 'Retail/ Garden Staff' in the subject line of your email. Seed Savers Exchange is an equal opportunity employer.


Preservation Garden Crew - Corn Hand Pollination


Job Title: Preservation Garden Crew - Corn Hand Pollination
Status: This is a 40 hour/week seasonal position from approximately June 23rd through August 22nd. Occasional weekend and holiday work may be needed.
Posted: February 14, 2014
Reports to: Corn HP Leader/Field Manager
FLSA Status: non-exempt seasonal full-time
Wage: $10/hour

Summary: This position will support Seed Savers Exchange by assisting with the corn hand pollination program (monitoring flowering, bagging ears and tassels, and making hand pollinations) during the summer months. This position may also assist with squash hand pollination as needed. This position may occasionally require weekend work.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Performing corn hand pollinations under the guidance of experienced staff.
2. Performing squash hand pollinations under the guidance of the Greenhouse Manager.
3. Following organizational protocols to ensure the genetic purity of accessions.
4. Assisting with field activities as needed including planting, weeding, harvesting, and threshing of both dry and wet seeded crops.
5. Sanitizing work environments and equipment.
6. Completing other duties as assigned by the Corn HP Leader or Field Manager.

Qualifications:
Applicant must be an enthusiastic, detail-oriented, flexible team player.
Hands-on experiences with vegetable crop production, and organic agricultural practices are preferred.
Ability to keep accurate, detailed records in a fast paced work environment.
Ability to perform field work in wide ranging weather conditions
Ability to perform physical activity: standing for extended periods of time, lifting, climbing ladders, carrying (up to 50 lbs.), bending, and kneeling.
Applicants must have a valid driver's license.

To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to jobs@seedsavers.org. Please include 'Preservation Corn HP' in the subject line of your email. Review of applications will begin April 1, 2014. Seed Savers Exchange is an equal opportunity employer.


Learn about Northeast Iowa

http://www.decoraharea.com/
http://decorahareachamber.com/relocation-information/
http://visitiowa.org/