Job Opportunities

Join the team at Heritage Farm!

We are often looking for passionate people to help us in our work. If you care about preserving agricultural biodiversity, promoting the family and cultural traditions of seed saving, contact us about a job at our headquarters at Heritage Farm just north of Decorah, Iowa.

Please email a cover letter, resumé, and the contact information for three references to jobs@seedsavers.org - include the name of the position in the subject line of your email.

Lillian Goldman Visitors Center (LGVC) Retail Staff

Job Title: LGVC Retail Staff
Department: Education/Outreach
Reports to: LGVC Manager
FLSA Status: P/T - Seasonal
Date: February 2017
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Summary:

This position will support Seed Savers Exchange by assisting the visitors of Heritage Farm. The individual must be ready and willing to answer visitor questions concerning the SSE organization, gardening and products. The candidate must also be comfortable using the POS system and assisting customers with their purchases. Additionally, this position will lead tours and assist in the maintenance of display gardens. Hours for this position will include every other weekend on both Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. During the months of May, June, and July, this person may also be asked to work additional hours during the week. Assistance may be requested during special event weekends throughout the season, which will bring about a few back-to-back weekends of work.


Potential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Welcome visitors and answer all customer inquiries
  • Utilize the POS system
  • Dust and clean store/restrooms weekly
  • Assist with maintaining display gardens as needed
  • Assist in bar coding of all products as they arrive prior to being put out for sale
  • Maintain transplants during the transplant season, including watering and restocking
  • Willing to assist in garden duties as assigned – may include but is not limited to: weeding, planting transplants/seeds, watering, pruning, composting, etc.
  • Available to work additional shifts for events as assigned in advance
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Applicant must be an enthusiastic, detail oriented and flexible team player with a positive attitude.
  • Must be comfortable with a diverse and changing work environment.
  • Must be able to lift up to 20 pounds and be able to meet physical demands of gardening including stretching, bending, kneeling, and walking for extended periods.

Education

  • High School diploma or GED
  • Retail experience preferred

Seed Technician

Job Title: Seed Technician #3
Department: Seed House
Reports to: Seed Inventory Manager
FLSA Status: Full time - Non-exempt

Summary:

Ensures successful production, processing, packaging, and distribution of seed house seed crops through effective supervision and instruction of employees; following established procedures; identifying areas for improvement; documenting processes.


Potential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Efficiently fill bulk seed orders. This includes validating lot used with lot assigned, and following established packing protocols for record keeping, organic compliance, etc. “Pick” orders in as efficient a manner as possible, ensuring orders get out to the customers as accurately and quickly as possible.
  • Assist supervisor with incoming seed lots. This includes generating purchase order, obtaining retain sample, deriving seed count, verifying quantity received matches amount ordered, and re-packaging into appropriate containers.
  • Organize retain lots and trial lots. Generate worksheet with all trial production details. This includes full-season documentation of all lot checks, potential new production, customer complaint checks, displays, product photo requirements, test plots for improved crop management practices (cover crops, beneficial insects, etc).
  • Primary responsibility for seed house greenhouse starts. This includes ordering supplies (soil, containers, fertilizers), scheduling plantings, following established IPM protocols, actual planting of seeds, and daily monitoring for plant health, possible pathogens, and nutrient deficiencies.
  • With direction from Seed Tech #1, supervise garden crew activities. This includes soil preparation, field lay-out, planting, weed/pest prevention and management, irrigation, etc.
  • Work within the approved guidelines of location Organic Handling Plan (OHP) to effectively control pests. This includes prevention where possible, monitoring for existing problems, and taking appropriate action when necessary. Order allowable pesticides, and safely apply as necessary following label directions. Coordinate and implement training for other staff who also may have need to apply approved pesticides.
  • Primary person responsible to train seed house employees on seed processing equipment and techniques. This includes safe operation of wet processing equipment, which screens to use, what level of pre-process fruit preparation is required, separating seeds from flesh, decanting where necessary, rinsing to obtain cleanest seed possible, and set seed to dry. Strict record keeping to ensure OHP and distinct seed lots have not been compromised. Mastery of all dry processing equipment, including settings required, and safe operation.
  • Primary person responsible for Stock Seed management. This includes organizing stock seed inventory, and maintaining detailed worksheet with all relevant lot information (quantities, parent lots, germination, field inspection notes, qualitative comments, etc). Assist Seed House Manager to determine which lots will need to be regenerated in anticipation of future contract production requirements.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.

Qualifications

  • Obtain Private Pesticide Applicators license for the state of Iowa.
  • Degree and experience in horticulture or related field preferred.
  • Ability to perform physical aspects of the position – lifting, working outside in hot/wet/cold weather, etc.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

Supervises, garden crew, potato, garlic and plant seasonal staff in all aspects of the employment relationship.


Evaluation Crew Member

Job Title: Evaluation Crew Member
Position Status: 26 week seasonal position from approximately May 22 through November 22. This is a 40 hour/week full time seasonal position.
Job Posted: 3/8/2017
Department: Preservation
Reports To: Assistant Curator and Horticultural Technician 7
Deadline: Application review will begin April 1
Wage: $10/hr

Summary:

Support the Evaluation Program by assisting in field and lab work related to evaluation of collection varieties.


Potential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Under the direction of the Assistant Curator and Horticultural Technician perform evaluation tasks on over 40 crop types and 500 varieties including data collection, digital scanning, and field photography.
  • Assist in planning and installing evaluation gardens.
  • Represent the Preservation Department in a professional manner during events, tours, and presentations.
  • Assist in overseeing interns working on varietal evaluation.
  • Participate in Preservation field activities as needed by the Preservation Field Manager.
  • Perform additional duties as assigned by the Assistant Curator and Horticultural Technician.

Qualifications

  • Associate degree or comparable experience in horticulture, plant science, botany, or biology
  • Demonstrable record of successfully working independently and as part of a team
  • Exceptional communication, interpersonal and time-management skills
  • Excellent attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Access is beneficial
  • Ability to perform physical work in the field under variable weather conditions
  • Applicants must have reliable transportation to and from work
  • Applicants must have a valid driver’s license

Seed Regeneration Garden Crew Member

Job Title: Seed Regeneration Garden Crew Member
Position Status: 26 week seasonal position from approximately May 22nd through November 22nd.This is a 40 hour/week full time seasonal position. Occasional weekend or holiday work will be required.
Job Posted: 03/09/2017
Department: Preservation
Reports to: Garden Crew Leader/Greenhouse Manager/Field Manager
FLSA Status: non-exempt seasonal full-time
Deadline: Application Review will begin April 1, 2017
Wage: $10/hour

Summary:

This position will support Seed Savers Exchange by assisting staff with all garden, seed regeneration and evaluation projects in the field.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Job responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to:

  • Preparing gardens and beds for seeding and transplanting by hand.
  • Setting up and maintaining fences, trellises, and pollination cages.
  • Transplanting and direct seeding crops by hand.
  • Maintaining gardens, including watering, weeding, mulching, trellising and staking.
  • Collecting, reporting, and entering data in a timely manner.
  • Harvesting fruits, vegetables, grains and seeds.
  • Threshing, extracting, winnowing, and conditioning seeds.
  • Following organizational protocols to ensure the genetic purity of accessions.
  • Cleaning up gardens at the end of the growing season by removing plant residue, fencing, trellises, and other equipment.
  • Maintaining an orderly equipment shed.
  • Completing other duties as assigned by the Greenhouse Manager, Garden Crew Leader or Field Manager.

Qualifications

  • Applicant must be an enthusiastic, detail-oriented, flexible team player.
  • Interest in seed saving/production and organic/sustainable agriculture preferred.
  • Associate degree or comparable experience in agriculture, horticulture, botany or related field.
  • Hands-on experiences with vegetable crop production and organic agricultural practices are preferred.
  • Ability to perform field work in wide ranging weather conditions.
  • Ability to perform physical activity: lifting (up to 100 lbs. assisted); carrying (50 lbs.), bending frequently, climbing, pushing, and pulling.
  • Ability to operate roto-tillers, weed-whips, and other small farm and garden implements.
  • Applicants must have reliable transportation to and from work.
  • Applicants must have a valid driver’s license.

Seed Savers Exchange is an equal opportunity employer.