Job Opportunities

Join the team at Heritage Farm!

For more than 43 years, Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit, nationally-focused organization based in the Driftless Region on the outskirts of Decorah, Iowa (near where Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota converge on the Mississippi), has focused on conserving and promoting America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations. Seed Savers Exchange was a pioneer in the advocacy for preserving these heirloom varieties for generations to come, and is committed to keeping these varieties where they belong—in our gardens and on our tables.

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. Applications may also be mailed to: Seed Savers Exchange | Attn: Lynne Rilling | 3094 North Winn Rd. | Decorah, IA 52101.

Seed Savers Exchange is an equal opportunity employer and enthusiastically encourages people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to apply. Seed Savers Exchange does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by law.

Current Opportunities:

Marketing and Communications Director
Seed House Director
Field Crew Member
Facilities Crew Member
Preservation Garden Coordinator

Marketing and Communications Director

Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Marketing and Communications Director to join our team. The ideal candidate should have 5+ years of marketing, advertising, and communication experience in both print and digital platforms, a background in nonprofit settings, and leadership/management experience.

Applications accepted through March 1, 2019.

Primary Role

The Marketing and Communications Director will provide overall leadership for SSE’s marketing, media, outreach, public relations, communication, and advertising strategies as it relates to sales (retail, wholesale/seed rack, online), donations, membership, events/outreach/education, and promotion of SSE’s mission. This position develops and directs strategy for all marketing and communication activities and external outreach to drive the organization’s sales revenue and audience growth initiatives. The Marketing and Communications Director is a part of SSE’s organizational leadership team.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Develops and implements an organization-wide, fully integrated marketing and communication plan across channels, including print publications, direct mail, website/digital, email, social media, and advertising
  • With Executive Director, oversees external communication, outreach, and partnerships organization-wide, including decision-making process for committing to external relationships
  • Maintains brand voice, position, and mission across communication platforms
  • Establishes measurable goals and evaluates marketing, membership, and development activities
  • Conducts necessary research and trend analysis and reports outcomes to Executive Director and relevant managers
Skills and Experience
  • Experience conceptualizing and managing both digital and print communication projects
  • Proficiency in database management, Google Analytics, social media, Adobe Creative Suite, Google Docs/Drive, and Bronto, preferred
  • Ability to guide and lead team and projects
  • Understanding of marketing strategy and tactics
  • Ability to multitask and organize multiple concurrent projects
  • Experience in shopper marketing or sales preferred
Benefits
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Paid long-term disability
  • Paid life insurance
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • Health care, retirement, and lifestyle benefits

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Seed House Director

Seed Savers Exchange is currently seeking a Seed House Director to join our team. The ideal candidate will build on the organization’s solid reputation and brand and continue to grow the organization’s online and wholesale seed operation.

Applications accepted through March 1, 2019.

Primary Role

Reporting directly to the Executive Director of Seed Savers Exchange, the Seed House Director is responsible for the ongoing operations of the online retail and wholesale operations of Seed Savers Exchange. This work, which generates about 4 million dollars in revenue annually, not only supports the ongoing work of Seed Savers Exchange in its preservation of rare heirloom varieties of fruits, herbs, vegetable and flowers, but its distribution of seeds through online and wholesale operations helps the organization to meet its mission in keeping heirloom varieties growing and extant in gardens across the country.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Working closely with organizational leadership, the marketing staff, the preservation staff, and the farm operations team, the Seed House Director is accountable for the sales, marketing and promotion, internal operations, and customer experience that are at the center of the business model of the Seed House.

This position directs Seed House activities for Seed Savers Exchange by personally performing the following duties or through management of direct-report supervisors. Primary functions include determining product line, sales and marketing development, order fulfillment, retail website management, and customer service and operational oversight.

Skills and Experience

The ideal candidate will have a background in business administration, branding and/or the online marketplace, will be comfortable leading a team of supervisors and their staff of 15 to 20 employees, and will have an understanding of NetSuite or a similar ERP/CRM operating system. An ability to meet targets and goals in each season along with a clear vision of long-range planning for the continued refinement of the business operation will be critical to the Seed House Director’s success.

Benefits
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Paid long-term disability
  • Paid life insurance
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • Health care, retirement, and lifestyle benefits

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Field Crew Member

This is a 40 hour/week full time, 6 month seasonal position from approximately May through November. Occasional weekend or holiday work will be required.

This position will support Seed Savers Exchange field staff with all garden work and seed production activities. This work includes collection regeneration, catalog seed production, and evaluation growouts.

Applications will be reviewed starting March 18, 2019, until positions are filled.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

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

  • Preparing gardens for direct seeding and transplanting
  • Setting up and maintaining fences, trellises, and pollination cages
  • Maintaining gardens, including watering, weeding, and mulching
  • Harvesting fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds
  • Threshing, extracting, winnowing, and conditioning seeds
  • Following organizational protocols to ensure the genetic purity and organic certification of productions
  • Cleaning up gardens at the end of the growing season by removing plant residue, fencing, trellises, and other infrastructure
  • Maintaining an orderly equipment shed
  • Other duties as assigned by the field production leadership team
Qualifications
  • Applicants must be an enthusiastic, detail-oriented, and a flexible team player
  • Interest in seed saving/production and organic/sustainable agriculture preferred
  • Demonstrated practical work experience with plants; experience with organic vegetable crops is 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

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Facilities Crew Member

Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Facilities Crew Member to join our team. The ideal candidate should have good attention to detail and the ability to multitask. Mechanical and/or carpentry experience preferred.

Applications accepted through March 1, 2019.

Primary Role

This position is responsible for maintaining Seed Savers Exchange’s facilities, the grounds, and the equipment.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Provide building maintenance including cleaning restrooms and maintaining janitorial supplies in assigned buildings
  • Responsible for monitoring temperature in coolers and freezers
  • Responsible for chlorine testing of water system
  • Assist with construction projects
  • Provide assistance for event set up and tear down
  • Provide support to contractors as required
  • Assist with driveway maintenance as required
  • Assist with herd health checks biannually
  • Assist with livestock fence maintenance as required
  • Perform preventative upkeep and repairs of trucks
  • Perform tractor maintenance and repairs as required
  • Perform small equipment maintenance and repairs as required
  • Perform implement maintenance and repairs as required
  • Assist with trail mowing and upkeep as required
  • Other duties as assigned by the Facilities Manager
Skills
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Detail Oriented
  • Ability to multitask
  • Enthusiastic team player
  • Flexibility to work between various teams
Qualification
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must be an enthusiastic team player, have good attention to detail and be flexible to work between various teams as labor needs fluctuate
  • Some aspects of the position will involve considerable physical activity including lifting, and other motion related to general facilities and grounds maintenance
  • Applicant should have sufficient mechanical aptitude to be able to run and troubleshoot garden equipment
  • Individual will be required to work special event weekends
Benefits
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Paid long-term disability
  • Paid life insurance
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • Health care, retirement, and lifestyle benefits

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Preservation Garden Coordinator

Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Preservation Garden Coordinator to join our team. The ideal candidate should be a dynamic individual with a degree in horticulture, agriculture, or agronomy or 2-3 years work related experience and have experience leading a team in a professional workplace.

Applications accepted through March 1, 2019.

Primary Role

The focus of this position will be on leading field staff in regenerating varieties from the Seed Savers collection, which comprises more than 25,000 varieties. Working under the guidance of the Seed Production Manager, the Preservation Garden Coordinator will be directly involved in all aspects of seed production, planting and maintaining gardens, vegetative crop propagation, and take a lead role in harvesting and processing seeds.

During the winter, work under direction of the Seed House Manager depending on where assistance is needed most. Variety of responsibilities will encompass all aspects of speaking with customers, and receiving, packaging, and shipping orders.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Crop Production

  • Cooperate closely with a team of peer field leaders to most effectively regenerate seeds crops and manage a crew of 5-10
  • Lead all collection garden activities including, but not limited to, garden preparation for both evaluation and regeneration crops, seeding, transplanting, watering, weeding, mulching, staking, fencing, harvesting, dry seed processing, and garden clean-up
  • Maintain accurate records of seed production activities and enter data into the Collection database
  • Monitor, schedule, coordinate, and perform dry seed processing activities including drying, cleaning, and conditioning

Seed House

  • Assist with basic customer service and support
  • Assist with bulk and/or retail seed packet filling as needed
  • Assemble orders and prepare for shipment
Physical Requirements
  • Able to work outside for long days
  • Able to work in temperature extremes
  • Able to sit, stand, and kneel for long periods of time
  • Able to lift at least 50 pounds
Qualifications
  • Degree in horticulture or related field, or equivalent years demonstrated practical work experience in horticulture and seed production
  • Applicants must have previous farm experience
  • Experience with organic vegetable crop seed production preferred
  • All applicants must possess a valid driver’s license.
Benefits
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Paid long-term disability
  • Paid life insurance
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • Health care, retirement, and lifestyle benefits

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