Job Opportunities

Join the team at Heritage Farm!

Since 1975, 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 as a single PDF 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.

We are an equal opportunity employer.

Current Opportunities

Temporary Seed Census Position
Exchange and Outreach Coordinator
Field Operations Technician/Seed House Support
Field Crew and Order Fulfillment (Part-Time)

Temporary Seed Census Position

Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Temporary Seed Census Position to assist with compiling and publishing the 2020 Seed Trade Census: A Directory of Commercial Open-Pollinated Garden Seeds in the United States. This will be the eighth edition of the publication, first published in 1984. The Seed Trade Census has been crucial for monitoring trends in the diversity of America’s seed supply for the last 40 years. This project is of value to all organizations and individuals interested in the preservation and diversity of open-pollinated vegetable seeds.

This is a non-exempt seasonal position, working 40 hours/week for 12 weeks, with a preferred start date in November. Starting wage: $12.50/hr.

Applications reviewed on a rolling basis. Priority deadline: November 20, 2021. Position open until filled.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Cross examination of seed companies’ listings with our existing census database
  • Writing concise yet informative descriptions for seed varieties.
  • Data analysis including quantitative trends in crop diversity and the investigation of other stories and patterns that emerge from this research
  • Proofreading and editing written content
  • Assist with development of a marketing and sales plan
  • Assist with publication design and solicit quotes from printing services

Qualifications

  • Exceptional attention to detail, time management, and the ability to communicate via diverse mediums
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to stay motivated amidst repetitive tasks
  • Previous experience with spreadsheets and Google workspace
  • Interest in gardening, horticulture, or seed saving is a plus!

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to sit at a computer screen for extended periods

Benefits

  • Compensation: 40hr/wk position at $12.50/hr
  • Preference is for this position to be onsite at Seed Savers Exchange, but applicants interested in working remotely from elsewhere in IA, MN, and WI will be considered

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Exchange and Outreach Coordinator

The Exchange and Outreach Coordinator will facilitate the Exchange, a seed swap program that shares varieties from the Seed Savers Exchange collection, and allows individuals to share home-grown seeds gardener-to-gardener, through an online community and print publication. They will organize and promote the program to grow and connect a community of individuals that garden for seed saving or are seeking to grow heirloom or heritage varieties. They are also responsible for planning and facilitating the annual Virtual Seed School, and supporting the Community Seed Network, the annual SSE Conference & Campout, and other events and projects within the Education and Engagement Department that engage passionate gardeners on seed saving practices and education. Additionally, they lead and coordinate the seed and nursery trade censuses, which are publications compiling the commercial availability of open-pollinated seeds and fruits, berries, and nuts.

Starting wage range: $15.00- $17.00/hr.

Applications reviewed on a rolling basis. Priority deadline: November 8, 2021. Position open until filled.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

The Exchange

  • Organize and coordinate Seed Savers Exchange staff and volunteers in the production of the Yearbook (the annual print edition of the Exchange).
  • Lead the education and engagement effort for the Exchange, including email promotion, marketing, and outreach in collaboration with the Marketing & Communication department.
  • Serve as point of contact for Exchange inquiries and communicate regularly with Exchange participants, members, and customers of Seed Savers Exchange via email, mail, phone and the Exchange Facebook group. This communication includes, but is not limited to day-to-day usability questions, communicating deadlines, and building community to increase participation in the Exchange.
  • Coordinate all testing and improvements of the Exchange website.
  • Manage non web-based Exchange participant listings by uploading listings to Exchange.

Education and Outreach

  • Coordinate and lead SSE’s annual Seed School, including planning the schedule and speaker lineup, developing and refining educational materials, collaborating with the Marketing and Communications team to promote the course and register participants, facilitating sessions, and assessing impact.
  • Support the Community Seed Network, an online resource for community seed groups, by facilitating the Community Seed Network Facebook group, responding to inquiries, creating a quarterly newsletter, and participating in quarterly Advisory Council Meetings.
  • Represent Seed Savers Exchange by giving educational presentations, tours, and workshops.
  • Develop and refine educational materials on seed saving, including Heritage Farm signage.
  • Other responsibilities as assigned by the Education and Engagement Manager.

Census Publications

  • Lead the research and compilation of the Seed Trade Census and the Nursery Trade Census in years they are produced. Collaborate with departments including Information Technology, Preservation, Membership and Development, and Marketing and Communications, to research, compile, and publish this directory. This includes the management and organization of large amounts of data.
  • Develop a long-term vision for ongoing promotion, partnerships, and accessibility of the Census publications.

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Supervise interns and volunteers involved with the production of the census publications, Yearbook, and other projects, as needed.

Skills

  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Effective interpersonal and management skills
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities, while meeting deadlines
  • Attention to detail
  • Computer and web-based literacy
  • Public speaking skills

Physical Requirements

  • Able to sit and stand for long periods
  • Ability to work at a computer for long periods of time

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or commensurate experience in education, communications, outreach, horticulture, or related field
  • Demonstrated record of working independently and as part of a team
  • Strong project management skills including task delegation
  • Strong interpersonal relation skills
  • Ability to work with individuals from diverse backgrounds
  • Interest in gardening, botany, and seed saving
  • Experience in education
  • Experience in event planning desired

Job Share

  • Helps as needed in order fulfillment or customer service in the Seed House seasonally

Benefits

  • Paid time off
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Long Term Disability
  • Paid Life Insurance
  • Employee Merchandise Discounts
  • Employee/family health insurance
  • 401(k) with employer match after eligibility period

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Field Operations Technician/Seed House Support

Position Status: Full-time, hourly
FLSA Status: Non-exempt
Reports to: Seed Production Manager / Sales & Business Director

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization based in Decorah, Iowa focused on conserving and promoting America's culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations. Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Field Operations Coordinator to join our team. The ideal candidate should have practical farm work experience.

Field Operations Activities

Working under the guidance of the Seed Production Manager and in coordination with the rest of the Field Operations leadership team, the Field Operations Technician will be involved in all stages of field and garden operations and seed production activities. Primary responsibilities include but are not limited to tractor work, garden and field preparation, cover cropping, pollination cage management, IPM, spraying, managing pest exclusion.

Seed House Activities

Working under the direction of the Seed Inventory Manager, the Field Operations Technician will assist with a variety of responsibilities encompassing all aspects of packaging, shipping, receiving, and customer service over the winter months.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Field Operations (April to December)

  • Executes all field operations including but not limited to soil preparation, cultivation, amendment applications, IPM and cover crop management activities.
  • Works to install, maintain, repair, and inventory caterpillar tunnels, hoop houses, pollination cages and pest exclusion fences.
  • Plans and implements innovative cover cropping strategies with the goal to increase soil health and reduce weed and disease pressure
  • Maintain an orderly and functional tool shed including organizing and inventorying supplies, and maintaining and repairing hand tools
  • Scouts and identifies pests and diseases in fields, root cellars, and greenhouses
  • Prepares, applies, and documents organic insecticides and fungicides in compliance with organic certification and applicator safety standards
  • Assists the field crews to efficiently perform field tasks (hand sowing, hand planting, weeding, watering, fertilizing, and harvesting) in accordance with standard operating practices
  • Assist in seed harvesting, processing, and conditioning
  • Ensures organic production procedures are upheld throughout primary responsibilities by following SOPs and updating work logs
  • Purchase supplies, amendments and cover crops
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the Seed Production Manager

Seed House (January-February)

  • Assist with basic customer service and support
  • Enter orders received via phone/mail/fax/email
  • Contact customers as needed regarding orders
  • Assist with bulk and/or retail seed packet filling as needed
  • Assemble orders and prepare for shipment
  • Assist with potato packing and shipment
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Train seasonal and permanent staff in field operation support
  • Train and supervise staff in IPM strategies
  • Train and supervise staff in tractor and implementation use

External-Department Responsibilities:

  • Conduct workshops and/or tours as needed
  • Work with Facilities Manager and crew on repairs and maintenance of tools and equipment

Skills

  • Ability to operate farm equipment including tractors
  • Experience with equipment maintenance and repair (small and large engines). Mechanically inclined is preferred
  • Ability to safely operate large pick-ups carrying trailers and wagons
  • Ability to communicate effectively with other staff
  • Ability to work well in a fast paced environment with changing day to day needs
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Physical Requirements

  • Able to work outside for long days
  • Able to work in temperature extremes
  • Able to sit, stand, kneel for long periods of time
  • Able to lift at least 50 pounds

Qualifications

  • Associates degree in horticulture or related field, or equivalent years demonstrated practical work experience in agriculture
  • Experience with organic vegetable crop production and/or seed production preferred
  • Applicants must have previous farm experience
  • All applicants must possess a valid driver’s license
  • Ability to obtain pesticide applicator license

Benefits

  • Paid time off
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Long Term Disability
  • Paid Life Insurance
  • Employee Merchandise Discounts
  • Employee/family health insurance
  • 401(k) with employer match after eligibility period

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Field Crew and Order Fulfillment (Part-Time)

Seed Savers Exchange is hiring for a Part-Time Field Crew and Order Fulfillment position. This position will support Seed Savers Exchange with field preparation, seed production, field maintenance, and seed harvesting and processing. In the winter, assists in the Seed House with seed packing and order fulfillment. Must be flexible to change tasks as priorities change and flexible through direct supervisor changes. This is a regular part time position working 24 hours per week year-round.

Starting wage: $14.00/hr.

Applications reviewed on a rolling basis. Priority deadline: October 11, 2021. Position open until filled.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Field Production and Seed Processing

  • Involved in field activities during growing season, including but not limited to: direct seeding, transplanting, mulching, hand weeding, mechanical tilling, trellising, fencing, and harvesting
  • Support seed processing activities: Gain proficiency in all seed processing equipment and techniques including wet and dry processing, using both mechanical and manual methods
  • Follow all organic certification protocols and keep planting, harvesting, and processing records

Seed Packing

  • Fill retail seed packets by hand and by automated machine
  • Attention to detail in seed count, lot accuracy and legibility, adequacy of seals, etc, without sacrificing efficiency
  • Packing automation includes barcode lot validation, and operation of seed packing/printing software.
  • Keep work area clean to minimize possibility of cross contamination

Seasonal Support

  • Support Seed House Coordinator as needed - transporting, sorting, weighing, bagging, packing, and shipping of garlic, transplants, potatoes, and apple trees

Order Fulfillment

  • Prepare orders for shipment. This includes picking orders, validating items, and packing into appropriate containers.
  • Process shipments using integrated shipping software

Skills:

  • Able to perform basic computer functions with training
  • Ability to learn to operate a wide range of field and seed processing equipment
  • Accurate record-keeping and attention to detail
  • Able to work well as part of a team

Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to work in varying weather conditions
  • Ability to stand, kneel, and walk for long periods of time
  • Ability to lift at least 50 pounds

Qualifications:

  • Farming/agriculture interest and experience preferred
  • Efficient, self-motivated person
  • High School diploma or equivalent
  • Valid driver's license

Benefits:

  • Paid holidays
  • Employee merchandise discount
  • Participation in Employee Wellness Program

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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.

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