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: Alex Brandt | 3094 North Winn Rd. | Decorah, IA 52101.

We are an equal opportunity employer.

Current Opportunities

Director of People Care and Organizational Culture
Field Crew and Order Fulfillment (Part-Time)
Seasonal Landscaping Crew Member
Seasonal Seed Steward

Director of People Care and Organizational Culture

Full position description and details

The Director of People Care and Organizational Culture is a dynamic new leadership role at Seed Savers Exchange responsible for creatively shaping our organizational culture through developing and implementing Human Resource (HR) strategies that align with the mission and the People Care values of our nonprofit workplace. The ideal candidate will have experience with carrying out HR policies and best practices; leading and managing workplace culture initiatives and organizational change; providing and supporting effective employee training and development; as well as planning and delivering effective staff communications.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversees HR department and provides oversight of organizational HR practices and policies
  • Leads department in development and implementation of new HR strategies that reflect the People Care values and Organizational Culture of SSE’s unique workplace
  • Work in coordination with leaders across all departments (i.e. Leadership Team) to ensure thoughtful integration of initiatives to support the mission and goals within the current strategic plan
  • Partner with the Leadership Team and staff to understand and execute the organization’s HR and talent strategy, particularly as it relates to current and future talent needs, performance, retention, and succession planning across the organization
  • Take the lead on planning & implementing HR goals within SSE’s strategic plan, such as:
    • Human Resource Handbook Development
    • Supervisors Handbook Development
    • Revised Performance Review Process
    • Sustainable Staffing Strategies
    • Annual Review of Response Planning
    • Annual Wage Reviews
    • Career Pathing & Professional Development
  • Coordinate planning & implementing other HR related projects and initiatives, such as:
    • SSE’s People Care Philosophy & Values
    • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training / Goal Setting
    • Employee Handbook Revisions
  • Provide support, counsel and guidance management and other staff when complex, specialized, and sensitive HR questions and issues arise; may be required to administer and execute routine tasks in delicate circumstances such as providing reasonable accommodations, investigating allegations of wrongdoing, and exit management support
  • Work closely with supervisors and Leadership Team on annual labor planning; coordinates with other staff to interview and hire qualified job applicants; collaborates with departmental managers to understand skills and competencies required for openings
  • Monitor legal and policy requirements for employees to ensure both updated handbook, supervisor training, and policy deployment; maintains all required records, SOPs, and documentation for the department
  • Analyze trends in compensation and benefits as well as emerging best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining staff; researches and proposes competitive base and incentive pay programs to ensure the organization attracts and retains top talent
  • Assess needs, coordinates, and possibly delivers trainings, development programs, and initiatives that provide internal staff development opportunities
  • Provide open office hours to support, advise, and mentor staff on topics related to performance management, career growth and development, workplace relationships, and conflict resolution
  • Host focus group discussions within the organization to hear staff suggestions that can help inform and guide ongoing HR strategies related to People Care and Organizational Culture. plan and coordinate a variety of different staff appreciation events and activities
  • Manage internal communications such as HR email announcements and curate all HR resources shared with employees on the intranet website
  • Performs other duties as assigned

Skills

  • Effective verbal and written communication skills
  • Effective interpersonal and conflict management skills
  • Effective organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Effective analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to prioritize tasks and to delegate them when appropriate
  • Ability to act with integrity, professionalism, and confidentiality
  • Thorough knowledge of employment-related laws and regulations
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or related software
  • Proficiency with or the desire to learn the organization’s HRIS and talent management systems

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Share supervisory responsibilities and collaborate with a staff member who is an experienced HR generalist also involved with finance and accounting responsibilities.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources, Business Administration, or related field required
  • A minimum of seven years of human resource management experience required. Ten years preferred
  • PHR, SPHR, SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP highly desired

Physical Requirements

  • Prolonged periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer
  • Must be able to lift 15 pounds at times
  • Must be able to access and navigate each department at the organization’s facilities

Benefits

  • Employee/family health insurance*
  • 401(k) with employer match
  • Paid time off*
  • Paid holidays
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • Participation in employee wellness program

*eligibility for these benefits is dependent on candidate accepting regular full-time or regular part-time employment scenario (4-5 days/week), but not regular limited part-time scenario (3 days/week)

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Seed House Coordinator

Working under the Sales and Business Director, the Seed House Coordinator will be directly responsible for coordinating day to day operations of Seed House including packing activities, Seed Rack (B2B orders), and perishables inventory. This is a leadership position encompassing all aspects of seed packing and order fulfillment.

This is a regular full-time position working 40 hours per week year-round. Applications accepted through July 11, 2021.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Primary person responsible for operating a large scale seed packing machine
    • Work with Seed Inventory Coordinator to schedule, and complete seed packet builds of 500 – 3,000 packets per variety
    • Master and train other employees to use seed packing equipment including:
      • Packet Printer
      • Large Scale Seed Packing Machine
  • Primary person responsible for leading team to fulfill Business to Business (B2B) orders
    • Coordinate with Seed Rack Program manager to organize, fulfill, pack, store and ship orders
  • Primary person responsible for leading team to fulfill sales of perishable inventory:
    • Transplants
      • Assist in determining seasonal staffing requirements, hiring as needed, and taking direct supervisory responsibility of those personnel
      • Lead a team of 10-20 people to most effectively pick, pack, and ship transplant orders weekly during transplant season
    • Garlic
      • Assist in determining seasonal staffing requirements, hiring as needed, and taking direct supervisory responsibility of those personnel
      • Lead a team of 1-6 people to most effectively pick, pack, and ship garlic items and orders, weekly, during garlic shipping season
    • Potatoes and Apple Trees
      • These products have been temporarily discontinued due to pandemic related reasons, but could be added back to the catalog in future
      • Assist in determining seasonal staffing requirements, hiring as needed, and taking direct supervisory responsibility of those personnel
      • Lead a team of 1-6 people to most effectively pick, pack, and ship garlic items and orders, weekly, during garlic shipping season
  • Bulk seed packing and fulfillment
    • Work in conjunction with the Bulk Inventory Coordinator to pack bulk seed as required throughout the year, but especially in winter months when sales are high
    • Pre-pack bulk to prepare for the season by hand packing and using a Data-Count machine
    • Assist in pulling samples for germination testing and assembling wholesale orders as needed
  • Work closely with Sales and Business Director on entering and approving Purchase Orders for inventory, supplies and licenses
  • Comply with and oversee implementation of the Organic Systems Plan, per the Seed House Inventory Manager, as it applies to all responsibilities, including plant health certificates, organic certificates, and logs
  • Assemble orders and prepare for shipment
  • Other duties as assigned by the Sales and Business Director

Skills

  • Mechanical and technical aptitude sufficient to operate, train, and troubleshoot seed packing and printing equipment
  • Leadership and ability to foster a healthy, productive work environment
  • Competency with Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel, Word, and Power Point
  • Ability to navigate backend point of sales system, Netsuite experience preferred.

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to sit at a computer screen for extended periods
  • Ability to lift up to 30 pounds routinely, and up to 50 pounds occasionally
  • Ability to work in cool (45˚F) for extended periods

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent experience
  • Self-motivation, attention to detail, and ability to organize tasks

Benefits

  • Health insurance
  • 401(k) with employer match
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • Participation in employee wellness program

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. Applications reviewed on a rolling basis through July 5, 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, ability to troubleshoot
  • 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 Perishable Inventory 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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Seasonal Landscaping Crew Member

Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Seasonal Landscaping Crew Member to join our Facilities team. This position will support Seed Savers cofounder Diane Ott Whealy in maintaining her garden, and assist SSE staff with maintaining display and trial gardens, as well as carrying out other landscaping, trail, and grounds-related maintenance activities around Heritage Farm.

This is a seasonal full-time position (40 hrs/week) working through October 29, 2021. Start date may be flexible. Occasional weekend or holiday work may be required. Applications reviewed on a rolling basis. Position open until filled.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Preparing raised beds for direct seeding and transplanting
  • Maintaining Diane’s garden, trial/display gardens, and decorative gardens around the visitor center, farmhouse landscaping, and landscaping around other buildings on our upper campus
  • Implementing garden infrastructure: trellis lines, pest barriers, pathways and mulching, some fencing
  • Tending gardens and landscaped areas, including planting, thinning, watering, weeding, and mulching
  • Cleaning up gardens at the end of the growing season by removing plant residue, fencing, trellises, and other infrastructure
  • Timely communication with supervisor about the gardens’ integrated pest management needs
  • Clearing and maintaining trails on SSE property
  • Occasional interaction with visitors who have questions about SSE mission and gardens
  • Upholding SSE’s organic system plan and organic certification with garden practices used
  • Occasional help with other Facilities or Field Operations activities may be required
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to work in varying weather conditions
  • Ability to stand, kneel, and walk for long periods of time
  • Ability to perform physical activity: lifting (up to 100 lbs. assisted); carrying (50 lbs.), bending frequently, climbing, pushing, and pulling

Qualifications

  • Applicant must be detail-oriented and able to work alone and as part of a team
  • Applicant must be able to tend to the level of detail required in public demonstrations gardens
  • Customer service experience preferred
  • 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 operate weed-whips and other small-scale garden implements preferred
  • Applicants must have reliable transportation to and from work
  • Applicants must have a valid driver’s license

Benefits

  • Paid holidays
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • Participation in employee wellness program

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Seasonal Seed Steward

Seed Savers Exchange is now hiring for multiple seasonal Seed Steward positions. This position will support Seed Savers Exchange field staff with all field work and seed production activities. This work includes seed bank collection regeneration, catalog seed production, and evaluation grow outs.

The ideal candidate will fulfill a seasonal full-time position (40 hrs/week for a 6 month period), working from early May through October 31st, 2021. However, start date, end date, and position duration may be flexible. Occasional weekend or holiday work may be required.

Applications reviewed on a rolling basis and accepted through May 31, 2021. Positions open until filled.

Essential Duties And Responsibilities

  • Preparing fields for direct seeding and transplanting
  • Setting up and maintaining fences, trellises, and pollination cages
  • Mulching with hay and laying landscape fabric
  • Tending fields, including watering and hand weeding, weed whipping in-row and along perimeter fence lines
  • Harvesting fruits, vegetables, grains, and seeds
  • Threshing, extracting, and hand-processing seeds following organizational protocols to ensure the genetic purity and organic certification of productions
  • Cleaning up fields at the end of the growing season by removing plant residue, fencing, trellises, landscape fabric, and other infrastructure
  • Maintaining order and cleanliness in equipment shed, trucks, trailers, and other workspaces
  • Other duties as assigned

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to work in varying weather conditions
  • Ability to stand, kneel, and walk for long periods of time
  • Ability to perform physical activity: lifting (up to 100 lbs. assisted); carrying (50 lbs.), bending frequently, climbing, pushing, and pulling

Qualifications

  • Applicant must be an enthusiastic, detail-oriented, and a flexible team player
  • Must be able to work in groups or small teams
  • 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 operate roto-tillers, weed-whips, and other small-scale farm and garden implements is preferred
  • Applicants must have reliable transportation to and from work
  • Applicants must have a valid driver’s license

Benefits

  • Paid holidays
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • 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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