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

Seasonal Seed Steward
Seed Inventory Coordinator
Seasonal Landscaping Crew Member
Education and Engagement Intern
Historic Orchard Intern
Seed Census Summer Intern
Iowa COVID-19 Recovery AmeriCorps Member

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 April 21, 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 Inventory Coordinator

The Seed Inventory Coordinator is responsible for supporting the Inventory Operations Manager in receiving and packaging seed, as well as maintaining seed inventory levels sufficient for regular order fulfillment.

This is a non-exempt (hourly), full-time position working 40 hours/week year-round. Applications accepted through April 11, 2021.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Perform daily assembly builds using NetSuite before orders can be printed- both mass create work-orders and work-orders to build (i.e. items that were ordered or went on backorder overnight)
  • Generate sales forecasts, and build packet and bulk pre-pack assemblies in NetSuite, being careful not to over-pack beyond product’s useful life/season
  • Evaluate need for monthly germination testing, and generate export from NetSuite to include relevant lot and seed quantity requirements
  • Using outside lab software, create labels for germination or other required testing, and coordinate associated packing/shipping
  • Develop trainer-level mastery of seed packing equipment (i.e.SeedPack 2000, DataTech S-25, Bulk Pack/Pick Scanners, Packet Printer, etc.)
  • Coordinate all seed packing activities, and train on all aspects of packing/picking seed – bulk, manual, automated
  • Monitor Rush Orders, build as needed and ensure subsequent follow-through to order completion
  • Restrict seed product offerings as inventory levels/lead times fluctuate
  • Coordinate Cycle Counts annually on all raw material and finished goods to ensure accuracy of inventories
  • Weigh every lot of seed in cooler, adjust as necessary
  • Individually count every product item and bulk pre-pack
  • Perform continuous end-of-lot adjustments for packets with help from Shipping Manager (i.e. confirm actual end quantity prior to new builds)
  • Investigate auto-fill script errors and update orders to allow the fulfillment process to proceed

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Coordinate packing activities with a team of 2-8 packers seasonally

Intra-Department Responsibilities

  • Initiate/monitor Inventory Transfers from internal NetSuite locations to maintain accurate inventory; maintain hard copy with receiving department’s initials
  • Evaluate quality of incoming seed and bring any concerns to the Inventory Operations manager
  • Regularly meet with Shipping Manager to respond to staffing needs and changing priorities within the department
  • Other duties as assigned by Inventory Operations Manager

Skills

  • Excellent computer and record keeping skills or ability to be trained
  • Previous experience with NetSuite or similar CRM system preferred
  • Mechanical aptitude sufficient to operate, train, and trouble-shoot packing and printing equipment
  • Leadership and ability to foster a healthy, productive work environment

Physical Requirements

  • Sitting or standing at a computer for extended periods
  • Lifting up to 30 pounds routinely, and up to 50 pounds occasionally
  • Periodic need 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

  • Employee/family health insurance
  • 401(k) with employer match
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Employee merchandise discounts
  • 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 from May 1 through October 29, 2021. Start date may be flexible. Occasional weekend or holiday work may be required. Applications accepted through April 19, 2021.

Essential Duties And Responsibilities

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

  • 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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Education and Engagement Intern

Seed Savers Exchange (SSE) is seeking an Education and Engagement Intern for mid-May/early June through August 2021. As the world continues to face the change and uncertainty of living through a pandemic, many people have turned to seeds and growing their own food as a source of hope and resilience. The Seed Savers Exchange Education and Engagement Intern will have the opportunity to work closely with SSE staff to provide beginning and first-time growers and gardeners the information and resources needed to grow their own food and save their own seed.

The Education and Engagement Intern will be involved in this work on many different levels, including assisting with our Resilience Gardens virtual education programming, assisting in the creation and implementation of online educational events, helping to manage our Herman’s Garden seed donation program and speakers bureau, working on written education content, and assisting in the enhancement of the Heritage Farm visitor experience through display garden maintenance and educational signage.

All work will be done with staff and community safety and wellness as top priority. Occasional weekend work will be required.

This is a non-exempt seasonal position working 40 hours/week for up to 12 weeks. Applications considered through April 15, 2021. Internship start and end dates are flexible.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist with the planning, preparation, management, and evaluation of online education and engagement events, including our annual conference
  • Assist with the planning and preparation for potential in-person education and engagement events
  • Assist in the planning and creation of Resilience Garden Project educational videos, to be shared on SSE social media
  • Help manage our Herman’s Garden seed donation program
  • Help manage our SSE Speakers Bureau staff speaking engagements
  • Help explore and implement ways to make SSE educational programing and content more accessible to and inclusive of diverse communities
  • Help to maintain signage and overall appearance of education and display gardens

Required Qualifications

  • Organized, self-directed creative problem solver, with strong attention to detail
  • An appreciation for and comfort with learning about and from cultures other than your own
  • Comfort leading groups and working with others, with an ability to remain calm, confident, and flexible in a fast-paced, ever-evolving and sometimes public work environment, learning alongside everyone on the team
  • Comfort working with others in a virtual setting, including leading virtual meetings and appearing in educational videos
  • Experience in or ability to learn video creation, editing, and presenting
  • Knowledge of or ability to learn online organizational systems such as Google Drive, spreadsheets, and event platforms
  • Ability to speak to personal needs and respect safety protocols and comfort of others

Additional Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience with video creation, editing, and presenting
  • Experience in education field
  • Knowledge of and experience with gardening
  • Knowledge of and experience with seed saving
  • Experience with public storytelling, through writing and/or presenting
  • Photography skills
  • Ability to perform physical activity including standing for extended periods of time, lifting, carrying (up to 50 lbs.), bending, kneeling, and other motions related to garden maintenance

Benefits

  • Compensation: 40hr/wk position at $11.00/hr
  • Paid holidays

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Historic Orchard Intern

Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Historic Orchard Intern to assist the Orchard Management Team in revitalizing two heritage variety apple orchards. These two orchards cover approximately 10 acres and contain about 1200 apple varieties. The trees are at various stages of growth from nursery trees to 30 year old giants, with a new high density section to be planted. Day to day work includes orchard floor establishment, grafting, pruning, assisting in integrated pest management (IPM) monitoring, and general orchard maintenance and tree care. We’re looking for a motivated individual that’s passionate about learning orchard management and preserving rare apple varieties. Candidates with experience in horticulture through formal or informal training will be preferred.

This is a non-exempt seasonal position working 40 hours/week for up to 12 weeks. Applications considered through April 9, 2021. Internship start and end dates are flexible.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist in maintaining orchard floor including mowing and planting cover crops
  • Planting bare root trees
  • Assist with and learn standard pruning techniques for all
  • Grafting and tree nursery maintenance
  • Data entry of inventory into Microsoft Access

Qualifications

  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to stay motivated amidst repetitive tasks
  • Previous experience working in an orchard setting is a plus, but not required
  • Background or familiarity in agriculture or adjacent interests
  • Curiosity and love of learning

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Ability to work during inclement weather including heat and rain
  • Ability to work long hours standing and walking
  • Relative comfort using and learning to use small machinery

Benefits

  • Compensation: 40hr/wk position at $11.00/hr
  • Paid holidays

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Seed Census Summer Intern

Seed Savers Exchange is seeking a Seed Census Intern 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 up to 12 weeks. Applications considered through May 15, 2021. Internship start and end dates are flexible.

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 $11.00/hr
  • Paid holidays
  • Ability to work onsite at Seed Savers Exchange is preferred, but applicants interested in working remotely from elsewhere in Iowa will be considered

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Iowa COVID-19 Recovery AmeriCorps Member

Iowa COVID-19 Recovery AmeriCorps members will enhance accessibility to safe recreation, outdoor education, and local food production at the Heritage Farm by supporting the maintenance of display gardens and hiking trails and the development of interpretive signage to engage visitors in Seed Savers Exchange’s nonprofit mission and to enhance self-guided and educational tours and programming.

Primary responsibilities may include maintenance of display gardens and hiking trails, development of wayfinding and interpretive signage for display gardens and hiking trails, development and delivery of COVID-safe tours (in-person or virtual), and assisting with SSE’s 2021 events (in-person or virtual).

AmeriCorps Members may also support SSE’s Education and Engagement team with the creation and development of our continued “how-to” video series and related publications.

At the end of the summer, AmeriCorps members may also support gleaning from display and trial gardens to share produce with local food pantries. Some weekend hours are required.

Seed Savers Exchange is committed to providing a safe working environment and details of this position may change accordingly.

Applications reviewed on a rolling basis. Start date and hours can be flexible but applicants must be able to start in at least limited part-time capacity by 5/10/21. Please email jobs@seedsavers.org for more information. Positions open until filled.

Service Dates: 3/29/2021- 9/10/2021

Living Allowance

COVID-19 Recovery AmeriCorps members are expected to provide 450 hours of service over 24 weeks and will receive a living allowance of $3,900 over that term, which equals about $325 every two week period.

For those currently receiving unemployment benefits, AmeriCorps is considered a training opportunity and thus does not interfere with your ability to collect unemployment.

Unique Benefits

Members will have opportunity to attend and partake in professional development opportunities such as the Seed Savers Exchange Conference and Seed School, as well as work with and learn from with SSE cofounder, Diane Ott Whealy in her garden at Heritage Farm.

At the end of a successful term of service, Emergency Response Corps members will receive a SegalEducation award of $1,638.89. Student loan support and child care assistance are also available.

Depending on other household resources, AmeriCorps members may also be eligible to receive SNAP Benefits.

Requirements

AmeriCorps members must be at least 17 years of age; U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or legal permanent residents. They must also have a high school diploma, GED, or be in progress of completion. AmeriCorps also requires National Service Criminal History Checks.

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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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