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Assistant to the Farm Superintendent

Apply now Job no: 506978
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Center for Agriculture
Union: USA/MTA
Categories: Skilled Labor

About UMass Amherst

UMass Amherst, the Commonwealth's flagship campus, is a nationally ranked public research university offering a full range of undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University sits on nearly 1,450-acres in the scenic Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, and offers a rich cultural environment in a bucolic setting close to major urban centers. In addition, the University is part of the Five Colleges (including Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, and Smith College), which adds to the intellectual energy of the region.


Job Summary

Provide support to the Farm Superintendent in agricultural management of the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (CAFE) South Deerfield Agronomy Farm.  Assist with farm activities that pertain to Research, Education, and Outreach missions of CAFE.


Essential Functions

Examples of duties:

  • Assists Farm Superintendent with the establishment and maintenance of field research plots at the CAFE South Deerfield Agronomy Farm Facility. Advises researchers on proper choice of equipment use and crop management decisions as needed. Recommends appropriate methods and practices to follow to achieve the desired outcome.
  • Ensures proper research protocols are followed. Maintains research integrity and learning objectives as related to crops and animals.
  • Ensures safety of all personnel (students and faculty) and all farm operations under his/her direction. Instructs and trains staff including part-time and summer student assistants on proper and safe use of farm equipment.
  • Assists in the development, implementation, and enforcement of farm Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Participates in the keeping of farm safety reviews and record keeping.
  • Orders and purchases farm supplies, fertilizer, seed, pesticides, and equipment. Makes recommendations as needed for equipment for facilities and farm.
  • Assists in the coordination of maintenance of farm facilities, equipment, etc.
  • Maintains security of farm property. Ensures buildings, equipment, etc. are locked and/or secured when no farm staff are on site.
  • Provides input on the farm budget; operates within the limits of the farm budget.
  • Operates motor vehicles and equipment used in farm maintenance.
  • Applies pesticides, fertilizer, lime and other amendments to research and commodity plots as needed. Participates in the taking and review of soil samples.
  • Assists with production of hay, corn, and other feed commodities produced to meet the needs of CAFE research and education livestock.
  • Participates in the care of farm animals as needed including: feeding, watering, transport, cleaning of pens, etc.


Other Functions

  • Work collaboratively and effectively to promote teamwork, diversity, equality and inclusiveness.  In the performance of work, take initiative, be creative, and operate with self-direction.
  • Work in partnership with colleagues within the CNS community and across the campus to support the Dean’s strategic priorities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in support of the mission and goals of the College of Natural Sciences.


Minimum Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Associates Degree of Science in an agronomic field, or minimum 4 full years’ extensive experience with agronomic and/or vegetable crop production.
  • Minimum 1 year of agronomy or vegetable farm research experience in establishing and maintaining small plot areas (in addition to 4 year’s crop production experience as listed above, if applicable).
  • Current Pesticide Applicator’s License.
  • Valid Class D Driver’s License.
  • Experience with applying pesticides, fertilizer, etc. to fields and small plot areas.
  • Ability and willingness to work with hazardous materials (pesticides) as needed.
  • Experience with the set-up, calibration, and maintenance of agronomic equipment including but not limited to: plows, harrows, planters, cultivators, combines and other harvesting equipment, etc.
  • Ability to work independently to organize multiple tasks and set priorities for action, take initiative, be creative, and operate with self-direction in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact effectively and work productively in establishing and maintaining harmonious working relationships with a diverse population of faculty, staff and students.
  • Ability to organize and prioritize goals; ability to collaborate well to formulate plans and objectives in accordance with overall college goals; ability to identify and implement process improvements.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and to set and meet deadlines while maintaining high standards of accuracy and quality.


Preferred Qualifications (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Education, Experience, Certifications, Licensure)

  • Knowledge of and experience with all aspects of forage hay production.
  • Knowledge of hydraulics and hydraulics systems maintenance.
  • Experience with ARC and/or MIG welding.
  • Basic automotive maintenance and repair experience.
  • Experience in advanced techniques of fence installation. Knowledge of fixed and electric fence systems.
  • Experience with driving truck with attached trailer and/or experience in the securing and hauling of heavy equipment over the road.
  • OSHA 10-Hour Safety Training Certificate.
  • Current Massachusetts’s Hoister’s License or equivalent licensure.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Must be able to lift a minimum of 40 pounds repetitively. Must be able to work for an extended period of time in adverse environmental conditions including: extreme heat and/or cold, rain, snow, etc.


Additional Details

May be required to come in during off hours to assist in case of emergency, including snowstorms to assist with snow removal at the farm facility. This position will have an essential personnel designation.


Work Schedule

Monday – Friday; 7AM – 3PM. (37.5 Hours per Week)


Salary Information

USA/MTA Grade: 14


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please apply by January 22, 2021. As part of a commitment to their own multicultural community, CNS seeks an individual with a demonstrated commitment to diversity and one who will understand and embrace university initiatives and aspirations.


UMass Amherst is committed to a policy of equal opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, age, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, disability, military status, or genetic information in employment, admission to and participation in academic programs, activities, and services, and the selection of vendors who provide services or products to the University.  To fulfill that policy, UMass Amherst is further committed to a program of affirmative action to eliminate or mitigate artificial barriers and to increase opportunities for the recruitment and advancement of qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.  It is the policy of the UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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