Careers at UMass Amherst

Assistant to Farm Superintendent

Apply now Job no: 522540
Work type: Staff Full Time
Location: UMass Amherst
Department: Center for Agriculture
Union: USA/MTA
Categories: Agriculture/Extension, College of Natural Sciences

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

  • 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.
  • 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)

  • Three (3) years experience with agronomic crop production. An Associate’s Degree of Science in Agriculture, Horticulture, Plant and Soil Sciences, Animal Sciences or a related field may be used to substitute one (1) years experience. A Bachelor’s Degree of Science in these fields may be used to substitute two (2) years experience.
  • Current Pesticide Applicator’s License or ability to obtain within three (3) months of hire.
  • Valid Class D Driver’s License.
  • Experience with the operation of tractors (including front end loader), UTVs, etc.
  • 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)

  • One (1) or more years of agronomic farm research experience in establishing and maintaining small plot areas.
  • Current Massachusetts Hoister’s License or equivalent licensure.
  • OSHA 10-Hour Safety Training Certificate.
  • Knowledge of and experience with all aspects of forage hay production.
  • Experience with applying pesticides, fertilizer, etc. to fields and small plot areas.
  • 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.


Physical Demands/Working Conditions

Must be able to lift a minimum of 50 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 submit resume along with application. References will be checked at the finalist stage. Please be prepared to provide contact information for three (3) professional references.

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, caste, creed, sex, age, marital status, national origin, disability, political belief or affiliation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related condition(s), veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, genetic information, natural and protective hairstyle and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination 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 UMass Amherst to comply with the applicable federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations concerning equal opportunity and affirmative action.

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Applications close: Eastern Daylight Time

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