The Dickinson College Farm is currently accepting applications for our 2017-18 Education & Outreach Coordinator and our 2017 Summer Student Farmers.
Overview of Student Employment Opportunities
Student Farmers: Position Description
If you have any questions please feel free to contact Jenn Halpin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Farmers are the backbone of the Dickinson College farm, working in groups and independently on farm-based projects. Student Farmers can expect to work with the seasons and demands of the farm, from planting and harvesting and construction projects to livestock work and field work. Students interested in gaining a full spectrum of farm experience are encouraged to apply.
Dickinson students can apply to work at the farm during the academic year and over the summer. Student farmers are encouraged to follow their interests and manifest their ideas, whether they are related directly to agriculture, food, or even biology, art, business or physics.
The farm employs 14-18 students during the academic year (part time) and 6 students during the summer (full time). The farm also offers an apprenticeship program for those interested in gaining experience in sustainable food production. These full-time positions run from May until November.
Students interested in working at the College Farm during the academic year have the opportunity to earn up to 10 hours of work per week at a competitive pay rate. The College Farm is a diversified program offering opportunities for hands-on experience in sustainable food production, renewable energy, animal husbandry, and lots more! Our program manages the campus composting project, dedicates 85% of its land space to raise food for the dining hall and is involved with many community-based projects; from class visits, to educational field days, workshops and public tours. Student farmers can be sure to be involved with all aspects of the farm’s projects!
Student farmers employed at the College Farm are required to work a minimum of 6 hours per week (no more than 10 hours) from Monday through Saturday. The work is fun, outdoors and physically engaging; from herding sheep to construction projects and harvesting crops. The College Farm seeks good-natured students, ready for hard work, interested in gaining hands-on experience and willing to try to new things!
Want to see more on what it’s like to be a Student Farmer – check out this video!
Dickinson College Farm Based Youth Educator
For students with a passion for experiential youth education, this person is the coordinator of our education program, Sustainable Earth Education (SEED). SEED offers a unique educational experience to Carlisle area youth groups, from Girl Scout troops to after-school group to summer camps. SEED classes use the bountiful resources at the farm to create an experiential, playful and sensory experience focused on an aspect of sustainable agriculture, chosen by the group. SEED classes are concentrated on Saturdays and are two hours long.
The coordinator is expected to spend 6-10 hours a week developing plans and curriculum for classes as well as building their own skills as a farm-based educator. The position is supported by the Farm’s Education and Outreach Coordinator. It is not necessary to have experience in education or sustainable agriculture to fill this position, a passion to learn and teach is all we ask!
The 2016-17 Youth Educator Position has been filled.
Biofuels Production Assistant
The Dickinson College Farm operates a small batch biodiesel operation, in which a clean burning alternative to petroleum diesel fuel is produced from used cooking oil collected from Dining Services. The resulting liquid fuel is used to power farm trucks and tractors. Biodiesel production involves basic chemistry and arithmetic skills, the ability to follow directions and safety protocols. The farm also produces biogas (bio-methane) via anaerobic digestion of livestock manures and campus food waste. Gas from the bio-methane project is used for cooking in farm residences and canning produce at the barn. Biogas work includes manure collection and handling, operating basic power tools, and following safety protocols. The student employee will gain experience in all aspects of biofuels production, from feedstock collection and analysis to delivery and use of the finished products. Some tinkering and experimentation with new system designs will be part of the job. Biofuels production on the farm is a hands-on “dirty job”, but the right student will find it a rewarding opportunity to generate low tech renewable energy while learning a variety of skills. Preference will be given to science and environmental majors, but all students are encouraged to apply.
The 2016 Biofuels Production Assistant Position has been filled.
Farm Cook Eat Student Coordinator
Farm, Cook, Eat is an after-school education program offered by the Dickinson College Farm to a 3rd grade class at LeTort Elementary. Farm, Cook, Eat is developed, organized and taught by the Program Coordinator. The mission of each class aims to educate children on sustainable, local, and healthy eating through interactive and fun learning experiences.
The Farm, Cook, Eat Program Coordinator position seeks a student who is creative, flexible, organized and has a passion for youth-based food education. As the program coordinator, the student will be provided opportunities to build their skills as an educator as well as receive support from the Farm’s Education and Outreach Coordinator. Additionally, the student can expect to gain experience in managing student volunteers and building relationships with resources both within the community as well as the college.
The student coordinator will have the option of working one shift per week at Dickinson College Farm alongside other student farmers.
The 2016-17 Farm, Cook, Eat Student Coordinator position has been filled.
College Farm Education and Outreach Coordinator
The College Farm Outreach Coordinator is a one-year full-time position geared toward providing a recent graduate with the unique opportunity to continue their connection with the College Farm and regional local food initiatives while developing professional skills in educational programming, program management and communications. This position will be based on campus and will work to maintain and establish campus and community connections under the supervision of the College Farm Manager, Jenn Halpin. The position will include a competitive hourly rate.
Areas of focus for the Outreach Coordinator include overseeing and providing support for the farm’s youth educational programs, coordinating ongoing educational and outreach programs on campus (like Farm Frolics, Harvest Fest, the Local Food Dinner and POP), helping to generate ideas and implement new campus programming, serve as farm liaison with Dining Services, assist with farm media and much more.
Click here for more information on the Education and Outreach Coordinator position. The deadline for the 2017-2018 Dickinson College Farm Outreach Coordinator is February 17th, 2017.
What can I hope to learn through my job on the farm?
Dickinson students can apply to work at the farm during the academic year or over the summer.
What does a student job on the farm entail? This is our favorite question to answer! …Everything. Each and every day is different. Student farmers spend their days seeding, transplanting, weeding, watering, harvesting, and washing crops. They have worked on construction projects, such as building the yurts and greenhouses, and installing solar energy systems.
Student farmers can expect to engage in work that is fun and physically engaging; from herding sheep to running produce deliveries to campus, local restaurants and Project S.H.A.R.E. and collecting compost. They help oversee the CSA on pickup days and the Farmer’s Market or HUB Farm Stand on market days. Student farmers are encouraged to follow their interests and manifest their ideas, whether they are related directly to agriculture, food, or even biology, art, business or physics.
Our program manages the campus composting project, dedicates a large portion of its land space to growing food for the dining hall, and is involved with many community-based projects including class visits, educational field days, workshops, and public tours. Student farmers are involved with all aspects of the farm’s projects.
What are we looking for in a student farmer?
The farm employs Dickinson students who are enthusiastic, ready for hard work and willing to try to new things. Successful applicants will have a keen interest in exploring sustainable land management first-hand.
What are the hours like for student farmers?
During the academic year, students can earn up to 10 hours of work per week. A minimum of six work hours per week is required.
Summer student farmer positions start in late May and run until classes resume in late August. Students are required to fulfill 40 hours of work per week, Monday through Friday. Our days start at 7:30am and end at 4:30pm with a one hour lunch. Students receive free on campus housing for the duration of their employment at the farm and free transportation to and from the farm for work purposes.
What do other students have to say about their experiences working on the farm?
“Working at the College Farm over the summer was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had. I learned more about sustainable agriculture and the importance of eating local than I ever could have expected to learn. We learned about various aspects of agriculture in working day to day and in visiting other local farms. We learned everything from seeding crops, protecting them from diseases and insects, and identifying healthy plants to harvesting techniques and marketing crops at the local farmers’ market. Jenn and Matt made working at the farm more than just a summer job, but also a hands-on educational program that provided us the opportunity to acquire skills that are applicable beyond the farm fields such as teamwork, responsibility and dedication.”- Katelyn Repash ’11, Environmental Studies
“The farm is easily the best job I’ve ever had, in many ways. Nowhere else have I worked for and with such great, intelligent, and interesting people, nor have I had a job where learning about something as intriguing as sustainable agriculture was a required element. The work I did over the summer was sometimes difficult, sometimes monotonous, but it rarely seemed so because of the people and the beautiful setting of the College Farm. When I applied I had no idea that I’d be involved in so many aspects of the farm, in everything from every part of the growing process to projects like building a solar dehydrator or a vermi-composter. I’ve herded sheep, squashed potato bugs, driven a solar-powered golf cart, harvested watermelons… Nobody I know has a job description as cool as mine. I’ve learned so much, not only about how the Dickinson Farm supplies food to campus and to the surrounding community, but about sustainable agriculture and sustainability in general. I would highly recommend the position to anyone even casually interested in agriculture or even interested in being outside.” -Scott Hoffman ’12, Neuroscience
“I came to the Dickinson College Farm after two previous summers on two different organic vegetable farms. I felt that I had a pretty good understanding of the principles and practices of vegetable farming. However, after coming to work for Matt and Jenn I realized that I still had a lot to learn. And learn I did. I was constantly given the opportunity to learn new skills and farming techniques. From seeding to welding to our lessons on weed management and beekeeping, I was always challenged to improve my practical knowledge. My summer at the Dickinson College Farm was one of reinforced, positive, practical learning.” – Benson Ansell ’10, Environmental Science