Lansing Urban Farm Project is Looking for a New Farmer! Great Opportunity!

Request for Applications:

The Lansing Urban Farm Project (LUFP) seeks applications from qualified individuals (or partners) to become the Farmer(s) at Urbandale Farm in Lansing, MI, beginning as early as December 1, 2015.

The Farmer position comes with the following assets:

  1. Use of six lots currently leased from the Ingham County Land Bank with good potential for leasing additional vacant lots within walking distance.  Organic practices have been used for the past six seasons, with regular applications of compost and cover crops.
  1. Use of all tools, equipment, and structures belonging to the Lansing Urban Farm Project, including a 30’X48’ hoop house, a small wash-pack area, a shed, a covered farm stand, five refrigerators, sufficient hand tools for a crew of five, market tent, and tables).   We do not own farm machinery except for a lawn mower.   LUFP owns a 1999 mini-van that would be available for farm-related travel.
  1. Access to Ingham County Land Bank tilling and other tractor services for a small fee.
  1. Income for Farmer: The Farmer(s) would be able to keep all proceeds from produce sales beyond fees paid annually to the Lansing Urban Farm Project to be used for its non-profit missions (amount to be determined, but likely between $500 and $1000 a year).    There will be at least $12,000 available to fund apprenticeship stipends and/or other expenses.
  1. After mid-May, 2016, the two-bedroom house next to the main farm site (653 S. Hayford) is available to rent for $350/month.
  1. Urbandale Farm is known to many Lansing-area residents as a source of good produce and as a place to learn about urban farming. That reputation and access to our regular markets are considerable assets.

In return, Lansing Urban Farm Project would expect to negotiate a contract with the Farmer(s) that includes (a) any annual fees due to LUFP; (b) methods and timing of reports to the LUFP Board about the farm; and (c) the Farmer’s agreement with the following conditions.

  1. The Farmer(s) would pay for land leases and all costs related to production and marketing of produce. LUFP would pay for any events and projects not tied directly to produce sales.   Details will be spelled out in the contract.
  1. We request at least a two-year renewable commitment from the Farmer(s). In turn, LUFP would agree to keep the Farmer(s) for that period of time, barring mutually-agreed-upon reasons to terminate the contract early. If the Farmer(s) decide to leave after the second season, we request at least three months notice.
  1. We expect the Farmer(s) to continue to serve Eastside residents through the weekly Allen Street Farmers Market (for at least the outdoor season, plus as many winter markets as feasible); on-site Farm Stand, with discounts for Urbandale residents and use of EBT payments (times and days of Farm Stand to be set by the Farmer); participation with the Lansing Roots and Hunter Park GardenHouse CSA’s, as negotiated each year with their representatives. In addition, the Farmer(s) may seek additional markets and customers as desired.
  1. The Farmer(s) would make Urbandale Farm available for occasional educational opportunities and neighborhood gatherings. The Farmer(s) would not be responsible for organizing these and would be consulted about time and place of events. The house at 653 S. Hayford is not considered part of the farm for public events.
  1. The Farmer(s) would teach up to three apprentices about urban farming and provide opportunities for them to practice new farm skills.   Members of the LUFP Board and the Farmer(s) would select the apprentices together and meet regularly to monitor their progress.
  1. We request that organic practices be continued at Urbandale Farm.

To apply for the Farmer position:

There will be an information session and tour at 5:30PM on Tuesday, September 8.   Details about production and income for the past few years at Urbandale Farm will be available then, along with tours of all fields. If you absolutely cannot attend that tour, please contact us at 517-999-3916 or lansingurbanfarmproject @gmail.com to schedule a visit at another time.

The application should include the following:

  1. Your name(s) and all contact information.
  1. A resume of your educational history and past work experience. (If the application is from more than one person, please include resumes for everyone.)
  1. Create a brief (about 5-8 pages) Farm Plan that explains your ideas for continuing and sustaining Urbandale Farm.   In your Plan, include any ideas that seem important to you, in any format, but at some point, please address these two questions:

*   Under your leadership, how would Urbandale Farm remain a place where local residents can not only purchase fresh produce but also learn more about how food and farming can be integral parts of city neighborhoods?

*   How do you envision making the first two years economically sustainable for you and the farm?   Convince us that you have thought through the financial details so that you, the Farmer(s), and Urbandale Farm will be in good shape after that time.

  1. List at least three references who can speak to both your knowledge and skills at farming as well as your personal characteristics that will insure your success as urban Farmer(s).

Send completed applications either electronically (to lansingurbanfarmproject@gmail.com) or by US mail (to LUFP, 1619 E. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, MI 48912) to arrive no later than 5PM, September 30, 2015.

Questions? Please leave a voice mail at 517-999-3916, or email at: Lansingurbanfarmproject@gmail.com.

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