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Human Resources

Zenger Farm

Employer: Zenger Farm

Contact Name: David Wills-Ehlers


Contact Phone5037712315

Job Category: Other

Job Location: SE Portland

Job Description

Zenger Farm is a 501(c)3 nonprofit working urban farm in Portland, OR. We model, promote, and educate about sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship, community development, and access to good food for all. We are guided by a vision of a healthy, resilient community, where the wellbeing and prosperity of children and adults, regardless of race, geography or socio-economic status, is enhanced through access to affordable, plentiful and nourishing foods. We believe nourishment is a basic human right. Farm interns graduate ready to work on a sustainable mixed-vegetable farm as a Crew Member. Some people use this program to decide whether to pursue a future in farming. Still others use this program to gain skills that they use in their careers as educators, chefs, gardeners, social workers and at non-profit organizations. One major goal of this internship is to provide a farming experience that is inclusive, particularly for women and people of color. Nationwide, the average age of a farmer is 60-years-old, 85% of farmers are men, 95% of farmers are white. Many other groups are underrepresented. This disparity in representation is due to racism (particularly white supremacy), sexism, and classism, and therefore we encourage people of color, women, LGBTQ people, religious minorities, recent immigrants and applicants from different generational, economic and educational backgrounds to apply. This farm internship program is designed for people with little or no experience farming. Farm interns rarely work independently and instead spend most of their time being closely mentored by our four farm apprentices, or our two farm co-managers, Bryan and David. Both are cis-men of European descent with no African, Latino, or Indigenous heritage; one is gay and the other bisexual. It is important to consider how their identity may shape your experience. We seek to provide an economically-viable alternative to “conventional agriculture.” We adopt a view of food sovereignty. Farms should be responsible members of their communities. Farms should improve community resilience and self-reliance. Farms should foster healing connections with the land. We seek to reform conventional farming practices that depend heavily on machinery, chemicals and exploited labor. Conventional agriculture damages land, air and water; harms the health of communities that consume the food grown; and harms the workers who feed our communities. Farm interns support the farm apprentices in caring for four acres of diversified vegetable crops, fruit orchards and laying chickens. We strive to model social justice and economic viability at our organic farm. We earned $140,000 from the distribution of produce in 2018. Over 90% of income was from vegetable crops. 70% of our produce feeds our 200-member CSA, with pick-ups at the farm and at the nearby Multnomah County Mid County Health Center. Our farm is in a culturally vibrant neighborhood and we operate a bilingual English/Spanish CSA. Our farming operation allows us to model innovative practices. In one such program, we educated over 500 other CSA farmers how to accept SNAP payment. We have since set up a system to provide centralized SNAP processing for over 50 Oregon CSA farms. In another such program, for-profit CSA farms are paired with low-income health clinics providing subsidized shares to patients with diet-related illnesses, called CSA Partnerships for Health. The remainder of our produce sales are to local restaurants. The four short-season interns will join the core of the Zenger Farm Crew, consisting of two co-managers and four full-season apprentices. Interns will join the crew 2 days/week for 8 weeks at a time: the first cohort in the summer, and the second in the fall. Farm interns rarely work independently and instead spend most of their time being closely mentored and supervised by our farm apprentices, or by our two farm co-managers. Additionally, farm interns will join and support volunteers and other work parties. Education of the body is a core component of this internship. We teach interns the underlying ergonomics of farm work. Proper ergonomics are essential for an economically-viable farm. Your speed, stamina and efficiency will allow you to operate your own farm and compete when other farms lower their costs with machinery, chemicals, and exploited labor. Close mentorship from our farm apprentices and managers allows interns to learn proper ergonomics. We provide a hands-on experience in a wide variety of tasks happening on the farm during the 8-week internship. The internship also includes 10 hours of classroom instruction in topics including crop planning, irrigation, seed saving, and soil fertility. We provide a compassionate and healing education. Zenger Farm recognizes that many people, disproportionately people of color, have experienced trauma related to the land and farming. This includes the land where Zenger Farm is located, which is stolen indigenous land. The farm crew reminds ourselves that indigenous people are still connected to this land by incorporating culturally specific practices and centering indigenous knowledge and history. As a crew, we foster a healing environment with positivity, mindfulness, shared responsibility, Nonviolent Communication, regular check-ins, open feedback (both given and received), and Popular Education methods. The interns will join the apprentices in the ongoing examination of some root causes of injustice in our food system—particularly racism and sexism— with facilitated discussions prompted by readings, talks, videos and personal stories shared by the farm crew. Time commitment • Wednesday and Thursday, 8 hours/day • Summer: June 19th – August 8th, Fall: August 28th-October 18th. Responsibilities • Field Work: Most field work at Zenger Farm is done by hand, and includes seeding, planting, weeding, watering, trellising, harvesting, hauling, washing, and packing produce for sale • Animal Care: Watering, feeding, cleaning, and care of chickens and turkeys • General Farm Maintenance: Tool and equipment care, farm and property upkeep • Summer and Fall tasks will differ, please inquire for more information Qualifications • Interest in gardening or farming. • Ability to lift and carry 50 pounds, farm outdoors in all weather conditions and perform the above responsibilities. • Attitude: Positive, driven, flexible and team-oriented. Benefits: This is an unpaid volunteer internship, room and board are not provided • Hands-on training in small-scale, sustainable farming practices • 10 hours workshop instruction in sustainable farming practices • 1 CSA share during internship dates Selection Timeline Apply by end of day Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 for the summer session, August 21st, 2019 for the fall session. We will begin reviewing applications on May 1st for the summer session and July 5th for the fall session. Application Instructions You can apply online or by mail, but not by email. Find application details at • Apply online at or • Print and mail the application to: Zenger Farm, Attn: David Wills-Ehlers, Farming Internship, 11741 SE Foster Rd. Portland, OR 97266. Contact David Wills-Ehlers ( with any questions, but please do not submit your application by email. A complete application includes these sections: 1. Applicant information 2. Experience 3. Questions 4. Demographics (optional and voluntary)

Job Qualifications

Qualifications • Interest in gardening or farming. • Ability to lift and carry 50 pounds, farm outdoors in all weather conditions and perform the above responsibilities. • Attitude: Positive, driven, flexible and team-oriented.

Hours/Shifts: 16 hours/week

Pay: None; 1 csa share provided

Application Process

Start Date: 06/19/2019

Application Deadline: 06/19/2019

Human Resources

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  • 72

    Human Resources is located in South Chapel Annex on the Graduate Campus.


    voice 503-768-6235 fax 503-768-6233

    Associate Vice President of Human ResourcesHeyke Kirkendall-Baker

    Human Resources

    • Human Resources Lewis & Clark 0615 S.W. Palatine Hill Road MSC 72 Portland OR 97219