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Aquaponic Farm Distribution Coordinator in Denver, CO at Mental Health Center of Denver

Date Posted: 11/20/2018

Job Snapshot

Job Description

POSITION SUMMARY: The Aquaponic Farm Distribution Coordinator is responsible for supporting the greenhouse production and distribution systems, as well as the general functions of the Dahlia Campus Greenhouse. This position is a multi-faceted role involving the opportunity to work in a state of the art aquaponic greenhouse as part of an integrative campus: Dahlia Campus for Health & Well-Being. The role supports the farm team’s efforts to expand the communal impact of the Mental Health Center of Denver’s Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being by providing the surrounding Park Hill neighborhood with a direct, year-round connection to affordable healthy food. Duties of the Aquaponic Farm Distribution Coordinator include: supporting the Aquaponic Farm Manager in food production, distribution, and sales; conducting food safety-related activities including data logging to ensure compliance with licensing requirements; facilitating ideal operating conditions of the greenhouse environmental controls system, aquaponic system, and composting processes; and meeting production as well as financial goals.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:

  • General Greenhouse Duties: perform general maintenance and cleaning; follow standard operating procedures and maintain appropriate logs; ensure that all farm practices are conducted following GAP, HACCP, and food safety guidelines; test, record, and monitor key system parameters of water quality (pH, temperature, nutrients, etc); adjust parameters of environmental control system, as needed; assist with stocking and moving fishmonitor fish health and assure adherence to daily feed schedule; monitor plant health for nutrient deficiencies; identify and mitigate, as needed, any pest and disease issues; assist with training and overseeing volunteers; contribute to biweekly meetings with greenhouse staff to ensure smooth communication.

 

  • Food Production and Distribution: seed and transplant according to schedule provided by Aquaponic Farm Manager; perform and enforce proper cleaning/sanitizing tasks, record keeping, and best practices to meet food safety requirements when entering the greenhouse and while handling, storing, and transporting food; assist in harvesting/packing greens, lettuces, and fish, as needed; make local deliveries to restaurant customers and community institutions; expand the customer base for Dahlia-grown produce by conducting targeted outreach to chefs and maintaining restaurant relationships; manage off-site Food Box distribution in the community; support on-site Food Box distribution, as needed; assist in running weekly seasonal Farmers Market, as needed (evening hours).

 

  • Farms and Gardens Partner Engagement: support planning for and attend special Farm-related events at the Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being and occasionally off-site; attend weekly meetings with Farms and Gardens partners and outreach team as appropriate depending upon agenda.

Job Requirements

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in science field with coursework in agriculture, aquaculture, horticulture, biology, ecology, chemistry, biochemistry, food science, or environmental science highly desirable; alternatively, combination of equivalent work experience and coursework or practical knowledge of biology, chemistry, ecology, urban agriculture, and/or public health. Must have valid Colorado driver’s license and pass background check.

EXPERIENCE:

Minimum 1 year experience in farming or food production.

Previous controlled environment (greenhouse) agricultural production experience preferred, experience with Deep Water Culture (DWC) aquaponics a major plus.

1 to 2 years experience in restaurant industry preferred.  

SKILLS AND COMPETENCIES:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills; ability to communicate respectfully, orally and in writing, with diverse persons
  • Bilingual Spanish and/or ASL preferred
  • Ability to be sensitive to community members and respond to community needs
  • Familiarity with restaurant industry and food safety best practices
  • Comfortable navigating city streets driving a large truck
  • Enjoy working in a fast-paced environment
  • Thorough understanding of biology, chemistry, aquaculture
  • Extremely strong attention to detail and thorough follow-through
  • Strong technological and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to give, receive, and analyze information, formulate work plans
  • Ability to think quickly and respond to situations under pressure
  • Experience with Microsoft Office, Google Drive, database management
  • Ability to perform basic arithmetic quickly (conversions, etc.)
  • Passion for urban agriculture and food systems, production, and justice

MACHINES AND EQUIPMENT TO BE USED:

16’ refrigerated box truck

20,000 gallon deep water culture (DWC) aquaponic system consisting of two 2,800 gallon filtration-in-tank (FIT) raceway fish tanks, 400 gallon media bed system 

Wadsworth Versistep environmental control system

TYPICAL PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

Lift 50 lbs. above the head and carry awkward, heavy items

Repeated bending over and extended reaching

Stand for 5+ hours at a time

Work long hours (occasionally 10+ if necessary)

Work efficiently in bright, humid, and wet greenhouse environment

Withstand extreme temperature variation (58-95 degrees F)

TYPICAL MENTAL DEMANDS:

Manage a fast-paced working environment.

Frequent multi-tasking under high-risk conditions when biological systems are at stake.

Handle a wide variety of farm elements including: algae, biofilm, fish waste, uneaten fish food, decomposing plant material, bacteria, fungus, dead fish, and plant pests.

WORKING CONDITIONS: Requires on-call, occasional weekend hours, and potential coverage on traditional holidays. The Aquaponic Greenhouse is a 24/7 operation.

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