FoodWhat Farm & Culinary Manager

Job Type

Full Time




FoodWhat 1156 High St.
Santa Cruz
United States


Farm and Culinary Manager

Watsonville + Santa Cruz, California

Permanent Full-Time Position


Applications Accepted on a Rolling Basis

February 1st, 2019 Full-Time Start Date


About FoodWhat: FoodWhat is a youth empowerment and food justice non-profit organization that uses food, through sustainable agriculture and health, as the vehicle for youth to grow into strong, healthy, and resilient teens. We partner with low-income and struggling youth across Santa Cruz County to grow, cook, eat, and distribute healthy, sustainably raised food and address local food justice issues. We serve high school aged youth (many from alternative education and continuation high schools), and prioritize teens struggling from low family income, academic challenges, trauma, foster care, intersections with the juvenile justice system, and substance abuse. Youth from Watsonville to Santa Cruz join the FoodWhat Crew through spring internships, summer jobs, fall business management positions, and leading community events. Our highly intensive core programs serve 70+ youth annually at our two farm sites (Watsonville and Santa Cruz) through a graduated leadership model. FoodWhat creates a safe space where youth experience radical diet change, critical job training, and the opportunity to define and step into their own power and success. FoodWhat teens find their voices and develop lasting confidence in themselves resulting in profound personal growth and transformation. Check us out at


FoodWhat has a consistent track record of solid financial standing, and we’re on a serious growth trajectory. We are now looking for a new person to join our team and take a leadership position to drive our farm and food programming forward into our next decade of work. You should be ready to hit the ground running, implementing our existing crop plan and youth programming in your first year, with an eye toward farm/program development and innovation to take FoodWhat to the next level shortly after.


Position Description: We are looking for a highly motivated, detail-oriented and energetic person for this position of Farm and Culinary Manager. This position will bottom line all aspects of our farming operation and food/farming youth programming at our three-quarter acre site in Santa Cruz and lead the youth food/farming pieces at our Watsonville farm site. This role is the primary organizer and leader for all youth culinary and farming components of our core programming. You will not be behind the scenes, but very much a major partner in the program team in running programs with youth on the land and in the kitchen.


We run a daily Spring Internship on both farm sites with youth (March-May), a full time Summer Job Program with youth (June-Aug) and a Fall Management Program with youth (Sept-Oct). This position will work in concert with our Programs Manager, Program Coordinator and Executive Director in the planning and implementation of these core programs, taking leadership on the farm and food aspects. Additionally, this position will participate in FoodWhat’s in-school Winter Community Educator program, year-round Junior Staff training, alumni activities, and two large on-farm events.


This position requires a collaborative individual with a high level of organization and flexibility who is gifted in working with youth while being solid on farm production and in the kitchen. You will be a leader in our organization, and a partner, mentor, coach, and cheerleader to the youth. You are someone with outstanding farming, cooking and relationship building skills who can engage and inspire the youth we serve about multiple aspects of the food system from production to consumption to food justice. You are approachable, a great listener, and passionate about our mission. You get the big picture while being a strategic thinker who can dive in and get the daily work done with a strong attention to detail. Most importantly you are a deep believer in the power and potential of youth and willing to do everything in your power to support youth in removing any barriers to their success and growth. You’re playful, comfortable being you, and willing to share your personal magic with FoodWhat youth while creating safe space on the farm and in the kitchen.



●      Farming and culinary curricular creation, revision, and implementation for all youth programming

●      Manage seasonal and day-to-day organic farming operations at ¾ acre Santa Cruz site with ongoing coordination with other farm partners there. Manage organic farming operations through coordination with farm partners at Watsonville site

●      Prep and lead farm work and culinary activities each week for Spring Internship youth

●      Full immersion in daily youth Summer Job Program leading youth in farm activities, “Family CSA”, summer farm stands, and daily meal planning and preparation for 30+ people

●      Organize additional summer food aspects such as one-time youth summit food and final summer dinner celebration with youth and their families

●      Run youth Fall management positions on farm and in kitchen as well as weekly farm stands in Santa Cruz and Watsonville

●      Coordinate and implement youth-powered pie micro-business in the Fall. Involves managing relationships with local business partners and retailers as well as partnering farms.

●      Maintain existing, and create new, relationships with local chefs, coordinating their participation as summer lunch guest chefs and chefs for our annual benefit.

●      Play leadership role in events including Spring Alumni Gathering and in our two big on-farm annual events (Spring Strawberry Blast and Fall Harvest Festival)

●      Direct the food aspects of two major fundraising events, including annual benefit dinner. This includes menu creation with chefs, sourcing ingredients, setting up youth to cook with chefs, and coordinating food day of  

●      Support implementation of fundraising and community events

●      Participate in program evaluation (quantitative and qualitative)

●      Supervision of full and part-time staff, seasonal program staff, interns, and volunteers


Required Qualifications:

▪      Multiple years of youth development experience, or strong demonstrated ability, with low-income youth (teens), preferably from an empowerment perspective, on farm and in kitchen

▪      At least 2-5 years of organic farming production including crop planning, greenhouse, irrigation, cultivation, pest and disease control, harvest and post-harvest handling, CSA/market, and cover crop experience. Farm and crew management experience strongly preferred.

▪      Significant cooking experience—catering experience a plus. Job requires supporting a youth crew to cook for 30 on a regular basis.

▪      Strong facilitation and group management skills

▪      Knowledge of and experience with low-income communities and underserved communities of color

▪      Understanding of and commitment to social justice with an analysis of systems of power, privilege and oppression

▪      Passion for building community and deep relationships through food and agriculture

▪      Positive, creative, flexible, and takes initiative

▪      Ability to work independently, in team setting, and in fast-paced, changing environment

▪      Completes tasks successfully and within specified deadlines: demonstrates strong time management skills implementing programs on time and on budget

▪      Dependable with thorough follow through

▪      Ability to handle multiple programs/projects at once; strong organizational skills and attention to detail

▪      Good communication skills: verbal, written, electronic and with a variety of audiences

▪      Highly competent in use of computers and necessary technology on a daily basis; additional software experience a plus (database, farm management tools, social media)

▪      Physically fit to meet the demands of working on farm with youth, experience/ability digging beds by hand and the ability to lift 50lbs.

▪      Utilizes and can exemplify tools or strategies for maintaining self-care and personal well-being

▪      Willingness to work non-traditional hours, including evenings and weekends as farm/programs demand

▪      Valid California Driver’s license and vehicle for personal and youth travel




➢    Cultural identity and lived experience relevant to the youth we serve

➢    Bilingual Spanish speaker

➢    Rooted in Santa Cruz County, particularly in Watsonville


Position details:

  • This is a 40-hour per week, full time position with paid vacation, sick time, and holidays. Full medical, dental, and vision benefits provided. Salary $55,000.


Paid vacation, sick time, and holidays. Full medical, dental, and vision benefits provided.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

No requirement

How To Apply

Please email with the email subject line “Farm and Culinary Manager” with your name.

Please attach a single pdf “(YourName).pdf” that includes these three items:

1. A cover letter that shares the unique skills you bring to the table and includes the date or range of timing you are interested/available to start

2. A resume with at least two professional references

3. A completed application. Review the application at the bottom of this document and answer the questions to demonstrate your skills and approach. The application is not optional; you must return all three components to be considered for the job.