From 19th-century family farm, to a town-owned volunteer-run non-profit land preserve, Wilton’s Ambler Farm has definitely evolved and changed over the years. In the 15 years since the Town purchased 22 acres of the Raymond-Ambler family’s homestead after the death of Betty Ambler, the mission has been to preserve and celebrate Wilton’s agrarian roots through active-learning programs, sustainable agriculture, responsible land stewardship, and historic preservation.
Now another sign of progress at Ambler: the Friends of Ambler Farm–the volunteer group that runs the Farm–has announced its search for a new staff member to fill the position of coordinator to help run the day-to-day administrative operations that enable the Farm to run smoothly and serve the community.
Farm officials are pleased that with the growth of the organization comes the need for more help. Neil Gluckin, president of the Friends of Ambler Farm, said, “The Farm is a non-profit, but increasingly the size and scope of our agenda requires that we operate in a businesslike manner. That’s why we’re looking for an experienced, self-starting individual to take on the role of coordinator. It’s a great opportunity for someone to serve our community and help Ambler Farm continue to grow — and get paid for it.”
He added, “It’s exciting to think that a 200 year-old working farm dedicated to celebrating our community’s agrarian roots has grown from its beginnings as a small, ambitious restoration project to an active organization with a year-round calendar of events, a growing membership roster, an important fund-raising campaign, a number of very popular programs for children and an organic farm and farm stand — to name just a few of our more visible features.”
The coordinator would join two other professional staff members at the Farm. Kevin Meehan, Ambler’s program manager (and Cider Mill science teacher), has created signature programs for children and families that span the seasons, including the Apprentice Program, Maple Syrup Tap-a-Tree, the hugely popular summer program, and more, including a trebuchet team. He also built and maintains the Educational Gardens with the assistance of the Ambler apprentices. About two years ago, Jonathan Kirschner joined the staff as director of agriculture – increasing the output of the organic gardens to about 5,000 pounds of produce last year. According to Jonathan, “We have expanded our produce to more than 40 different varieties of about 30 different crops. We are utilizing more of our production garden space than ever before and are also adding multiple plantings to increase our offerings in the late fall.”
Ambler Farm sells its organic produce to local restaurants and the Village Market as well as at its weekly Saturday farm stand and Wednesday Wilton Farmers’ Market. Jonathan noted, “We’ve made great progress on improving land that was left to brambles and bringing it back into production, which will allow us to increase our offerings and grow in the future. The new Coordinator position will be vital to keeping all the pieces running smoothly.”
Ambler Farm officials say the new coordinator role’s flexible, part-time hours are suitable for a parent with children in school. According to a job description, work can be done from home, but will require regular presence at the Farm. Candidates should have previous administrative work experience, strong organizational skills and an ability to work independently. The role will require a commitment of 2-3 days per week on average. In addition, they said excellent communication, book-keeping and technology skills are a must. Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):
- accounting and financial reporting (CPA not required), including proficiency at Quickbooks
- maintaining the Ambler Farm calendar
- membership and volunteer data base and communication (working knowledge of Salesforce.com is a plus)
- volunteer schedules
- inbound and outbound electronic, voice and written mail
- managing facility rentals
- merchandise inventory management
- printing, mailing and/or distribution of materials such as postcard invitations, newsletter, event and program posters
- website maintenance and updates
- program and project management and support
- assistance to the Board and its committees as needed
The Administrative Coordinator will report to the President of the Board. Compensation is commensurate with experience. The target start date for this position is October 1.
Individuals interested in applying are asked to send a resume and short cover note to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gluckin added that volunteers are still needed for Ambler Farm’s 13th annual Ambler Farm Day on October 6th and anyone interested in learning more can contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for information. Others interested in volunteering time and talents in Ambler’s fields, farm stand/farmer’s market booth, helping with programs, marketing, events, and virtually anything else are invited to contact the farm via email@example.com.