General Manager at Philo Ridge Farm 190 views0 applications

General Manager – Philo Ridge Farm

Philo Ridge Farm is an organic 400-acre farm located in Vermont’s Champlain Valley. We are a diversified farm in our fourth year of production, growing produce and raising meat with practices that increase the health of our soil, produce a variety of nutrient rich foods, reduce the use of fossil fuels, and support our agricultural community. Our production spans mixed vegetables and fruits, mushrooms, flowers, orchards, and heritage livestock including sheep, chickens, turkeys, cattle, and pigs. We produce our own compost and hay on the farm.

We are carefully measuring and monitoring our practices so that we can share our story and lessons-learned with other farmers, organizations and community members who are interested in understanding and supporting regenerative agriculture. Across Philo Ridge Farm we believe in treating our employees, animals, and land with the respect and care.

One year ago, we opened the Farm Commons Barn, a community gathering place with a commercial kitchen and marketplace for selling products grown and processed at our farm. The marketplace at the Farm Commons Barn is open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a casual counter service style, as well as a curated larder/grocery selection showcasing our meats, fresh produce and other products from local farms and producers. Additionally, the commercial kitchen and processing facility operates a production cycle continuously throughout the year handling the value added food processing and butchering of our farm-raised animals. This facility is an important part of our business model, allowing us to welcome the public, to host events, and create value added goods throughout the entire year. 

Position Overview

Philo Ridge Farm is looking for a General Manager (GM) to be the creative, hands on, entrepreneurial driver of our diverse and innovative farm. The GM will provide inspirational leadership and oversight of team development, as well as thoughtful financial management of the business. They will be a key ambassador of our core values, company mission and the Philo Ridge Farm story.

The GM is responsible for all business operations, leadership development, internal communication, community engagement and marketing, HR and administration. They are supported by the Philo Ridge Farm Asset Manager and business partner, Bio-Logical Capital, and the Philo Ridge Farm Board, which includes farm owners Diana McCargo and Peter Swift, who live adjacent to the property. This is a multi-faceted role, with many diverse responsibilities, requiring patience and resilience, solid business acumen, entrepreneurialism, and a good sense of humor.

Managing Philo Ridge Farm requires an expert generalist, both curious and humble, who shares our passion for land conservation, growing produce and raising animals. As a calm, clearheaded leader, the GM must switch context often from long term strategy to the most granular operating details – and see the connection between the two. Multitasking will be critical in this position; a typical day might include jumping in to help out with morning livestock chores, checking the previous day’s cash handling and deposit, approving vendor invoices, reviewing the daily market menu with the Chef, leading a farm tour, planning infrastructure for next year’s Market Garden program, and interviewing a new dishwasher. Between the Board members and the Bio-Logical Capital team, and the various department managers and their line staff, there are many different languages spoken (i.e. business, agriculture and hospitality industry terms) across the scope of the business, and a broad range of professional communication skills to navigate. The GM must move fluidly from language to language and group to group, translating between team members and ensuring that the content being presented is always aligned with the intended audience. In this role, the General Manager is a facilitator, an active listener, a clear communicator, a mentor, coach, mediator, and source of positive inspiration for the entire team at Philo Ridge Farm.

Strong candidates will be equally comfortable in spreadsheets and muck boots.

Roles and Responsibilities

Strategic Planning

  • Coordinate annual and long-range strategic planning for each business unit, and coach business unit managers to think and execute entrepreneurially
  • Maintain regular communication with the Board regarding operations and performance; and prepare quarterly written reports on business unit operations, progress toward goals, and budget variances
  • Collaborate with Board and Bio-Logical Capital to incorporate lessons from business operations into forward looking strategy
  • Lead the development of strategic goals to drive financial performance, enhance ecological impact, and deepen community connections

Leadership Development

  • Celebrate and share the Philo Ridge Farm story; speak with passion and knowledge about our food and products, and train team members to do the same
  • Continuously train, coach, and develop management ability, operational efficiency, financial literacy, and communication skills among Philo Ridge Farm Managers and staff
  • Create a positive, inspired team-oriented work culture rooted in effective communication and collaboration by actively demonstrating and teaching exceptional professionalism with a focus on guest experience
  • Support individual managers to facilitate staff education and develop robust professional development plans for all team members

Financial Management

  • Responsible for business unit performance and overall project profitability
  • Develop the annual operating and capital expense budget with support from Bio-Logical Capital and track budget to actual performance on a monthly basis
  • Interface with off-site accounting team, review financial statements, prepare forecasts, reports, and financial summaries for Bio-Logical Capital
  • Review and approve daily operating expenses, and ensure accurate coding for accounting and financial reporting

Internal Communication

  • Facilitate open and constructive communication between Philo Ridge Farm staff and managers, the Board and the Bio-Logical Capital team. Regularly engage the full staff of Philo Ridge Farm, both through individual dept. managers, and directly during all-staff meetings and other team building events
  • Provide consistent active listening to all members of the team and constructive feedback to Managers and Board in the context of business performance, customer and employee feedback, and progress towards strategic goals

Community Engagement and Marketing

  • Represent Philo Ridge Farm as a spokesperson and active participant in the social, agricultural, and culinary communities of Vermont
  • Engage with partner organizations, businesses and individuals to expand Philo Ridge Farm’s role in relevant circles around Vermont and the nation
  • Cultivate a regional and eventually national presence in land use, agriculture, climate change, food systems, events, and hospitality

Business Operations

  • Oversee all
    aspects of Philo Ridge Farm’s day-to-day business operations and property management
    and support daily coordination between all Philo Ridge Farm managers
  • Regularly spends
    time working directly with line staff in department level operations.  Including daily livestock moves and feeding,
    market garden planting, weeding and harvesting, prep work and cooking with the
    kitchen team and working the various service positions in the market
  • Develop or adopt operational systems that are
    able to evolve as the business expands and that enhance team communication,
    improve guest experience, reduce expenses, improve margins, drive higher sales,
    and develop new business lines

Human Resource and General Business Administration

  • Recruit staff members, create employee development plans, and conduct annual reviews
  • Address all staff incidents and interpersonal issues calmly and impartially, coaching and supporting individual managers through difficult conversations.  Ensure that disciplinary action is consistently administered and terminate employees when necessary  
  • Works with the Office Coordinator to ensure that all Human Resource and other Administrative paperwork is completed and filed appropriately
  • Responsible for maintaining all permits, licenses, insurance policies, and other administrative processes associated with business compliance and general risk management

Qualifications

  • A leadership style based in collaboration, curiosity, empathy, clear communication, and creative problem solving
  • Loves learning about, cooking, sharing (and eating) good food
  • Passion for farming, local food systems, land management and environmentalism. Hands on agricultural experience a plus, but not required
  • Unwavering standards in delivering an excellent product accompanied by a positive guest experience. Experience in hospitality also a plus, but not required
  • Demonstrated entrepreneurial thinking in a business or non-profit leadership role, with fully developed abilities as facilitator, mentor, mediator, and coach
  • Minimum three years management experience in an operating business or organization with more than 10 employees
  • Ability to read, interpret, and develop actionable responses to business financial statements
  • Comfortable as a spokesperson and outward leader of Philo Ridge Farm locally, regionally, and beyond
  • Reliable transportation to drive to and from different locations in and around the farm
  • Valid drivers license and clean driving record
  • Minimum of three professional references
  • Belief in the mission of Philo Ridge Farm and love for Vermont

Compensation

Compensation will be competitive and commensurate with experience

Application Process

Candidates should send a cover letter illustrating experience, resume, available start date, contact information, and reference contact information to tcooke@philoridgefarm.com. Qualified candidates will be contacted directly. No phone calls please. 

For more company information, visit www.philoridgefarm.com and www.biologicalcapital.com

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Bio-Logical Capital, LLC, is a land investment, development and conservation company. Our mission is to transform how land is valued, used, and protected.  We do this by working with investors and landowners to design, build, conserve and manage diverse land-based projects in urban and rural environments. Our projects leverage sustainable planning and stewardship practices to create regenerative agricultural businesses, walkable communities with appropriate scale, light imprint infrastructure and local food production. Our team believes that people are a part of their environment and that when we listen to, learn from, and deepen our relationship with nature we can create consistent value, long-term productivity, and healthier communities. We also believe that a long-term commitment to land and communities with an “enrich, hold, and share” model deepens people’s relationship with the land, supports vibrant communities, establishes a culture of stewardship, and significantly increases the value of land and the consistency of earnings and returns. 
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