Poultry Production Specialist

Job ID 137

Program / Project Support Arkansas   Perryville


Description

Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identify, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.

FUNCTION
At Heifer USA, we believe regenerative farming is critical to the health of rural economies and the health of our planet. That’s why we invest in farmers, equipping them with the skills and support they need to make their businesses grow. Heifer Ranch is a 1,200-acre living classroom where farmers and ecologically concerned consumers can connect, share ideas and learn from our team of agricultural experts.
We provide hands-on, classroom and digital training programs and support to farmers accessing new markets. Our team of horticulture and livestock specialists teach innovative and climate-friendly farming practices that improve small farmers’ bottom line, provide nutritious food for consumers and protect and conserve our environment.
When local farms thrive, local economies and ecosystems do too.
The Poultry Production Specialist will support our work by leading the pastured poultry enterprise at Heifer Ranch. They will utilize regenerative and innovative farming techniques to grow our production in an efficient and effective way. In addition, this person will assist in the building and maintaining of our living classroom at Heifer Ranch and contribute to our training programs. 

ESSENTIAL CHARACTER TRAITS:
Commitment to performance; Excellence; Visionary; Always brings solutions; Entrepreneurial; Fail fast and small; Action-oriented; Passion for mission; Self-starter and proactive tendencies; Tenacity; Creativity; A “whatever-it-takes-to-get-the-job-done” mentality; Thrives in a culturally diverse environment; Detailed; Systematic; Organized; Collaborative; Trustworthiness; Communicator; Flexibility


RESPONSIBILITIES & DELIVERABLES
Responsible for brooding and raising up to approximately 45,000 pasture-raised broiler chickens and turkeys at Heifer Ranch annually (70%)

  • Brooder and schooner set-up, cleaning, troubleshooting and maintenance (including feeders and waterers)
  • Responsible for the stress-free transport of poultry moving from the brooder to the pasture
  • Coordinate with Grass Roots Farmers Cooperative and other transporters for chick delivery and chicken pickup
  • Coordinate agriculture volunteers in day to day tasks, provide the structure, mentoring, and motivation to effectively and efficiently support you and the poultry enterprise
  • Coordinate assistance and lead “chicken / turkey catching” pre-harvest
  • Coordinate with Grass Roots Farmers Cooperative for chicken transportation crates
  • Follow Heifer’s procurement guidelines to purchase poultry related inputs such as feed and shavings, then coordinate delivery of the items
  • Ensure predator control in the brooder and while poultry are out on pasture, including care and continued training of poultry guardian dogs
  • Responsible for all daily chores required for the poultry enterprise, including daily schooner moves, setting up electronet, providing feed and water
  • Responsible for fully complying with Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative animal welfare standards
  • Responsible for checking on poultry during inclement weather and providing hay during heavy rains or cold temperatures
  • Must be willing to cull sick poultry in accordance to animal welfare standards
  • Commitment to improving and increasing efficiencies within the current pastured poultry enterprise at Heifer Ranch
  • Ability to communicate professionally with other producers and individuals interested in learning about pastured poultry
  • Assist in evaluating infrastructure and other needs to grow production, and work with a cross functional team to develop a plan to scale

Record keeping (10%)
  • Responsible for keeping detailed daily records for the poultry enterprise, including feed consumption and weight data
  • Comply with Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative record-keeping standards and provide required data in a thorough and timely manner to the cooperative and members of the Heifer USA team
  • As instructed by Ranch Manager & Land Steward, complete all necessary documents for third party verification
  • Monitor costs and stay within the allocated budget for poultry enterprise

Support farmer training program (10%)
  • Contribute to creating and enhancing farmer training curriculum and materials
  • Assist in the preparation and execution of in-person and digital training
  • Engage with Heifer Ranch visitors to provide educational and inspiring agricultural experiences
  • Promote regenerative agriculture practices coupled with a focus on how small scale farmers can increase profitability
General agriculture support (10%)
  • Must be willing to lend a hand in the other livestock enterprises and support Agriculture Team projects and initiatives
  • May perform other job-related duties as assigned
Minimum Requirements:
  • Associate’s degree in Agri-business, Agriculture, or a related field plus two (2) years of related experience
  • Knowledge of and hands-on experience with poultry production
Preferred Requirements:
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Agri-business, Agriculture, or a related field plus three (3) years of related experience
  • Experience working with pasture-raised poultry and regenerative agriculture techniques
  • Proven agricultural production experience
  • Reside within close proximity to Heifer Ranch or willingness to stay on the Ranch when duties require it
Most Critical Proficiencies:
  • Enthusiasm for farming!
  • Attention to detail regarding all aspects of poultry production
  • Ability to communicate well with others
  • Flexibility in work hours and days
  • Passion for sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices
  • Knowledge of general office procedures
  • Knowledge of Google Suite and Microsoft Office and ability to create thorough and accurate documentation using these tools
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Strong critical thinking
  • Ability to communicate sensitive information appropriately to internal and external stakeholders
  • A dedicated approach to meeting goals and deadlines
  • A natural sense of curiosity, and the ability and interest in learning new skills
  • Ability to listen well, ask thoughtful questions, and think creatively and collaboratively and independently
  • Ability to follow wellness standards for poultry production
  • Willingness and ability to grow production scale
Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands:
  • Must be able to work outside in all weather conditions
  • Must be able to check on poultry as needed, including occasional evenings and weekends
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds (23 kilograms)
  • Ability to work independently and perform multiple tasks with minimal supervision
  • Proven ability to consistently meet deadlines
  • Flexibility in processing schedule changes
  • Ability to operate livestock truck with livestock trailer, tractor in a safe manner.
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Excellent poultry handling skills
  • Ability to exhibit positive, proactive problem-solving and communication skills
  • Demonstrated communication skills (written and oral)
  • Ability to work independently, enthusiastically and efficiently to get the job done
  • Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality