Full time, £20,592 per annum (annually reviewed 1st April) + Accommodation

Old Plaw Hatch Farm is looking for a farmer to work as part of the team that manages the arable and livestock at the heart of the farm. This role is responsible for the stewardship of the land and machinery in growing feed for the animals (hay, silage, oats and barley), but also contributes to the success of the farm through working collaboratively with the team in all aspects of farming, including husbandry and estate management. In time, it is expected that the post-holder will take on additional responsibilities to support the overall running of the whole farm.

The successful candidate will have previous experience of – and enthusiasm for – machinery maintenance, field work and nurturing soils, and an understanding of biodynamic agriculture. A willingness to turn your hand to any task is essential. We work in a flat management structure, so the desire to work inclusively in decision-making and with good communication is fundamental to the role.

This job allows you to make a difference, as you will be part of a team and a community that is committed to farming in a biodynamic way that serves the community; a way of life rather than just a job!

Who are Old Plaw Hatch Farm

Old Plaw Hatch Farm is a 200-acre farm on the edge of the Ashdown Forest near Sharpthorne. It has been a biodynamic farm for over 30 years and is owned by a charitable trust. In total we farm close to 500 acres within a 12-mile radius of the main farm. As tenant farmers our aim is to provide as wide a range of produce as possible, principally to the local community. Our prices reflect the true cost of food production allowing for re-investment towards the sustainability of the farm. We are a mixed farm with a dairy herd providing raw milk, cheeses, yoghurts and cream. We also keep sheep, pigs and laying hens and meat is processed through our butchery. A garden of 12 acres provides a range of seasonally available fruit and vegetables. All this produce is sold through our farm shop with a little being sold through other local outlets.

The farm employs approximately 30 people, some of whom live on site, as well as hosting volunteers. The farm land and buildings are owned by St Anthony’s Trust and the farm business is owned by Tablehurst and Plaw Hatch Community Farm, a community-owned co-operative. The farm comprises five enterprises; the shop, garden, farm (husbandry and arable), dairy and butchery. The managers of these enterprises along with the Farm Business Manager form the Management Team, which runs the operations of the farm.

Values statement

Old Plaw Hatch Farm employ a biodynamic agricultural approach that values sustainable husbandry of the land and responsible and loving welfare of the animals. They value the people who contribute to the farm’s day to day activities and seek to create a working environment that honours integrity, peace, happiness, honesty, personal responsibility, passion, love, authenticity, freedom and balance, and which celebrates the beauty of the farm’s natural environment.

Old Plaw Hatch Farm embrace challenges. They highly value their connection to the local community, of which they are all also individual parts, and strive to operate a farm business that is a transparent example of ethical and sustainable agriculture on every level, offering on living display the full cycle of food production. They seek to provide a working farm environment which honours learning, teaching, and personal and community growth and development. They operate an ethical financial approach which is in harmony with our values. Old Plaw Hatch Farm see themselves as stewards of the farm, embodying man’s sacred relationship to the land, creating a legacy of richness at every level for future generations.”

The role

The key duties are outlined below:

  • Field work, including cultivating, sowing, mowing, baling, wrapping, harvesting, storing and delivering crops
  • Manage the workshop area and machinery maintenance
  • Support colleagues in husbandry and estate management tasks
  • Liaise with colleagues to meet feed and bedding needs, share equipment and share workload
  • Undertake administration associated with farming activities
  • Work with biodynamic preparations and standards and attend inspections
  • Work collaboratively with the farming team and the management team in day to day and strategic decision-making
  • Train and support volunteers and apprentices
  • Work to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

The person

This role requires the person to be an experienced farmer, dedicated to building healthy soil and field work, capable in working and maintaining machinery, with knowledge of the varied tasks involved in mixed farming. Sharing our values and striving for improvement in embodying them on a day to day basis is essential for this role.

The successful candidate must be approachable, motivated and a team player with flexibility and the capability to solve problems and work as an enthusiastic member of the management team.

This post necessitates a will to work collaboratively and inclusively, taking personal responsibility and sharing responsibility for the whole farm organism.

You must have an interest in living in a farming community and working to serve a wider community.

Next steps

Interested? For a further detailed job description contact info@plawhatchfarm.co.uk or to apply please send your CV and a covering letter to this info@plawhatchfarm.co.uk