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Open Position – Seed Preservation Farm Assistant

Close up of seeds with a hand holding tweezers
Please email a cover letter, resumé, and the contact information for three references as a single PDF to [email protected] – include the name of the position in the subject line of your email. Applications may also be mailed to: Seed Savers Exchange | Attn: Peggy Miller | 3094 North Winn Rd. | Decorah, IA 52101.

Seed Preservation Farm Assistant

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt (hourly)
Position Status: Regular, Full-time
Reports to: Field Coordinator 
Supervisory Role: No
Compensation: $17.00/hour
Start date: January 2024

Primary Role

This position supports Seed Savers Exchange through the work of onsite seed productions of open-pollinated, heirloom varieties. With a focus on assisting with field preparations, transplanting, field maintenance, seed harvesting, and seed processing, this year-round position also includes propagation in the greenhouse, as well as seed packaging and supporting with order fulfillment duties in the winter months.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Sowing, watering, fertilizing, and transplant maintenance in a greenhouse setting
  • Transplanting and direct sowing of catalog production crops
  • Mulching with hay, landscape fabric, and black plastic to maintain soil health and decrease weed pressure
  • Maintaining field plots by weeding (manual and mechanical), weed whipping, and intercropping with cover crops
  • Hand watering with a water tank as needed
  • Monitoring crops for disease and insect pressure
  • Following organizational protocols to ensure genetic purity and varietal maintenance of production crops
  • Performing wet and dry seed harvesting and processing; this includes seed extraction, seed cleaning, threshing, winnowing, and conditioning
  • Will be required to lead field crew on specific tasks and be a point person for field crew throughout the season
  • Maintaining accurate field planting and harvest records
  • Weekend care of nursery crops
  • Tearing down fields at the end of the season, including trellises, fencing, landscape fabric, isolation cages, etc.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Field Coordinator

Seed House Duties & Responsibilities: November through April

  • Fill retail seed packets by hand, as well as assist with machine packing
  • Picking and packing seed packet orders for shipment

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to work in varying weather conditions
  • Ability to stand, kneel, walk, climb, push, and pull for extended periods of time
  • Ability to lift up to 100 lbs. (assisted) and lift/carry at least 50 lbs. (unassisted)


  • Experience with organic vegetable, flower, and/or herb production preferred
  • Applicant must be an enthusiastic, detail-oriented, flexible team player
  • Ability to keep accurate, detailed records in a fast-paced work environment
  • Applicants must have reliable transportation to and from work
  • Applicants must have a valid driver’s license
  • Demonstrated self-direction and ability to work alone
  • Demonstrated teamwork and ability to do group tasks
  • Ability to follow specific protocols and safety procedures


  • Paid PTO
  • Paid Holidays
  • Paid Long Term Disability
  • Paid Life Insurance
  • Employee Merchandise Discounts
  • Health care, retirement, and lifestyle benefits

Seed Savers Exchange is an equal-opportunity employer and enthusiastically encourages people from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences to apply. Seed Savers Exchange does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by law.