Christmas Tree Farm Manager – Bethlehem, NH

Christmas Tree Farm Manager
The Society for the Protection of NH Forests
At The Forest Society North at The Rocks
Bethlehem, NH

Description:

The Christmas Tree Farm Manager is responsible for running the Forest Society’s 25,000-tree Christmas tree farm operation at The Rocks in Bethlehem, NH. Since 1989, this has been a successful retail and wholesale Christmas tree farm. The Rocks is an iconic part of the community serving as the Forest Society’s north country hub for community engagement through recreation, educational programming, and tourism centered around this scenic Christmas tree farm and historic estate.

The Christmas Tree Farm Manager will ensure successful planting, cultivation, sales and operations of the 45-acre tree farm. The Christmas Tree Farm Manager’s focus is to ensure all aspects of the Christmas tree operation and business are implemented. This position is primarily responsible for the day-to-day farm operations with other duties helping with property, trails and grounds at The Rocks. This person will also hire, train, and supervise seasonal farm staff, contractors and suppliers.

The Christmas Tree Farm Manager is part of a larger team who support the activities, programs, and maintenance at the 1,500-acre Rocks property which hosts several miles of recreational trails and the buildings that serve as the hub of the Forest Society’s north country operations. The Christmas Tree Farm Manager is also responsible for ensuring the farm and north country center are clear of snow in winter months and may work with other lands team staff as time allows to accomplish stewardship goals at The Rocks and other nearby north country properties.

This individual will represent the Forest Society on Christmas tree and farm organizations such as the Christmas Tree Growers Association and attend regional conferences. Good communication skills, and the ability to interact with people positively are vital. The position is full time, year-round with more hours needed during peak events such as tree planting, tree harvesting, and Christmas season sales. The Forest Society promotes a balanced approach understanding that tree farming has busy and slow seasons.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

• Carry out operations for the Christmas tree farm, including planting, spraying (requires pesticide applicators license), tree shearing, de-coning, tree inventory, fertilizing, tree grading and tagging, tree harvesting, mowing, and Christmas tree stump cutting.
• Manage farm finances, equipment, stock and supplies.
• Manage tree seedling, wreath, and other tree farm supply ordering.
• Responsible for all wholesale and retail Christmas tree and wreath sales.
• Responsible for recruiting, hiring, training and managing seasonal farm staff.
• Ability to plan and implement detailed seasonal schedules of required tree farm maintenance and organize tasks and personnel to get this work done.
• Hire and oversee farm-related contractors when necessary.
• Responsible for the preparation and management of the Christmas tree farm budget and planning.
• Manage tree farm business relationships with local inns including billing and accounts receivable.
• Coordinate Christmas season retail operation at The Rocks in collaboration with other north country staff.
• Responsible for the timely deposits of all cash receipts related to sales at the Christmas tree farm.
• Represent the Forest Society’s membership in National Christmas Tree Association, and the NH/VT Christmas Tree Association, including attendance of local meetings.
• Repair and maintain grounds equipment: tractors, mowers, ATV, utility trailers, saws, & trimmers.
• Provide back-up and support for north country campus maintenance; lawns, driveway, parking lot and roads
• Ensure north country campus roads, walkways, and parking are kept clear of snow in winter.
• Coordinate with program and education staff to help facilitate educational programming which may entail tasks like driving the tractor and trailer during maple tours and other programming needs.
• Wild apple tree pruning in early spring at The Rocks and other north country forest reservations
• Maintain, repair and replace property signage as needed.
• Attend staff and lands team meetings, keeping the larger staff informed of program activities for the Christmas tree operation.
• Collaborate with the Forest Society lands team to help with forest and recreation management at The Rocks and other north country properties.

Contributions/Outcomes:

This position is primarily responsible for managing the Christmas Tree Farm operation as a core Forest Society program. This includes the hiring and supervision of farm staff and volunteers and providing a safe and productive workplace environment. Additionally, this position plays a key role in working with other north country staff to ensure a positive experience for visitors to The Rocks and to maintain relationships as community ambassadors to the north country. The successful candidate will foster a profitable and sustainable tree farm business while working as part of a team to accomplish the larger goals of the organization.

Qualifications and Skills required:

The Christmas Tree Farm Manager should have a minimum of 3-5 years of experience with hiring, training and supervising others. Candidates shall have 3-5 years experience working in an agricultural setting and/or Christmas tree farm and be competent running tractors, chainsaws and equipment. An education of a two-year associates degree or equivalent is preferred. A degree with program focus in arboriculture, agriculture, or horticulture is preferred.

Demonstrable Competencies and Requirements:

• Excellent people skills and the ability to effectively communicate well both verbally and in writing.
• Good organizational skills both in the field and office (with strong attention to detail).
• Ability to use Microsoft Word, Excel and Quickbooks (for basic invoicing).
• Ability to work independently without supervision and manage crew members.
• Ability to hire, supervise and manage seasonal crews.
• Ability to operate and perform basic maintenance of farm equipment including one-ton truck and trailer, tractor, ATV and chainsaw.

Experience, Education, and Licensure:

• Farming or agricultural experience, with preference for experience in cultivating Christmas trees.
• Knowledge and skill at safely operating farm equipment, including chainsaw and tractor operation.
• Driver’s license and capacity to drive a one-ton truck with a 20-ft trailer; maintain the required Medical Examiners Certificate (acquired at expense of Forest Society).
• Possession of or willingness to acquire a private spray license from the Division of Pesticide Control, specifically for Christmas trees (acquired at expense of Forest Society).

Additional Beneficial Skills and Qualities:
• Self-starter with a proven ability to run and foster a successful business.
• Experience in forestry and forest management.
• Experience with marketing, tourism and/or public relations.
• Experience in providing public educational workshops and developing outreach materials.
• Experience in horticulture, arboriculture, nursery work, or forestry.

Working Conditions: The Christmas Tree Farm Manager must be prepared to work year-round indoors and outdoors, conducting physically strenuous work in a wide variety of weather conditions. Schedule will include some evenings, weekends and occasional holidays during parts of the year. Seasonally, this job may involve as much as 90% outdoors work.

Physical Requirements: Fieldwork in this position can be physically demanding. Individual should be able to walk long distances over variable terrain in fields as well as in the woods, sometimes carrying equipment. Must be prepared to work mostly outdoors, tolerating a range of weather conditions. Must be able to stand for long periods of time in the cold or the heat, run handheld power equipment, climb stairs, and be able to lift approximately 80 lbs.

Direct Reports:
Seasonal farm staff and volunteers.

Salary: starting at $55,000 and dependent on experience
Full Time Year-Round Exempt position

Equity, Inclusion & Collaboration:
The Forest Society is an equity-based employer. We value a diverse staff and an inclusive culture. We value staff that work for the good of the whole; that can effectively collaborate to achieve shared goals of their department, as well as the organization. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other protected status as required by applicable law.
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Questions regarding this position should be directed to:
Wendy Weisiger, Managing Forester
wweisiger@forestsociety.org or 603-224-9945 X340

Resumes should be sent to:
Stephanie Milender, Human Resources Director at smilender@forestsociety.org
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Background Information:
Forest Society North at The Rocks

The Forest Society North at The Rocks is the newly renovated north country headquarters of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Donated for conservation in 1978, The Rocks is a 1,500-acre working Christmas tree farm, program and education center, and recreation destination with hiking trails and a new hillside amphitheater facing the White Mountains.

The vision for Forest Society North at The Rocks is to create a facility that honors the property’s historic past, serves as a center for forest conservation and education, offers a community gathering space and event venue. The site is open to the public at no cost, hosts many programs, and is a bustling retail Christmas tree operation for 6 weeks of the year.

In 2023, the Forest Society completed the renovation of an 1884 Carriage Barn as our main program center and offices. The net-zero building is furnished with interpretive displays, as well as a retail gift shop, classroom, meeting spaces, and public restrooms. The Forest Society staff based in the building include a program director, land protection project manager, easement stewardship regional manager, senior outreach manager, and an administrative/events coordinator. The Christmas tree farm operations are based out of another building on campus, but the Christmas tree farmer will work closely with the program staff and volunteers.

The Site: The Rocks was constructed as a 19th century summer retreat that was a working farm and family compound. Unique buildings designed by Chicago-based architects and gardens designed by the Olmsted Company are located on the property, or if no longer in existence are interpreted on the property. Buildings in use today include the Sawmill-Pigpen, which now serves as the NH Maple Museum, several small summer houses located along the woodland trails and in the garden, the main Carriage Barn (now our program center), the gardener’s cottage/greenhouse, and Charlie Brown’s Farm/the red house and barns (housing Christmas tree operations) located at the east end of the property. Several buildings have been lost to fire over the decades, including the Tool Building and the Electric Plant, which burned in 2019 and precipitated the major renovation and new north country center hub completed in 2023. On the site of the lost buildings, a hillside amphitheater has been recently installed, creating a new feature that is available for public use, events, and enjoyment.

Additional Information: https://www.forestsociety.org/employment

Contact Name: Stephanie Milender
Contact Email: smilender@forestsociety.org
Contact Phone: 603-224-9945

Contact Us

To contact NESAF, please email the appropriate member of our Board of Directors. General questions can be directed to our Chair or the website administrator at webadmin@nesaf.org.

NESAF

New England Society of American Foresters
54 Portsmouth Street
Concord, NH 03301