Program Leader & Farm Coordinator

Enterprise · River Forest, Illinois
Department Enterprise
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Experienced


Opportunity Knocks exists to support people with different abilities as they live, work, learn, grow and connect within their community. We believe in a dynamic, person-centered and community-based approach to programming that engages the voice of all Warriors. We also believe in a dynamic, person-centered workforce that includes the voices of all varieties of humans. We strive to build our team with that ideal in mind. Everyone has something to offer this mission. Come bring what you have.

POSITION TITLE: Program Leader & Knockout Farm Coordinator

DIRECT SUPERVISOR: Enterprise Director

JOB PURPOSE: The Farm Coordinator will manage all farm operations, working to connect programs, enterprise and the broader OK community to the Knockout Farm’s purpose and activities. As seasonal farm duties slow, this position will transition to the role of program leader.


  • Operate within the guidelines of this job description
  • At all times, communicate and interact with Warriors in a manner that is respectful and age-appropriate. 
  • Understanding and commitment to the organization’s mission, goals, and philosophies
  • Adhere to the standards and expectations set forth in the employee handbook
  • Ability to commit to a full-time work schedule


  • Degree or Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture, Plant Science, Horticulture or related field is preferred
  • Ideal candidate will have substantial experience in urban agriculture, crop planning, seed starting, drip irrigation, season extension, greenhouse operations, and composting
  • Ability to maintain flexible work schedule – to include weekends and evening hours during peak growing season
  • Ideal candidate will have extensive experience managing employees, volunteers and collaborating within a team structure, as well as ability to work independently
  • Ideal candidate will have experience working/interacting with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and have experience working in a mixed-ability work environment
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds and take part in physical labor in all weather conditions
  • Ability and comfort in operating a variety of hand and power tools
  • Must possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, strong leadership and organizational skills, ability to work independently, and ability to work effectively with team members
  • Requires continual attention to detail, establishing priorities and meeting deadlines, ability to work well under pressure, and ability to manage multiple tasks and demands.


The Knockout Farm season typically ramps up in early May, with farm-coordinating duties becoming primary during the months of May-November. Program leading expectations are embedded in farm activities during the growing season.

Farm Ops Management & Operations

  • Develop and implement all farm operation plans. Including, but not limited to crop plan, seed starting, planting-harvesting schedule, irrigation, beekeeping, landscaping, etc.
  • Track farm operations and data, including crop plans, harvest log, germination rate, planting schedule, growth tracking, soil health, water use, compost production
  • Manage inventory and organization of all farm supplies and equipment
  • Manage farm-related contracts, vendor and partner relationships
  • Work with farm team to conceptualize and carry out farm-related projects

Farm Activity & Engagement

  • Work with the program and enterprise team to develop an annual plan for farm operations that addresses programmatic and enterprise goals and objectives
  • Plan and direct day-to-day operation of the farm
  • Educate, empower and supervise all OK Warriors, Staff and volunteers of various skill levels in farming best practices and work collaboratively with OK staff to adapt activities to participants of all abilities
  • Promote, recruit, organize and execute individual and group volunteer engagement activities

Vocation/Supported Employment

  • Manage all operational staff that participate in Knockout Farm activities
  • Participate in developing supported employment strategy, focusing on installing organizational and individual goals 
  • Administer supported employment assessments and performance review 
  • Work collaboratively within the OK Training-Professional Development plan to represent farm staff needs
  • Manage HR-related duties, as assigned

General Administrative

  • Financial – Assist in development and review of budget related to Knockout Farm and manage purchasing
  • Marketing – Assist in the development of marketing materials, content development for the website and social media platforms, and ensure proper 
  • Data Measurement & Reporting – Assist in developing, implementing, maintaining and presenting a series of farm-related reports

Other General

  • Development – collaborate with development team to position farm needs in grants and other funding, as well as assist in reporting related to funding awards
  • Enterprise Team – work collaboratively with the other members of the social enterprise team to execute the enterprise strategy
  • Strategic Planning – work collaboratively within the leadership team to carry out organizational strategy planning initiatives
  • Professional Development – participate in general OK PD activities, as well as seek out and stay committed to developing urban agriculture and horticulture therapy education opportunities for self and other farm team members


The Knockout Farm season typically winds down in November, with farm-coordinating duties becoming more periodic than primary during the months of November through May. The general duties of program leader will increase, as the duties of farm coordination and farm-focused program leading become less primary. 


 Program Planning/Coordination

  • Work cooperatively with the program coordinator and other program leaders in program planning and implementation to achieve the goals and objectives of the program as set forth by Opportunity Knocks
  • Collaborate with the program coordinator to implement pre and post-assessments as part of the lesson plans
  • Adhere to specific planning requirements, criteria, and deadlines developed during program planning meetings
  • Create and implement appropriate daily activity plans
  • Work to develop daily activities that are accessible to all Warriors
  • Coordinate opportunities to utilize volunteers within OK programs

Direct Service

  • Lead activities during Opportunity Knocks programs, and when not  leading an activity work to engage Warriors in OK programs 
  • Engage with Warriors during programs
  • Bridge interactions between Warriors and other community members that may connect to programs - may include volunteers, partners, interns, etc.
  • Assist Warriors in making  transitions during OK programs
  • Be open to working with Warriors of all abilities
  • Be available to assist Warriors in fulfilling their specific toileting and/or feeding needs during OK programs
  • Foster a safe and supportive learning environment for all  Warriors during OK programs

Team Collaboration/Work Ethic

  • Participate in the group program planning in OK programs
  • Attend staff meetings, planning meetings that may include but are not limited to staff planning meetings, parent meetings, vocation, and volunteer meetings, and community networking meetings
  • Attend in-service training
  • Understands the rights to privacy, demonstrates confidentiality, and respect for differences among all persons interacting with individuals with disabilities. 
  • Special projects may be assigned, expectations will be set forth at the onset of each project.

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

  • Location
    River Forest, Illinois
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience