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Season Focus for 2016

March 29th, 2016 | Posted by miker in Administration - (Comments Off on Season Focus for 2016)

North Slope Farm – Plans for 2016

Farm Manager – MikeR

Crew Colleen, Todd, Jacob, Dan & Two 1st Year Trainees.

(Estimated Full Time Wages: $90,000) (2015: $65,000 incl tax)

Basic Assessment:

Need to generate an extra $30-$40 thousand, in 2016.

Immediate:

  • Focus on crops that we could have sold more of – Herbs, Blackberry’s, Strawberries, Asian Pears, Apples, Peaches, Green beans, Tomatoes, Flowers, Micro’s, Seedlings (?), Complete Summary to highlight items we can do better with….
  • Expand Sales at Farmstand – Special Focus, with events, Email Newsletter, Visible activity, Beautification and Signs.

Long Term:

  • Invest in Production Systems to Increase Production
  • Plant more Fruit Trees, Brambles, Strawberries
  • Plant High Tunnels with Fruit Trees (Peaches?) – Research and Trials – trees vs brambles vs strawberries
  • Develop Dedicated Production Area/System for Micro’s

New Developments to Explore and Test:

  • Farmstand: Develop area into child and visitor friendly experience.
  • Juicing:  Incorporate processing and bottling into the work week.
  • Increasing Egg Production:  Develop feed production system to reduce cost.
  • Expand Speciality Herbs: Dedicate growing areas, Drying, Process and Store in farmhouse.

Wage Rate for 2016

December 2nd, 2015 | Posted by miker in Administration - (Comments Off on Wage Rate for 2016)

Wage Rate Commitment for 2016

at North Slope Farm

Posted in Consideration of Increasing Wage Rates for 2016

First Years: $9/hr

Second Years: $11/hr

Third Years: $12/hr

Experienced and Committed Workers: $13/hr

This assumes a minimum 40 hour work week, over a season from March 1 – November 30.  (41 weeks)

Maximum Expected Wages Estimated for 2016:  $90,700 + Employer Taxes (+/- $8,500)

2 first years: $29,500

1 second year: $18,000

1 Third year (24 weeks): $11,500

1 Worker (full time): $21,200

1 Worker (part time): $10,500

If everyone works full time, to achieve a 30% payroll, our Gross Goal will need to be: $300,000 +/-.  More production, more sales, more efficiently, because the same work from last year needs to be done quicker for us to do more.  Likewise production can change completely – but for the foreseeable future, North Slope Farm remains dedicated to producing a mix of nutritious food, serving our community with sustainable production of valuable products.  We appreciate your support!  Keep investing in Regional Producers!

Second Year Focus Summary 2013

January 7th, 2014 | Posted by toddh in Administration - (Comments Off on Second Year Focus Summary 2013)

 

 

Administration

This year as my focus I endeavored to engage myself in North Slope Farm’s Administrative duties. In my personal life I only have to perform these sorts of tasks in a minimal way. The farm has a well established and fairly clear way of organizing itself. Because of this, standard procedures have been formed for paying bills and capturing information. The work done during this focus has met the expectations expressed in my introduction, and has expanded my view of the farm. 

The Administrative tasks that I was most involved dealt with the finances. This included recording the market cash and other deposits, paying the bills, employees, taxes, and various other expenses, of which there were a few that stand out. These include equipment repairs, new green house plastic, Cow Pots, and our Bio Bags for market. These expenses are notable because they are not part of the monthly or weekly expenses such as payroll. There are more and more varied purchases during the beginning of the season. I also was able to fill out our annual organic certification update form. Colleen had completed the exhaustive application last year. So this year I only had to convey the same information as our practices have not changed since then.

The employees pay checks and bills were the most straight forward and familiar to me. These items form a rather regular expense to the farm and thus a rather regular schedule of paying. Pay day being every other Tuesday meant that this was also the day I would spend the afternoon in the office. Before writing any checks I would first reconcile our ledger with the bank statement. This would almost always take me some time. Not because the task is difficult but because I would have to do it several times before it came out right and I was sure of my math! Though it could be time consuming, sussing out any discrepancies can be gratifying. Ultimately any problems that occurred here were easily resolved. If we had not received a bank statement then reconciling was not done. After that I would add up each employee’s hours and enter them into our QuickBooks, which calculated the individuals pay for me. I would then write their checks which mike would later sign.

The bills followed a similar procedure and would often be done the same time as payroll. The bills however, did not require me to use Quick Books or the computer. I had to make sure correct payment on correct invoices. After paying each bill I would write the date and check number on the statement and file it in the appropriate location in the large red accordion file that sits atop the admin desk.

The taxes are an area that I am truly unfamiliar with. The taxes to me seem a complicate and somewhat overwhelming subject. Mike and I would complete these tasks together, and having gone through the process of paying them a few times has helped bring it into perspective. Paying the taxes and fees has been made relatively easy on-line; it is a matter of Staying current and having the right information to plug into to correct forms. This again is greatly aided by the established qualities of North Slope. We pull our paper files for paying taxes. Then we export pertinent information from QuickBooks into a summary to excel spread sheets. After that we follow the steps of the websites. Some sort of confirmation of payment is provided, and this we make sure to add to our files.

This focus has demonstrated to me the importance of good record keeping. There are bound to be variations in capturing some information on the farm due to the difference in the individuals recording it. This makes for a really great compilation of memories and experiences. Though some level of administration is going to be complicated, processing the financial information in a straightforward way will make it easier to access accurate information again when it is needed. It has helped broaden the scope of my understanding of farming at North Slope

Introduction to Second Year Focus

May 15th, 2013 | Posted by toddh in Administration | Training - (Comments Off on Introduction to Second Year Focus)

Introduction to Administration

Written by Todd

5 /15/2013

Intent:

              Of all the key elements that North Slope farm is broken down into, Administration, is the one that I am drawn to the least. That is why I have taken the opportunity to make it my second year focus. It is my intention to gain a basic understanding of the administrative tasks of North Slope Farm. In doing so, I will be cultivating my relationship to these less exciting, but necessary aspects of managing a farm or small business. I expect that this focus will bolster my confidence for engaging in similar tasks in the future.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

              Balancing the check book, payroll, paying bills, record keeping, compiling data, data entry, filling out forms, filing paperwork, messages, email, general office upkeep, and much more that I’m sure remains to be seen. 

First Year Application page 1 of 2

July 23rd, 2012 | Posted by miker in Administration - (Comments Off on First Year Application page 1 of 2)

North Slope Farm and Stewardship Guild

386 Rock Road East, Lambertville, NJ  08530

609-460-4636

 Application to participate in 2012 Season, March 6 through November 30.

 

Name: _______________________________________

 Address: ______________________________________________

             ________________________________________________

             ________________________________________________

 Telephone and email: ___________________________________

 Please indicate position you are interested in:

1)      Experienced (3 years) Wage Laborer ______

2)      Stewardship Guild Training Program ______

 Please briefly list your work experience; where, when, how long:

 

 Specifically, why are you interested in working at North Slope Farm?

 What is your availability? Days and hours:

  What, if any, limitations do you anticipate in performing your work.

 Do you need Housing?

 To qualify for higher than minimum wage ($7.25/hour) please provide references:

Name:

Business:

Telephone:

Name:

Business:

Telephone

 

Please complete and return to address above

First Year Application page 2 of 2; Trainee Assessment Form

July 23rd, 2012 | Posted by miker in Administration - (Comments Off on First Year Application page 2 of 2; Trainee Assessment Form)

Trainee Assessment Form:

DATE:_______________

Please fill in the first two columns below with a value from 1 – 5, describing your level of experience with the types of equipment and farm elements.

  (one = no experience — five = experienced)

 

      To be filled out by year end
Farm Current Desired Dates of  
Elements Experience Experience Training  
Equipment        

JD 2240

       

Ford 4600

       

IH 140

       

Walkin Mower

       

BCS Rototiller

       

Weedwacker

       
Administration        
Infrastructure        
Greenhouse        
Composting        
Planting        
Crop Care        
Harvesting        
Washing        
Marketing        

 Please List the elements above that you would like to learn more about.

 

– For Second Year, briefly state what element you would like to take responsibility for.  Outline the responsibilities you would be willing to commit to.

 

 – For Third Year, describe a valuable product or service you would be interested in managing, producing or creating.  Please name your ‘Special Project’.

Administration Introduction

March 31st, 2011 | Posted by miker in Administration - (1 Comments)

Administration – Introduction

Office Orientation:                          

Workspaces:

  • Systems Management Desk
  • Computer and Projects Desk
  • Farm Managers Desk
  • Filing Drawers and System
  • Postings, Messages and Chalk Board

Time Tracking:  (See Time Sheet by Element)  Record hours by element, (form on Systems Desk).  HalfDay; is any day where you work 4 hours or less.  FullDay; if you work 6 hours or more, you are entitled to a total of one hour “personal time” that is paid, (usually we take 1 hour lunch breaks, but you are free to structure your break time to meet your needs.)  Record your “lunch hour” with the days, primary activity.

Systems Data Management:                       

Bookkeeping

  • Bills and Receipts
  • Master Data Form File
  • Harvest Records
  • Planting and Seed Records

Office Equipment:                                         

  • Computer
  • Printer / Copier / Fax
  • Telephone
  • Message access #: ____ , Passcode: ____
  • Heater / Air Conditioner

Notes and Questions:

 

Computer Use and CodesAccess Email, WordPress and Flickr.  “ WEB” Folder in Filing Cabinet

The Email, WordPress and Flickr gateways are located on desktop and in the favorites dropdown list.

 Security Statement:  To promote easy access by our Guild Community, you have full privileges of editing pictures, text and content in these programs.  Always LOG OUT before closing these web sites and you will help protect our system.  Do not change your username or password without notifying the farm manager, the farm will always need to maintain management of your access.  Do not jeopardize our computer system by accessing web sites that may not be safe.  Only download material whose origin you know and trust.  Your actions on this computer are noted and tracked, protect our on-line reputation by acting responsibly.

 Your UserName:

Your Password:

Stewardship Capital

January 8th, 2011 | Posted by miker in Administration - (Comments Off on Stewardship Capital)

Stewardship Capital

Stewardship Guild Mission

January 8th, 2011 | Posted by miker in Administration | Training - (Comments Off on Stewardship Guild Mission)

Stewardship Guild

Established 2006

Mission

The Goals of the Stewardship Guild are:

  • To define and test concepts of Stewardship
  • To define and promote stewardship of Valuable Resources
  • To train individuals in Stewardship practices
  • To support Stewardship Activities

Stewardship:

  • Active involvement in basic community affairs with the intent to identify valuable resources and promote strategies to foster regenerative management of them.
  • Current Project: North Slope Farm is a fifty acre property located in Central Western New Jersey.  There is intensive pressure on land owners to utilize their development rights or lose them.  There are multiple pressures that discourage investment in sound land management practices, (cost w/o market value, and municipal/State imminent domain seizures).  The challenge is how much to invest in agriculture in an economic and cultural environment that does not support it?  How to direct resources into a project that might not yield cash return but could achieve stewardship of valuable resources.  In this case,  the valuable resources include; worker housing, property rights, small scale business enterprises, public access to government process and community development.

Valuable Resources:

  • Resources, existing or potential, that are valuable, as defined by their function, accessibility and future projections.

Training in Stewardship Practices:

  • The guild will focus on identifying and promoting opportunities for individuals and groups to participate in Stewardship Activities.
  • See training opportunities at North Slope Farm.

Stewardship Activities:

  • Activities that promote and foster regenerative management of valuable resources.

Administration

September 28th, 2010 | Posted by miker in Administration - (Comments Off on Administration)

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Farm Manager, Mike Rassweiler seeks to keep the Administration simple and accessable.  Primary data collection is all pen and paper, transfered to summary format at the end of the season.  Administration is the back drop for all other activities, the better we do here, the better our business will be.