Consumers across the world are demanding greater transparency into where and how their food is grown. Yet most people in cities are still at the mercy of industrial food—a system that ships in high calorie, low nutrient food, often from thousands of miles away. This leaves us completely disconnected from the people who grow our food while also playing a significant role in climate change.
As urban populations and global temperatures continue to rise, a new generation of leaders now has the opportunity—and responsibility—to re-envision the food system to value everyone from the farmer to the consumer, respect our planet, and nurture the connections between people and their food.
Square Roots is an urban farming company. We grow and sell nutritious food, year round, from our Brooklyn campus of indoor, modular, hydroponic farms. Our mission is to bring local, real food to people in cities by empowering next-gen leaders in urban farming—because the more of us working to shape the future of food, the better.
Everyone on the Square Roots team, from software developers to brand strategists to financial analysts, works together to create pathways to better food—for people, the planet, and our business. But at the heart of our company is the Next-Gen Farmer Training program, which creates opportunities for more people to become farmers—and future leaders in urban farming—through a year-long commitment as an integral part of the Square Roots team.
Next-Gen Farmer Training Program
The Next-Gen Farmer Training Program is a pathway to the forefront of indoor urban farming. No farming experience is necessary to apply—just the passion and dedication to play an important role in getting local, real food to people in cities. The year-long position kicks off with a period of hands-on training in our hydroponic, controlled-climate farms and is supplemented with ongoing education throughout the year. Following initial training, farmers are responsible for growing quality food on a consistent basis to meet customer demand—with the guidance of our Head Farmer. The role also includes representing Square Roots at customer-focused engagements and community events, giving farmers the opportunity to connect directly with consumers.
We believe it’s essential for leaders in urban ag to understand sustainable and responsible business models—and also how to strengthen communities though food. So, built into the second half of the program are two multi-month project-based learning experiences. The Business Project introduces entrepreneurial frameworks and further develops farming business knowledge; the Community Project is focused on creating more pathways for younger generations to get connected to their food. These projects are integrated into the farmer’s 40-hour work week, alongside ongoing farming responsibilities.
Post-Program Alumni have started their own urban farms, joined forward-thinking companies in urban ag, and moved into permanent positions on the Square Roots team. Our Next-Gen Farmer Training program provides a unique experience and insight into the many roles for leaders in urban farming.
Training, duties, and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Seeding, transplanting, harvesting, packaging
- General maintenance of the farms
- Data management and record keeping
- Production management and crop scheduling
- Growing quality food on a consistent basis, to meet customer demand
- Adhering to strict food safety and quality control standards
- Representing Square Roots through customer-facing experiences
- Full participation in project-based learning experiences
Experience and Qualifications:
The Next-Gen Farmer position is an integral part of the Square Roots team. We work hard to cultivate a value-driven culture, so while no farming experience is necessary to apply, we do look for:
- A commitment to bringing local, real food to people in cities
- Resilience, dedication, and hard work; farming is a lifestyle!
- A collaborative, respectful, and open approach to teamwork
- Being comfortable with a fast-changing, constantly evolving startup environment
- Curiosity and ingenuity
- A self-starter, motivated, proactive attitude
- A positive, optimistic perspective