Tag Archive for: SIFT

The National Center for Appropriate Technology or NCAT has been helping people build resilient communities through local and sustainable solutions that reduce poverty, strengthen self-reliance, and protect natural resources since 1976. NCAT is a national, private non-profit organization providing trusted, individualized technical assistance, hands-on training opportunities, practical educational resources, and peer-to-peer learning networks on nationally acclaimed projects in food, agriculture, energy, and climate resilience. Headquartered in Butte, Montana, NCAT has offices in 11 states. NCAT works to foster and promote sustainable technologies and systems, especially for the benefit of economically disadvantaged individuals and communities. NCAT is committed to advancing racial equity and inclusion in its work and organization.

NCAT is seeking a motivated, enthusiastic individual with farming or gardening experience to work up to 40 hours per week for approximately 4 months, May to September, on the Small Intensive Training Farm (SIFT). The one-acre farm serves as a training ground for intensive farming in the high elevation cold climate. The farm is an educational model for people of all ages to learn how foods grow; how to raise ecologically sound crops without chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides; and how to keep farmland healthy for future generations. There is also a small chicken coop with laying hens.

A portion of the position time will be spent on the NCAT Headquarters 45 kW solar site. The successful applicant will assist with studying and preparing the site to become an agrivoltaic demonstration. Tasks include eradicating noxious weeds, infilling and spreading soil, collecting native seeds for late summer/early fall broadcasting, planting a trial crop, planning and maintaining an appropriate watering schedule, and other various tasks that support an agrivoltaic demonstration. Other tasks may include data collection and data entry for the demonstration site and media organization for The AgriSolar Clearinghouse as a whole.

This is a wonderful opportunity for someone interested in farming or gardening who would like to try small scale sustainable farming or interested in sustainable agriculture and energy practices. The farm is located in Butte and the successful applicant will have the opportunity to work with our team of professional agriculture and energy specialists. The work in this position is primarily outdoors.

The position can be considered an internship, which would be available to a qualified currently enrolled high school or college student, recent graduate, or others looking for a training opportunity. We will also consider applicants interested in a short-term seasonal position.

The successful candidate will need to have good written and verbal communication skills, and an interest or background in sustainable agriculture or technologies. The successful applicant will interact with the public and NCAT staff in a professional manner, develop educational materials, and record and report data. The ability to work independently and to manage multiple tasks is required. Preference will be given to applicants with knowledge of natural/chemical-free, organic farming, livestock, or horticulture experience. The applicant must have the ability to use hand and power tools, carry heavy loads (up to 50 pounds), work outdoors in all weather, work independently, and handle multiple tasks.

WAGE: $15.00/hour up to 40 hours per week.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate can be identified. Early applications are encouraged. Applicants are encouraged to visit www.ncat.org and attra.ncat.org to learn more about NCAT. NCAT employees interested in the position should email Human Resources a letter of interest as soon as possible. All persons interested in being considered for the position must submit an NCAT application and upload a resume and cover letter through BambooHR. Please submit a current resume and a cover letter highlighting experience and skills relevant to the listed qualifications. Resume and cover letters can be uploaded at: https://ncat.bamboohr.com/careers. Simply choose the position you are applying for and then click “apply for this job” to upload the required resume and cover letter. Questions about the application process can be directed to:

Kriss Sullivan, Director of Human Resources

e-mail:  jobs@ncat.org

For convenience this announcement is also available in PDF format.

NCAT’s mission is to help people build resilient communities through local and sustainable solutions that reduce poverty, strengthen self-reliance, and protect natural resources. Our work brings together diverse partnerships and communities to help reduce poverty and protect our natural resources. We strive to be a multicultural organization that embraces the rich dimensions of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical ability, religious or political belief and marital or veteran status.  Diversity creates healthy communities.  Special consideration will be given to applicants who are reflective of the communities that we serve.  NCAT is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

For additional information about NCAT please visit our website at www.ncat.org.

(Updated 5/5/2023)

The National Center for Appropriate Technology’s popular summer gardening and market-farming workshop series begins May 21 with a practical look at preparing an organic garden.

NCAT operates a high-altitude urban demonstration farm in Butte through its Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training program (SIFT) that is focused on food production for the good of the community. NCAT staff will host the free monthly Saturday workshops from 10 a.m. to noon. RSVP for the SIFT Series events here.

The workshops will be held at NCAT’s SIFT farm, located at 3040 Continental Drive in Butte.

The May 21 workshop will be a hands-on lesson in composting basics, including organic potting mixes, organic soil amendments, cover crops, and mulching methods. It also will cover scheduling planting throughout the growing season and the importance of “hardening off” plants – allowing them to transition from an indoor environment to what can be a challenging growing environment in the Butte area.

The workshop is being held in conjunction with Montana Tech’s Earth Month and the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program.

The other workshops on tap throughout the summer include:

June 25Analyzing your Soil and Creating a Management Plan: This workshop will include methods to analyze soil types, conduct water infiltration tests, and review soil tests. It will look at management strategies to address the needs of the soil and develop a plan to meet those needs. The workshop will address tillage and the degradation of soils; irrigation and soil water-holding capacities; and custom cover crop mixes to meet soil needs.

July 2. Benefits of Increasing Biodiversity: This workshop will focus on how building more biodiverse ecosystems can be beneficial by increasing pollinator habitat, bolstering integrated pest management, and mitigating risk in cropping strategies. The workshop will include planting drought-tolerant native species and touring SIFT’s native hedgerow.

August 13. Harnessing the Sun’s Energy for Season Extension in Southwest Montana: In conjunction with the 11th Annual Montana Clean Energy Fair, which will be held at NCAT’s headquarters, SIFT will be holding an open house and tour. Topics will include high-tunnel construction and solar passive greenhouses, as well as the costs, construction, and functions of useful season-extension tools for Southwest Montana. Visitors will learn about using the resources readily available to operate a sustainable farm.

September 10. Choosing Varieties to Grow in Butte: This workshop will include NCAT’s annual taste test of successful varieties of fruits and vegetables grown as a trial on the SIFT Farm. The discussion will include timing, growing tips, and seed selection for high yields in Butte. A discussion of seed saving basics for a resilient farm and garden is also planned.