Harvest Leader Manual

  Leaders Overview

As a harvest leader you have specific responsibilities, but also the support and resources that you will need to lead efficient and productive harvests. Do not hesitate to ask for help at any time.

In this manual we will cover all of the steps required to successfully lead a harvest. Which steps are necessary for a particular crop can vary a lot according to the size of the crop, but the overall process is the same for all harvests: We find excess produce, organize volunteers to harvest the crop, and see that it gets to food agencies for distribution to those who need it.

Key roles for harvests

Farm Harvest Leader – Farm harvest leaders are responsible for the supervision and management of farm harvests. Typically, this only involves day of harvest activities.

Backyard Harvest Leader – Backyard harvest leaders are responsible for the planning and management of backyard harvests. Typically, this includes contact with home owners, scouting the property and planning the harvest.

Co-Harvest Leader – Co-leaders for both farm and backyard harvests are typically leaders in training. When a co-leader is available/ assigned, the leader is in communication with the co-leader about how to share the responsibilities.

Harvest Director – The harvest director is responsible for scouting, planning and oversight of all farm harvests. The harvest director assigns leaders for farm harvests and obtains and coordinates resources to support those leaders. For farm harvests this may include transportation of ladders, produce and the ATV.

Assistant Harvest Director – The Assistant Harvest Director is responsible for assisting the Harvest Director in the management of harvests assigned to him or her and in coordinating necessary resources for planning and implementing those harvests.

Backyard Harvest Coordinator – The backyard harvest coordinator maintains the backyard harvest leader sign-up page, scouts backyard properties, and is the contact person for backyard leaders who need assistance.

Database Manager – The database manager maintains records of all harvests, crops and volunteers. The database manager also receives new crop registrations by phone or through the website, gathers preliminary information about the crop, enters the information into the database and notifies the harvest director. The database manager also manages the email system and monitors the signup process.

Backyard Property Scout – The scout contacts the property owner to arrange to visit the site, assess the crop, obtain the Entry Authorization signature from the owner, and make plans for harvesting the crop. The scout is typically the harvest leader for the potential property and can be the harvest director or backyard harvest coordinator.

Drivers and transporters – We have light-weight aluminum orchard ladders, an ATV and trailers that are available for harvests. ATV drivers are approved by the state to drive the ATV. Truck drivers are approved by Marion Polk Food Share or Merced County Gleaning to drive the trucks.

Harvest Assistants – Farm harvests can be done only with the help of other volunteers who are assigned to specific jobs: parking, check-in, donations, hand-washing, ladder attendant, and orientation.




Harvest leaders:
Scout all crops that they will be leading harvests for.
Are responsible for the supervision and management of individual harvests.
Make all arrangements for resources for the harvest.
The Volunteer Coordinator:
Attends all harvests.
Assigns all assistants at harvests
Leads efforts to recognize and appreciate Salem Harvest volunteers
The Database Manager:
Solicits new crops from growers.
Adds all harvests to the schedule
Gathers preliminary information about the crops that are registered online.
ATV drivers:
Must pass a state certification exam.
Must pass a Salem Harvest certification exam.
Must own their own ATV.
Harvest Assistants
Enter attendance information into the database.
Write orientation scripts for harvests.
Are assigned to tasks by the harvest leader.