What Stearns Farm Board Members Do


The Stearns Farm board of directors is the farm’s governing body. Board members, who include current sharers and friends of the farm, make financial decisions, establish and work to execute the farm’s strategic goals, and hire and supervise the farm manager. Below is a list of the board’s roles and responsibilities. If you are interested in serving on the board, contact president@stearnsfarmcsa.org.

Support Stearns Farm’s Mission, Vision and Strategic Goals

Board members define and promote the farm’s mission, vision and strategic goals for sharers and the community at large. To fulfill this, role, board members must:

  • Understand and be willing and able to articulate the farm’s mission, vision and strategic goals in formal and informal situations.
  • Be a visible advocate for the mission in the community at large.
  • Engage in strategic planning for the farm on a regular basis and sets goals related to the plan.

Supervise  and Support the Farm Manager

The Farm Manager is the Board’s sole employee. Board members are expected to conduct themselves as responsible managers, including:

  • Provide an environment that supports open and constructive conversation with the Farm Manager about any issue or concern about the position or farm operations.
  • Collaborate with the Farm Manager to achieve the Farm’s goals
  • Evaluate the farm manager’s performance
  • Set compensation
  • Negotiate the Farm Manager’s contract
  • Facilitate (and do not interfere with) the Farm Manager’s decisions regarding crop planning, and day to day operations of the farm (hiring, firing and compensation of farm support staff, harvesting, etc.)

Safeguard Farm Finances

Board members serve as fiduciaries of the farm, and are accountable for its financial stability and future. Obligations in this area include:

  • Engage in short- and long-term strategic and financial planning
  • Seek to preserve capital assets and endowments
  • Contribute to the Annual Appeal and otherwise financially support the farm in a manner commensurate with their ability.
  • Participate in fundraising activities

Follow Good Governance and Good Practice Principles

As with any business, whether non-profit or for profit, the board of directors must ensure that it, and the farm, operates within applicable laws and regulations, thereby reducing the risk of legal action. Obligations include:

  • Behave  in an ethical and professional manner.
  • Guard against conflict of interest, whether personal or business-related.
  • Focus on broad institutional issues that are strategic and will affect the future of the farm.
  • Refer all community concerns to either the Farm Manager or the Board President.
  • Maintain strict confidentiality on all Board matters, unless such matters have been concluded, are appropriate to be made public, and are ready to be publicized.
  • Speak with one voice. Authority is vested in the Board as a whole, not the individual.
  • Remain actively involved in the work of the Board, including regular attendance at monthly Board meetings.