Two unique opportunities have arisen in New Vrindaban, West Virginia, USA.
ECO-Vrindaban, a non-profit organization that promotes Prabhupada’s ideals of simple living, cow protection, engaging oxen, local agriculture, and above all, loving Krishna, is searching for managers for its ox care and garden programs.
Protection of cows and bulls, Prabhupada said, “should be the main business of New Vrindaban.” He taught early residents to respect the cow, who could provide milk for nourishment, as their mother; and the ox, who could pull a plow to till the land, as their father.
There has been a cow protection program at New Vrindaban since 1969. But as with most ISKCON rural communities, the ox training program has not been maintained consistently.
Two years ago, however, ECO-V made a concerted effort to revitalize it. Last year, a dilapidated barn in the Bahulaban area was completely rebuilt, and became a home for oxen.
Three teams of young Brown Swiss oxen – Ishan and Balarama, Priya Darshan and Harichand, and Nandi and Manu are currently at different stages of training with Richard and Chaitanya Bhagavata Das. The oldest now work with yokes, follow commands, and pull logs. The ultimate goal is for them to pull plows in the community’s vegetable gardens, as well as carts of pilgrims, all to demonstrate a simple lifestyle.
To help lead this program, ECO-V seeks an individual passionate about cow protection; physically able to work with oxen; and willing to live in New Vrindaban for this full-time salaried position.
Duties include handling logistics and budgets; being an educational resource for local cowherds; and coordinating ox training volunteer activities. The ideal candidate will be a great team builder and have management or leadership experience, preferably with a non-profit.
“This person will make an important contribution by overseeing the revival of one of Prabhupada’s key instructions for New Vrindaban,” says ECO-V board member Chaitanya Mangala Das.
ECO-V is also looking for a garden manager to develop local agriculture, another key part of Srila Prabhupada’s vision. “These duties are there in New Vrindaban, and we shall have to live there self independently, simply by raising cows, grains, fruits, and flowers,” he wrote in 1969.
There are currently two main community garden spaces in New Vrindaban. One is called the Teaching Garden, a half-acre plot where herbs and flowers for the Deities are grown; the other is the fenced in seven-acre Garden of Seven Gates. In previous years that space has grown sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, green beans, snap peas, quinoa and much, much more.
The new garden manager can look forward to taking on a well-organized program – previous manager Kacey Orr, an experienced local farmer, cleaned up the grounds and facilities, erected hothouses, and established a system for planting perennial and annual vegetables and flowers. The gardens also have an irrigation system and all the tools and equipment required.
The new manager will be working closely with ISKCON New Vrindaban’s Deity, Devotee and Govinda’s Restaurant kitchen managers to supply them with fresh vegetables.
ECO-V is seeking someone experienced and knowledgeable in gardening, passionate about environmental and food production issues, and able to handle the physical work. Once again leadership experience is ideal, as is an ability to maintain positive relationships with community members and guests.
Also a full-time salaried position, duties include handling logistics and budgets, being an educational resource for local gardeners and coordinating volunteer activities.
“It’s a good time to be a part of the New Vrindaban community, because lately there’s been a lot of focus and energy given to revitalize the core instructions Prabhupada gave us,” says Chaitanya Mangala. “And this is a great opportunity to be part of a dynamic team.”
For those interested in either position, please send cover letter, resume and any other inquires to Mukunda Das: firstname.lastname@example.org[ cow-protection ] [ eco-v ] [ farming ] [ new-vrindaban ]