Santa Barbara Private Ranch

On-Site Ranch Manager

Seeking a qualified On-Site Ranch Manager to manage the daily operations of a 160 acre ranch in Santa Barbara, CA. The ideal candidate is mature, reliable, flexible, hard-working, animal friendly, and team player who possesses detailed knowledge of managing all aspects of a ranch and its components. This full-time position will require residing on the ranch (housing will be provided).

The current ranch manager, who has been in this position for over 40 years, will transition from full time to part time in about a year. He has a detailed knowledge of every inch and system of the property and will share that knowledge during a transition period, and has committed to being involved for several years to come.

This is a hands-on position. The Ranch Manager will work closely alongside Ranch hands and other staff to get the job done, whatever that job may be.

Position Description

The Ranch Manager works at the direction of the property owners and oversees four major areas of responsibility:

  • Agriculture and Livestock Management
  • Ranch Infrastructure and Asset Management
  • Community Relations
  • Personnel Management

Agriculture and Livestock Management

One of the key responsibilities of the Ranch Manager is to insure year round production of fruits, vegetables, eggs, dairy, and meat to meet the needs detailed by the owners. Food is used for personal consumption, donation, and potentially for sale. We are looking for demonstrated knowledge of:

  • Best and proven practices in organic agriculture/farming, and an awareness of emerging technologies and trends to maximize production while minimizing resources (labor, water, fertilizer, etc…)
  • Permaculture design familiarity a plus
  • Love of animals, and experience overseeing the health of livestock, including all aspects of animal husbandry
  • Knowledge of current trends and practices in land and livestock management including livestock grazing, and using animals for weed management and fire protection.
  • Land management and preparation
  • Compliance with food production, handling, and safety regulations

Ranch Infrastructure and Asset Management

The Ranch Manager is responsible for the overall operation of the ranch, for the safety and security of employees and owners, to minimize liability, and to insure assets are managed properly. Like all working ranches, there are utility systems, tools, vehicles, buildings, etc…all of which require attention through a combination of well trained employees and a network of outside vendors. As such, we are looking for a demonstrated knowledge of:

  • Utility systems (water, power, gas, septic, fire suppression, roads, etc…) that run throughout the property.
  • Building maintenance: more than a dozen buildings (residential, workshop, barn) are on the property.
  • Vehicle maintenance: insuring trucks, tractors, utility vehicles are maintained and safe.
  • Fire prevention: the ranch sits at the top of a mountain in a high fire danger zone. Minimizing potential damage to the ranch is a year-round priority and a critical job duty.
  • Underutilized resources: the ranch has significant potential for future projects in farming/agriculture, but also as a destination. Bringing creativity and vision for what might be is desirable
  • Ranch Manager to live onsite in provided housing to manage unforeseen or after hours circumstances as they arise

Community Relations

The ranch is a large property in a small community. We strive to support and maintain good relationships with our neighbors and adjacent communities. The Ranch Manager will take a primary role in representing the owners and their interests by:

  • Joining local boards such as the Water District, Volunteer Fire Department and the like. These organizations often meet during non-business hours.
  • Establishing relationships with local fire and law enforcement as well as other agencies including governmental offices and universities
  • Getting to know local neighbors personally and forming genuine relationships

Personnel Management

The Ranch Manager insures the staff is trained in their jobs, work diligently, and use good judgment to insure safety as they carry out their daily tasks. Ensure day-to-day activities are performed and resources are available to meet work schedule and assignment needs.

  • Coordinate HR issues as well as hiring and firing, compensation, etc… with the HR Manager. Communicate relevant staff issues with owners.
  • Manage staffing schedules to insure appropriate coverage
  • Be adept at managing and resolving conflicts
  • Insure compliance with all laws, regulations, and company policies
  • Delegate as appropriate to Assistant Ranch Manager or other staff

Job Qualifications:

  • Four-year degree in a related major preferred but not required in addition to six years of onsite direct management experience.
  • Individual will have farm management (or related industry) experience including the supervision of labor and direct involvement in the business side of the industry.
  • The successful candidate must have strong communication skills, be a self-starter and have ability to interact effectively with people from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Must demonstrate strong work ethic with the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office programs including Word and Excel. Willingness and desire to learn new technologies
  • Must be available to work evenings and weekends as required.
  • Position requires employee to work and be available for infrequent travel throughout Southern California as necessary.
  • Bi-lingual English/Spanish required
  • Must have a valid driver's license with a clean DMV driving record.
  • Must pass pre-placement drug/alcohol screen, physical, and functional capacity evaluation

Other/Detailed Job Duties

  • Responsibilities include management and supervision, with hands-on involvement of all farming activities, including irrigation system management, land preparation, planting, fertilization, and pesticide applications and harvesting.
  • Operates heavy and light equipment- both agriculture and landscape, performs maintenance and repair. Equipment used to include but not limited to: truck, tractor, UTVs, lawn mower, chainsaw, hand tools, log splitter, sprayer, welder, weed trimmer.
  • Supervision of and hands-on care for the wellbeing of all livestock (cows, chickens, ducks, geese, goats and dogs) including feeding and veterinary care when needed
  • Fire prevention land clearance (cuts or trimming trees, removing brush through mowing and or chipping)
  • Road infrastructure- build, maintain and improve internal ranch road infrastructure
  • Responsible for collection and submission of production data and any other required crop information.
  • Supervises workforce of Assistant Ranch Manager, Ranch Hands and Housekeepers.
  • Ability to negotiate and effectively handle all vendors and contracts
  • All other duties as directed by Owners.

Physical Requirements:

Ability to continuously work outdoors all day in various, and sometimes extreme, weather conditions. Ability to continuously work with product and equipment at ground level. Ability to work on uneven terrain both on foot and while aboard moving equipment. Ability to get on and off various stationary and moving equipment. Must wear corrective lenses if required/listed on driver's license. Must be able to move items weighing up to 75 lbs.

Job Type: Full-time


  • onsite direct management: 6 years (Preferred)
  • farm management (or related industry): 1 year (Preferred)


  • Bachelor's (Preferred)


  • Santa Barbara, CA (Required)


  • Driver's License (Required)


  • English and Spanish (Required)

Work authorization:

  • United States (Required)

Work Location:

  • One location


  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance


  • Monday to Friday

Benefit Conditions:

  • Waiting period may apply
  • Only full-time employees eligible

Work Remotely:

  • No

Please mention that you come from MarketForThem when applying for this job.

Posted 2 months ago

Apply for this job