MIFFS is hiring a Beginning Farmer Land Access Program Developer.
posted on March 2, 2015 10:32am
Organization: Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS)
Location: East Lansing, MI
Posted: 3/2/2015, interviewing begins mid-March
Closing: 3/20/2015 or when suitable candidate is identified
Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS) is hiring a Beginning Farmer Land Access Program Developer. The half-time position will be dedicated to developing land access opportunities in Michigan. The position is part of a recently awarded USDA grant entitled “Michigan’s Emerging Farmers – Strategies and Tools to Enhance Success,” a collaboration between MIFFS, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS), and the MSU Student Organic Farm (SOF). The Beginning Farmer Land Access Program Developer will work closely with MIFFS Executive Director and the CRFS and SOF members of the project team. This half-time position has secure funding through December 2017.
Michigan Food & Farming Systems (MIFFS) is dedicated to Supporting The Many Faces of Farming, particularly our beginning and historically underserved farmers. These farmers grow diversified crops and raise animals, they live in rural and urban areas, and they farm individually, in groups, on incubator farms, and as cooperatives. As a statewide, nonprofit organization, MIFFS has been connecting farmers to resources and opportunities since 1998. We honor each farmer’s passion for working the land and growing the food, while also recognizing that they can and must do it in a way that is viable and sustainable for the earth and for their pocketbooks.
Areas of Work
- Explore institutional and public farmland access options and strategies
- Interface with Michigan landowners interested in connecting to beginning farm land seekers
- Create a user friendly, web-based presence focused on farmland access in Michigan
- Co-development, co-delivery, & co-evaluation of educational activities related to land access for specific communities of practice (MSU Student Organic Farm ~ East Lansing; Women-in-Ag Farm Site ~ Genesee County, and Centro de Acopio ~ SW MI)
- Provide technical assistance to beginning farmers around land access challenges
- Work with the project team to integrate the land access component into the overall project,; includes evaluating instructional resources and methods, and tracking metrics
- Gather information regarding the land access needs of Michigan’s beginning farmers
- Support a Community of Practice (CoP) approach to the work ~ Network and plan toward a longer term vision for land access programming for MI. (A CoP is a group of individuals investing time and resources into problem solving common obstacles and identifying collective opportunities)
- Help manage meeting arrangements, expense reimbursements, scheduled payments to partners, and similar administrative activities.
- Work may be conducted in part from another location, but the position’s primary work location will be the MIFFS office at 480 Wilson Road, E. Lansing.
- The successful applicant will need his/her own car and a willingness to travel within Michigan.
- Availability, with reasonable notice, to participate in meetings, calls and other scheduled activities involving other staff and partners.
- Highly organized
- Self-starter and learner
- Works well within a rapidly evolving environment
- Strong written and oral communication skills (especially with project audiences)
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Excellent digital media skills; ability to develop a simple website and web-based communication tools)
- Presentation skills
- Education and/or experience in sustainable agriculture
- Passion or desire to learn about farmland access-related topics
- Ability to navigate complex social and political situations
- Comfort with team environments
- Knowledge of beginning farming operations and non-profit operations and management.
- Experience with training and technical assistance for adults, including audiences where English is their second language, for linguistically challenged and audiences preferring hands-on workshops. Cross-cultural experience similarly helpful.
- Spanish speaker
- Knowledge of Michigan agriculture
- Knowledge and experience/expertise in farm land access especially for beginning farmers
- The position will remain open until filled. Interviewing will begin in March 2015.
- The successful candidate will begin working 15-20 hours per week, no later than mid-April 2015. Occasional evening and weekend work will occur in order to accommodate farmers’ schedules.
- Salary range: $16 -$18 per hour, commensurate with experience.
- Benefits: One week per year of paid vacation and four paid holidays.
MIFFS will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identification, and veteran or disability status.