Farmer Specialist Job: Work with Refugees in Portland, Maine

Cultivating Community is currently hiring for a Refugee Farmer Specialist to work in Portland, Maine

Job Title: Refugee Farmer Specialist (NASAP)

(don't contact beginning farmers about this job, use the e-mail address at the bottom of this post - click the "read more" button)

The New American Sustainable Agriculture Project (NASAP) program provides training and assistance to refugees and immigrants who are establishing agricultural businesses. The Refugee Farmer Specialist will coordinate program enrollment and participation. S/he will focus on providing marketing, production, and farm management trainings, ongoing technical assistance in the field, assistance with business plan development, general marketing support, and assist in managing the incubator farm site.   Experience working with diverse populations, participatory adult education, and substantial hands-on experience with diversified agricultural systems are highly desired.

SUPERVISION RECEIVED  Receives direct supervision, general guidance, and specific support from the NASAP Program Director. ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 
  • Coordinate and document refugees’ participation in the NASAP program. Maintain a file for each participant.
  • Conduct intake interviews, annual meetings and agricultural skills assessments for new recruits and refer them to appropriate programs (community gardener or market gardener).
  • Develop and deliver NASAP’s training programs, including delivering a series of off- season trainings on marketing and production for market gardeners and farmers.
  • Assist market gardeners who attended off- season marketing trainings to revise their farm plans and advance in the NASAP program.
  • Oversee additional components of NASAP training activities such as on-farm trainings and workshops, farm visits and agricultural conferences.  Example training topics: pest management, cover cropping, succession planting, irrigation, field planning, etc.
  • Coordinate business planning teams for 8-12 refugee farmers each year, including identifying farmers for the program, identifying  volunteers and consultants to serve as team members, assembling business planning teams, providing technical assistance to farmers and/or team members, and tracking and reporting program impact.
  • Provide one-on-one technical assistance to farmers, including assistance with completion of marketing program applications (i.e. EBT, WIC, Senior Farm Share, farmers’ markets)  providing advice on quality control, hands-on assistance in the field, developing point of sales materials, assisting with record keeping systems, seed ordering, supply sourcing, crop plan development, etc.
  • Link refugees to agricultural experts and other resources in the community. Assist participants in accessing community resources and social services which would enable them to participate in NASAP programs.
  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with Maine farmers for the purposes of introducing project participants to Maine agriculture, cultivating mentoring, and creating educational opportunities for project participants.
  • Develop and maintain productive working relationships with local residents, restaurants, universities, hospitals, and other institutions for the purpose of marketing crops grown by NASAP farmers.   Assist with the development of marketing channels and opportunities, including recruiting CSA customers.
  • During the growing season, work in collaboration with the NASAP Farm Manager to manage incubator farm sites and infrastructure to meet training and educational goals.
  • Assist project evaluators with gathering information on the effectiveness of business planning teams, marketing, production, and education initiatives.
  • Maintain professional knowledge and skills by attending relevant workshops, training, and conferences.  Review professional materials and literature.
  • Assist with developing grant proposals and reports.
  • Participation at staff meetings and other events as scheduled.
  • Performing other project related duties as required.
QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS  To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The individual must be available to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends. EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE 
  1. Experience conducting training in grassroots communities, in cross-cultural environments and/or experience with participatory adult
  2. Experience providing services to refugee or other pre-literate/limited-literacy populations isUnderstanding of language(s) beyond English a plus.
  3. Substantial direct experience with production-scale diversified vegetable farming.
  4. Experience in community building/development.
  5. Excellent communications skills.
  6. Strong organization skills and ability to use programs such as Microsoft Publisher, Word, and Powerpoint to develop effective training materials.
  7. Work well independently and as part of a team.
  8. Minimum of 3 years’ professional experience directly related to the position responsibilities.
  9. Bachelor's Degree or equivalent preferred.
This is a full-time, benefits-eligible position. Pay range is $30K-$34K DOE. To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, and two to three references to Daniel Ungier, Program Director, at daniel@cultivatingcommunity.org. Applications must be received by Monday, October 10th, at 5pm.

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