Farmer Training Program Manager Job

beginning farmer training program

Farmer Training Program Manager Job at New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Lowell, MA

Join New Entry’s Leadership Team as Farmer Training Program Manager!  New Entry Sustainable Farming Project’s (New Entry) mission is to improve our local and regional food systems by training the next generation of farmers to produce food that is sustainable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate and making this food accessible to individuals regardless of age, mobility, ethnicity, or socio-economic status. In doing this work, New Entry provides critical training, career development, and economic opportunity to new farmers.  We are seeking an individual who is excited to lead our farmer training team to build programs that will guide beginning farmers from “dreaming about farming” to actualizing their plans and following an agricultural career pathway to become economically viable farmers in New England. 

The Farmer Training Program Manager will provide year-round technical assistance (TA), mentoring, and training to small-scale direct market beginning farmers, and serve as the point person for all management responsibilities for the Farmer Training Team.  This person will also have programmatic duties to conduct intake and case management (mentoring and technical assistance) for farmers, teach hands-on and classroom training courses, and manage the statewide Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts.  This is a full-time, year-round position with competitive salary and generous benefits.

Essential Job Functions

Management of the Farmer Training Team

  • Provide organizational leadership to develop strategic vision, goals, and metrics associated with beginning farmer education and training;
  • Provide leadership to staff members to develop implementable strategies to achieve strategic objectives;
  • Provide supervision, oversight, and support for program team members. Conduct annual performance reviews of program team staff;
  • Responsible for developing program team budgets and identifying resources needed to complete strategic objectives;
  • Support development of project team grant proposals, revenue generation strategies, corporate sponsorships, individual donor asks, or any other revenue generation strategies to support the funding of program team activities;
  • Responsible for grants management of program team grants, including: proposal development (as applicable), project management, oversight of project spending and budgets, and project reporting;
  • Report key management challenges to the project leadership (regular communication of successes and challenges) through regular supervisory sessions;
  • Participate in regular Team Leader meetings with other program staff;
  • Design integrated team approaches to organizational priorities that cross team boundaries.

Technical Assistance and Training for Beginning Farmers

  • Expand curriculum for core New Entry programs (FBPC, field workshops, distance learning program, and specialty crop production courses).
  • Coordinate and teach courses/curriculum for New Entry’s Explore Farming! and Distance Learning Farm Business Planning online course. Coordinate and teach courses and workshops for other farming organizations in the region, including partnerships with urban agriculture programs;
  • Manage farmers on a “case management” basis by conducting site visits with farmers in the field, establishing a farmer assessment, and learning plan protocol through initial intake to life cycle of learning goals. Facilitate effective referrals and address ongoing technical assistance support;
  • Attend conferences and events to conduct outreach and present on our work;
  • Assist with other projects as needed.

Management of the Massachusetts Beginning Farmer Network

  • Develop relationships with beginning farmers and service providers to coordinate the statewide Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts (BFN/Mass);
  • Manage a statewide technical assistance referral network and keep up-to-date, on-line tools for Beginning Farmers (i.e. resource finder, calendar, jobs board, agency & farmer blogs and profiles, and other social media efforts);
  • Communicate with BFN/Mass steering committee to ensure statewide priorities and on-going relevancy for the network (bi-annual meetings);
  • Organize regional networking events for beginning farmers and farm service providers;
  • Connect interns to projects relating to BFN/Mass and supervise these interns.

Special requirements

  • Access to reliable private transportation necessary;
  • Willingness and ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends.

Qualifications for the Farmer Training Program Manager Job

  • Agricultural training and experience in multiple aspects of farming and farm enterprise is essential. Prior farm management/farm business ownership experience preferred;
  • Advanced degree or at least 5 years’ experience in delivering technical assistance to farmers in the areas of crop production, marketing, financial management, and business planning;
  • Excellent organizational skills and strong attention to detail;
  • Demonstrated success in roles requiring execution of multiple tasks, while responding to multiple competing priorities and deadlines. Ability to lead and work under pressure;
  • Strong leadership, diplomacy, and case management and social skills;
  • Experienced supervisor, mentor, and ability to bring out the best in others;
  • Outstanding communication (written, verbal), interpersonal skills, and ability to show empathy is essential; excellent public speaking skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain positive relationships with a wide array of people from extremely diverse backgrounds and cultures;
  • Community organizing and cross-cultural experience helpful; comfort and skill in building relationships with beginning, immigrant, and refugee farmer participants;
  • Experience in adult education and teaching to diverse learning styles;
  • Ability to self-motivate and self-direct; preference for working within a rapidly-changing high performance environment;
  • Proficiency in grants management, financial management, and budgeting;
  • Demonstrated skills using various computer software and programs (Salesforce, Microsoft Office/Excel, email marketing, Social Media).

To Apply for the Farmer Training Program Manager Job

We strongly encourage online applications. Please attach your resume and cover letter.  See job description here.  Apply online here.

As an EOE/AA employer, TSNE MissionWorks and New Entry will not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identification, veteran, or disability status.

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