Beginning Farmer Program Coordinator Job

Beginning Farmer Technical Assistance Program Coordinator with the Institute for Social and Economic Development in Boston, Massachusetts

Organization Description: The Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED), a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, has provided training, evaluation and management activities worldwide since 1988. ISED believes that high quality technical assistance, program evaluation, and measurement improve long-term social and economic outcomes for vulnerable people and their communities.  Refugee farming and gardening is ISED’s prominent domestic emphasis at the current time. Job Summary:  The project is funded by USDA to set up a three-year collaboration with 24+ refugee-focused farming incubator projects (RFIPs) nationwide, to review beginning farmer curricula and programs for refugees, identify the gaps and develop, pilot test, and distribute specialized curricula and course workshop modules, and develop and test multiple instructional tools and manuals for instructors and technical assistance providers.  The Coordinator will work closely with the Project Director, interns, and partners to implement the program.  Major activities include coordination with partners; strengthening instructional and curriculum development skills among RFIPs; developing and pilot testing curricula and instructional methods; tracking and evaluating development and implementation efforts; and coordinating dissemination with USDA and project partners.

Essential Job Functions

Team coordination and leadership: work with four teams and 20+ partners / organizations to plan and carry out core activities.  Includes liaison with major partners New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and the International Rescue Commission.
Assessment: Assemble and review existing curricula, and identify gaps in the education training and mentoring of refugee andimmigrant beginning farmers.
Curriculum development: Help partners develop new and adapted curricula and instructional methods for refugee-focused farming incubator projects.
Dissemination: Assist all beginning farmer and rancher training programs by collaborating with the USDA-funded Clearinghouse, New Entry’ National Incubator Farm Training Initiative, other beginning farmer projects, and diversebeginning farmer service providers across the landscape to access, share or post relevant resources via websites, emails, and/or other communications
Tracking and evaluation: Help partners maintain commitments to document outputs and outcomes for their projects andtheir participating farmers; includes tracking multiple metrics from the onset of the program.

Overall Program Development: In order to expand resources for this work, assist in identifying other government and private (foundation) funding sources; and in the preparation of funding applications.

Other responsibilities:
  • Facilitate trainings to build instructional and curriculum development skills for RFIP audiences.
  • Assist partners to pilot test resources and instructional methods to train farmers and to provide feedback to theDevelopment Team.
  • Support a Community of Practice approach to engage partners in peer-to-peer learning and sharing to strengthen theirprograms and deliver more effective T&TA.
  • Help manage meeting arrangements, expense reimbursements, scheduled payments to partners, and similar administrative activities.

Special requirements: 

  • Available to travel for 2-4 annual project meetings (2-4 days per trip) with partners.
  • In a part-time capacity, availability, with reasonable notice, to participate in meetings, calls, events, and similarly scheduled activities involving other staff and partners.
  • Some flexibility as to main working location; currently location is to be determined.
  • Currently a 75% FTE position, but if interested, opportunities to reach 100% FTE through partner opportunities, and/or additional grants and consulting for related work will be strongly supported.
  • Work location:  A primary work location will be work out based on where the candidate resides and the specific needs for office space.   Regular meetings will take place in Boston. 
  • Position to start Feb. 1, 2015 or earlier if possible.


  • A Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent, Master’s a plus.
  • 3+ years in nonprofit sector or equivalent work experience in related fields.
  • Knowledge of small-scale farming operations and non-profit operations and management.
  • Experience with training and technical assistance for adults, particularly  for linguistically-challenged and limited education audiences.  Cross-cultural experience similarly helpful.
  • Grantsmanship experience and interest a plus.
  • Commitments to participatory and inclusive decision-making processes.
  • Meeting facilitation skills a plus.
  • Highly organized and strong attention to detail.
  • Self-motivated and directed; works well within a rapidly evolving environment.
  • Effective communications, interpersonal skills, and strong writing ability.
  • Working knowledge of basic computer software (MS Office, social media, distance learning tools).
  • Additional computer skills including website development / operation; Salesforce experience a plus.

To Apply

We strongly encourage online applications. To apply, visit  — please include a resume and cover letter. We do accept applications by mail or fax.

Send to: Third Sector New England; NonProfit Center, 7th floor; Attn.: HR – 89 South Street; Boston, MA 02111 or Fax:617.523.2070.

As an EOE/AA employer, TSNE and the Institute for Social and Economic Development 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.


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