Job: Sterling College, VT Seeks Sustainable Food Systems Director

Press Release Contact: Kate Camara, Director of Media Relations Tel: 802.586.7711 ext. 124,; Sterling College, VT Seeks Sustainable Food Systems Director Sterling College, in Craftsbury Common, VT, seeks an experienced and innovative chef, faculty member, and program manager to lead all aspects of the College’s independent, organic- and farm-based food service, and to help develop a new summer semester program and academic track in sustainable food systems and the culinary arts. The position begins June/July, 2010. Sterling is a residential college with 110 students and 50 faculty/staff. The College is open year-round and conducts three continuous semesters - fall, spring, and summer. Sterling raises and grows approximately 25 percent of its own food through its Sustainable Agriculture program and, depending on the season, purchases up to 50 percent of its food from within Vermont. North central Vermont is an intense and diversified agricultural area, with a robust and growing entrepreneurial approach to food systems and community. Working with other professionals and faculty members as well as student cooks, the Director will also join a team developing a new farm-to-kitchen-to-table summer semester program (see draft curriculum below) for both Sterling students and adult learners. The new program will be inaugurated in summer 2011 and the Director will serve as the lead instructor. The Director is responsible for all aspects of the College’s food service, including menu design, meal preparation, budgeting, health and safety, ordering, inventory, kitchen employees and scheduling. The Director also works with student cooks, some of whom will be on an academic track leading to the summer program. Meals are served family style and enjoyed by students, faculty, staff, and families. The kitchen is also family style, with coffee, tea, peanut butter and bread always available, as well as left over desserts or other treats.

Reporting to the President of the College, the Director will also work closely with the Dean of Academics, Dean of Work and Service, and the Sterling Community generally as a member of both the faculty and staff.

The new Director should have experience in and passion for all aspects of local sustainable food systems, farms and farmers, healthy eating, community living, higher education, and teaching and learning at the baccalaureate level.

Ideal requirements include:

  • Professional cooking experience and, preferably, a Master’s or Ph.D. degree
  • Strong restaurant/food service experience
  • Experience in college-level teaching, curriculum development, and course design
  • Positive and motivational management style
  • Strong written and verbal skills
  • Knowledge of farms and organic/sustainable agriculture
  • Knowledge of the literature of food
  • Knowledge of food preservation methods and practice

Salary is based on culinary and teaching experience and academic breadth. Benefits include health insurance, retirement program, and a total of four weeks off between semesters.

DRAFT Summer Semester Curriculum

An intensive, experiential liberal arts approach to sustainable food systems and the culinary arts.
Two 5-week for-credit programs in Farm to Kitchen to Table – Limited to 8–10 students per session. Each of the 5-week Sessions includes:
  • Two weeks of Participation in Morning/Evening Farm Chores: with Sterling agriculture students and faculty.
  • Five visits to area farms with classroom reflection:
    • Cheese cave and cheese makers
    • Organic vegetable growing, harvesting, preserving
    • Cattle, sheep, fowl
    • Bread baking
    • Slaughter and butchering
  • Practicum in Organic Agriculture:
    • Organic Crop Production
    • Agriculture Power Systems – draft horse & tractor
    • Permaculture Design
    • Livestock Systems
  • Entrepreneurship in Farm to Kitchen: Five evening seminars from both for- and non-profit perspectives
  • Food for Thought: Five evening book discussions on assigned readings
  • Dinner Out: Five evenings with classmates at local/regional organic based restaurants or at the homes of local chefs.
  • In the Kitchen: with teaching chef and professional staff
  • The Common Table: Saturday nights: plan and prepare once-a-week public dinner.
  • Plan, Manage, and Cook for College Community: In rotating teams of four or five, in its organic-based full-service kitchen, preparing and serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

How to Apply

Applications for the position of Director of the Sterling College Culinary Program should contain:

  • Letter of interest that speaks to the specific position requirements and curricular development ideas
  • Resume
  • Three letters of recommendation or the contact information for three individual references

All application material should be addressed to: New Kitchen Committee, C/O Micki Martin, Assistant to the President: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Only electronic applications will be accepted.

About Sterling College

Nestled in the northern Green Mountains of Vermont, Sterling College utilizes its setting as a natural laboratory offering Self-Designed Bachelor of Arts Degrees in six areas of environmental studies: Sustainable Agriculture, Conservation Ecology, Outdoor Education & Leadership, Environmental Humanities, Natural History, and Northern Studies.

Sterling’s focus on experiential education — the philosophy of educators engaging students through direct, hands-on experience — is emphasized in Sterling’s motto, “Working Hands, Working Minds.” As one of the nation seven Work Colleges all students work on campus and in the surrounding community for a portion of tuition cost. Academics are an integrated aspect of daily life, both in the classroom and outside in nature and the community.

Sterling has a student body of 105, a student to faculty ratio of 7:1, and an average class size of 10. Twenty-five percent of all food served is grown or raised on Sterling’s organic farms. The main campus has 130 acres of woodlands and pastures, with 300 acres of Boreal wetlands. Sterling is close to world class hiking, biking, ski mountains, and many other recreational opportunities.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.