CAFF JOB: Central Valley Farm to Market Specialist

 

Job Title: Farm to Market Specialist
Location: Operates statewide with focus on Central Valley, preferably based near Fresno
FTE: 1.0 FTE, Starting Salary: $50,000-$55,000
FLSA: Non-Exempt
Reports To: Farm to Market Program Director
Start Date: Early July

 

The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build sustainable food and farming systems through policy advocacy and on-the-ground programs that create more resilient family farms, communities and ecosystems. CAFF is a membership organization guided by a board of directors that includes family farmers and others who are passionate about food, farming and the environment. CAFF runs Regional Food Systems projects such as Farm to Cafeteria projects, Climate Smart Farming campaigns, and providing technical assistance in accessing new markets to farmers around the state. Our main goals are to increase the economic viability of California family farmers and to connect communities with their local producers. See https://www.caff.org for more information.

Position Summary

The Farm to Market Specialist works with local farmers and buyers (institutional food service and direct markets), and food hubs/distributors to increase access to, and demand for, local product. The Farm to Market Specialist helps farmers build their capacity to enter institutional and direct markets, providing ongoing training and technical assistance to both farmers and food service operators on supply chain logistics, regulations, and best practices for Farm-to-Market sales.

This position will also work with regional partners to lead farmer-to-farmer programming in the Central Valley, organizing the local farm community while providing boots-on-the-ground for our organization’s many services, outreach and advocacy efforts. This program will (primarily, though not exclusively) focus on historically underserved farm communities in the Central Valley of California, including farmers of color and women-owned farms. Farmer organizing keeps local farmers and farm supporters updated on resources available to them, primarily through gatherings. The Farm to Market Specialist will help gauge the needs and concerns of farmers, make connections to foment collaboration from local groups, and generally keep an ear to the ground.

 

Major Duties and Responsibilities

% Time Description
70%

Farm to Market Project Management:

  • Coordinate various Farm to Market projects to affect system-level change
  • Build relationships with buyers, distributors, partners and farmers
  • Develop and deliver market-support trainings (webinars, workshops, farm tours, etc.) for partners and farmers statewide
  • Provide supply chain consulting to partner institutions
  • Work with Program Director to identify buyer needs and support farmers to meet demand
  • Facilitate development and sales of local products throughout California
  • Support regional farm to market activities and actively promote CAFF membership with farms & businesses
15%

Farmer Organizing:

  • Coordinate regular convenings of farmers, virtual and in-person
  • Connect farmers to necessary financial or technical resources
  • Host farmer-to-farmer field days as appropriate
  • Support policy listening sessions and an annual regional town hall
  • Connect farmers to media opportunities

 

15%

Other Duties:

  • Support project data collection and funder reports
  • Support fundraising as needed
  • Provide assistance and expertise on projects throughout CAFF’s other regional offices in working with suppliers on local sourcing
  • Represent CAFF by participating in community activities and events as necessary
  • Other duties as assigned
  • Participate in staff meetings and collaborate with regional staff statewide
  • Participate in other administrative tasks as needed

 

Qualifications

Education

Bachelor’s Degree in Food Systems, Sustainable Agriculture, Sociology, Economics or equivalent preferred

Experience

  • At least 2 years of professional experience in the food procurement/distribution field preferred
  • Experience working directly with farmers
  • Outgoing sales and marketing strategy
  • Experience working with nonprofits strongly preferred

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Fluent English and Spanish language skills are required.
  • Passion for sustainable agriculture, local food and family farms and a general understanding of related issues.
  • Existing connections and familiarity with the local farm community, in particular with the Latinx and Southeast Asian farming communities in the Central Valley, preferred.
  • Demonstrated skill in supply chain systems; agricultural production; direct marketing channels; food distribution, and the food service industry.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills
  • Basic event planning skills
  • Ability to think strategically to develop and implement program goals and objectives
  • Strong relationship builder, outgoing and eager to make connections and grow the program
  • Ability to work independently, with minimal supervision, as well as collaborate with others in a team setting
  • Ability to work on a variety of projects simultaneously with occasional weekend and evening commitments
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Excel; proficiency in platforms like Salesforce, Dropbox, and Google Suite
  • Applicant must have access to transportation to enable frequent travel throughout the region and beyond. Must be able to provide valid driver’s license and valid auto insurance.

 

Physical Abilities

  • Ability to sit for long periods of time working at a computer.
  • Requires a full range of physical mobility, such as bending, stooping, lifting, turning, carrying objects, and grasping.

 

To Apply

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information of three references with the subject line “Farm to Market Specialist” to jobs@caff.org. We are reviewing applications immediately with a start date target of July 15th.

 

CAFF’s policy is that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, religion, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation

 

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