Massachusetts: Lutheran Social Services seeks Agricultural Program Coordinator

3 Nov
Lutheran Social Services (LSS) seeks an Agricultural Program Coordinator to coordinate community garden, beginning farmer and innovative local food initiatives with new Americans in Worcester, MA.   

LSS Services for New Americans helps open doors to possibility for refugees and immigrants who come to the United States to escape persecution.  LSS provides a wide range of services so these new Americans can begin their journey to economic self-sufficiency, community integration, and a better future.   

The LSS Agriculture Program empowers refugees and immigrants to grow food for their families and community, to earn supplemental income and to gain necessary skills for becoming a farmer in the United States.  The Program Coordinator will be fully responsible for the Worcester area program with support from the Program Manager in West Springfield.  

Responsibilities

  • Reach out to eligible clients regarding program services and opportunities. 
  • Perform client intakes, enrollment, and follow-ups.
  • Teach introduction to farming and gardening classes for limited English language speakers. 
  • Provide one-on-one technical assistance to clients seeking assistance with agriculture skills and starting their own farm. 
  • Organize community events, field trips and attendance at local and regional training opportunities, including arranging translation, transportation and scholarships.
  • Facilitate enrollment in community gardens and establishment of new garden spaces as needed.
  • Manage field work and crop production for 1 acre training farm and additional new farmer plots.
  • Coordinate marketing of cooperative sales from the farm to local farmers’ markets, restaurants and food coops; and maintain record keeping for cooperative.
  • Attain and distribute tools, supplies, seedlings and seeds for participants, trainings and farm.
  • Supervise and mentor summer intern, clients and volunteers.
  • Maintain confidential client records and files; assist in preparing semi-annual and annual reports.
  • Promote the program in the wider community and maintain relationships with local farming, food and community partners and other technical assistance providers.
  • Assist in accessing additional funding to grow the program through grants, fundraisers and donations. 
  • Support with special projects and other duties as needed.

This position involves extensive out-of-office field work on the farm, in community gardens and with local community members. Working some weekends and evenings will be necessary. This position requires and allows for creativity, flexibility and innovation.  There is incredible potential for agriculture and food system projects in Worcester.  A candidate with big visions and strong work ethic will excel. 

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture, Environmental Studies or related field.
  • At least 2 years experience on a farm or community garden project with demonstrated marketing and management experience preferred.
  • Understanding of local food systems and agriculture in Massachusetts.
  • Ability to work with a very diverse group of clients with varying English literacy levels and different cultural standards. Bilingual a plus.
  • Demonstrated commitment to helping the newest members of our community integrate successfully into their new homes.
  • Ability to remain patient while under pressure and work with multiple client needs at the same time.
  • Organized, attentive to detail and able to keep farm running and files up to date.
  • Self motivated initiator with the ability to work under minimal supervision.
  • Excellent writing, communication and computer skills.
  • Supervision and management experience a plus.
  • Availability to work evenings and week-ends as needed.
Salary and Benefits

Competitive salary and full benefits.  This is a full time, year-round position based in the LSS Worcester office.   

To Apply

Applications accepted on a rolling basis and position will be open until filled.  Please send cover letter and resume to Shemariah Blum-Evitts, Program Coordinator, at sblum@lssne.org or 593 Main Street, West Springfield, MA 01089.  To learn more about LSS, please visit www.lssne.org

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