Vermont: UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture seeks GAP Program Assistant

23 Dec


*Department: *UVM Extension — Center for Sustainable Agriculture. This position reports to the GAPs Outreach Coordinator.

*Job Type:*Hourly for 10 hours per week for approximately one year.

*Overview: *Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) were developed by the USDA and the FDA in 1998 as a means of minimizing the risks of on-farm microbial contamination in fruits and vegetables.The practices were initially voluntary, but in recent years, produce buyers have been requiring GAPs certification, essentially making GAPs mandatory for produce growers who want to maintain contracts with those buyers.As food safety becomes an increasingly important aspect of the produce market
environment, the number of produce growers in Vermont seeking GAPs certification has quadrupled.The GAPs Outreach Coordinator at UVM Extension’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture is seeking an assistant to help provide educational and technical assistance to fruit and vegetable growers and produce buyers in Vermont.

*Specific Duties:*

* Research the science behind specific GAP standards, and help
translate this information into educational materials for
workshops and trainings on food safety for Vermont produce growers.
* Research (through the internet and phone calls) technical and
infrastructure solutions to particular dilemmas that VT produce
growers face in preparing to pass GAPs Audit and Certification,
and prepare this information for our website.
* Research and prepare other educational materials and technical
assistance resources for trainings and inclusion on website and in
a grower’s manual.
* Assist GAPs Coordinator with farm visits and with follow-up to
farm visits.
* Assist GAPs Coordinator at meetings with other agricultural
agencies, and non-profits involved with the issue of produce safety.
* Help plan and organize the logistics for a state-wide gathering of
representatives of stakeholder organizations affected by GAPs.
* Optional, depending on experience and qualifications: Collaborate
with other Extension providers and agricultural advocacy groups
throughout New England to work with buyers on the harmonization of
food safety certification requirements.

*Qualifications: *
Qualified candidates should have a master’s degree or the equivalent
amount of professional experience in Agriculture/Plant and Soil Science,
Community Development and Applied Economics, Natural Resource
Management, Nutrition and Food Science or Public Health; experience and
familiarity with farming operations; strong research and writing skills;
and experience working independently.An interest in food safety or food
borne pathogens is desirable, but not as important as familiarity with
the day-to-day practicalities of farming.

The position requires a valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle,
and the ability to drive to farms throughout Vermont to conduct farm
visits.This assistant will be required to take UVM Risk Management’s
driver training.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute
to the diversity and excellence of the institution. Applicants are
encouraged to include in their cover letter information about how they
will further this goal.The University of Vermont is committed to
diversity and inclusion.For more information regarding the University of
Vermont’s diversity initiatives, please visit the President’s web site

*If you are interested in this position please send a cover letter indicating your interest and related experience, a resume, a brief  writing sample and the contact information for three references to:*

Ginger Nickerson, Ph.D.
GAPs Outreach Coordinator
UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
106 High Point Center, Suite 300
Colchester, Vt  05446
Office phone:  802-656-5490
Cell phone: 802-249-6701
Fax:  802-656-8874 <>

UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture

UVM Extension helps individuals and communities put research-based
knowledge to work.Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work,
Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States
Department of Agriculture.University of Vermont Extension, Burlington,
Vermont.University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of
Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone
without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age,
disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or
familial status.

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