Washington State: Common Threads Farm seeks AmeriCorps*VISTA Farm and Garden Educator

24 Jan

Mission and Overview

The primary purpose of the AmeriCorps*VISTA member activities will be to enhance the following skill sets and values for young people and, by extension, their families and communities:

Ø      Food Literacy: identifying healthy foods and understanding how our daily food choices impact the health of our bodies, our communities and our environment

Ø      Food Competency: knowing how to grow and prepare healthful, delicious food

Ø      Food Justice: making sure there is enough healthful, culturally appropriate food accessible to all

The ideal VISTA volunteer will have skills and interests in teaching, gardening, cooking and nutrition, small scale animal husbandry, nonprofit administration and program development, and will possess excellent problem-solving and communication skills, both oral and written.

About Common Threads Farm

Common Threads Farm is a Bellingham based nonprofit whose mission is to cultivate connections between people, food and community through seed-to-table educational experiences. We do this through our work with schools in the Whatcom County School Garden Collective (a project of CTF), through partnership with other nonprofits, and through programs run out of our Fairhaven farm site, Bobbibrook Farm, in which youth plant, tend, harvest, cook and eat healthful foods.

About AmeriCorps*VISTA

This position is funded through the AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program.  The mission of the VISTA program is to build capacity in non-profit organizations and the communities they serve to help bring individuals and communities out of poverty. This one-year volunteer position provides a living allowance and benefits (see below).

VISTA Volunteer Duties and Responsibilities

Whatcom County School Garden Collective (September-June)

Ø      Provide coordinated leadership for the creation and maintenance of gardens in our member schools

Ø      Work with students, teachers, and parents to develop and maintain successful garden-based learning programs with strong links to the classroom, cafeteria, and community

Ø      Compile curriculum and resources in collaboration with other CTF/WCSGC staff so that they can be effectively shared among all member schools

Seed-to-table Educational Programs

Ø      Assist in developing and maintaining our Fairhaven programming site, Bobbibrook Farm

Ø      Provide care for farm animals, including chickens, turkeys and rabbits

Ø      Work with staff and volunteers to develop and deliver before- and after-school programs

Ø      Serve as the farm and garden educator for summer seed-to-table educational programs

Ø      Build and maintain partnerships with other mission-aligned programs as appropriate.

Ø      Work with staff and volunteers to develop and implement tools for program evaluation

Volunteer Coordination

Ø      Recruit, train, and supervise volunteers

Ø      Track volunteer hours

Public Relations

Ø      Maintain a database of community contacts (partners, donors, etc.)

Ø      Aid in development and implementation of social media strategies

Ø      Assist in fund-raising, marketing and communications efforts as appropriate

Skills and Qualifications

Ø      Strong teaching and communication skills

Ø      Passion for connecting young people with healthy food, from seed-to-table, and experience working with young people in outdoor settings

Ø      Experience in sustainable farming/gardening and small animal husbandry

Ø      Experience and ease working with diverse ethnic and socioeconomic communities and their advocates, notably communities affected by poverty

Ø      Ability to work both independently and as part of a team

Ø      Ability to meet deadlines, prioritize multiple tasks, and take initiative

Ø      Ability to travel between multiple service sites via personal vehicle or public transit

Ø      Flexibility, humor, and creativity!

Ø      Areas of interest: Education/Teaching, Children/Youth, Agriculture, Food Security, Nutrition, Environmental Stewardship, Nonprofit Management, Public Policy, Social Services


(see VISTA terms, conditions, and benefits at http://vistacampus.org )

Ø      $858 monthly service stipend

Ø      Education Award of $5550 OR End of Service Stipend of $1500 upon completion of service

Ø      Relocation Allowance: Members serving a 12-Month term and moving from their home of record to their project site residence are eligible for this allowance, not to exceed $550.

Ø      Child Care Allowance (max of $400 per child per month to qualifying members)

Ø      Life Insurance: members may purchase life insurance through AmeriCorps* VISTA

Ø      Health Care Support: Coverage by the AmeriCorps*VISTA Health Benefits Program

Ø      Student Loan Deferment

Ø      Possible Basic Food Benefits (ask for more details)

Application Parameters

Position is open until filled. Preference given to applications received by Monday, Feb. 7, 2011.  Applicant must be able to attend PSO (Pre-Service Orientation) April 4-8, 2011.

Position starts on Monday, April 11h, 2010 and ends Wednesday, April 11, 2012.


All applicants must file an online application with AmeriCorps: http://www.americorps.gov/

Click “advanced program search” and enter “common threads farm” under program name.


Please send a cover letter and CV or resume to:

Laura Plaut, Executive Director

Common Threads Farm

PO Box 4465

Bellingham, WA 98227

For more information:

Phone: 360.927.1590

E-mail: laura@commonthreadsfarm.org



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