Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) seeks several farmers in Tennessee and Georgia who are interested in helping to develop their local farmers network and are willing to make a commitment to guide this development over the course of this year, and possibly through next year too. Non-farmers who have well-established working relationships with their local farming community should also apply.
Farmers networks should serve the needs of the local farming community, so the first task of the organizer will be to identify a shared vision for the network with other area farmers who are interested in participating. Organizers will be responsible for guiding the implementation of this vision. They may be moving toward more advanced network activities, or starting from scratch to create a basic farmers network.
Network organizers will share their experience and insights with – and learn from – other network organizers through written reports, conference calls, and email discussion lists. The organizers’ experiences will help CNG better support other farmers seeking to develop their own local networks.
Organizers will commit an average of one hour per week to this work over the course of the year, with the expectation that there will be seasonal fluctuation (so the hours would be much greater in early spring then tapering off during the growing season and ramping back up in the fall). Progress reports and hourly logs will be submitted every two months. Network organizers will be paid $20/hour, with a maximum of 64 hours in 2011.
- Is a farmer who uses natural farming methods, or a non-farmer who has well-established relationships with their local farming community
- Is in Tennessee or Georgia
- Has good communication skills
- Is comfortable using a computer for email and writing brief reports
- Has ready and reliable access to a phone, computer, and the internet
- Has established relationships with at least five other farmers in the area
- Can list at least two farmers in the area as references
Desirable Skills and Qualities
- Has prior experience organizing (or helping to organize) a local farmers network or another grassroots group
- Is already working on developing a local farmers network!
- Has an established farming operation or farming-related business to which payment can be made, and which carries workers’ compensation and general liability insurance (desirable but not required)
Submit an application (approximately 2 pages) which includes these three sections.
A) Your contact information:
Name, Farm Name, Farm Address, Phone Number, and email.
B) A narrative that includes the following information:
- Briefly describe your farming experience
- What makes you interested in this position?
- Is your farm Certified Naturally Grown, Certified Organic/Biodynamic, both, or neither? Whichever the case, what’s your rationale for your decisions around certification? If you have been denied certification, explain why.
- What kind of experience do you have participating in a local farmers network?
- Do you have any experience helping to develop a local farmers network, or similar experience? Describe the experience, including the challenges and rewards.
- Describe your farming community where you’d like to foster a local network. In particular, describe
- The type of farmers (their products, scale, markets, etc) who might participate in the local network, and how many might participate
- Your relationship to the farmers in the community
- The network activities currently in place (if any)
- What new activities you think this community might find valuable
- Do you have an established farm business to which payment can be made? Does your business carry general liability insurance and workers compensation?
C) References: List two or more farmers in your area who will recommend you for this position if we call them. Include their name, farm name, town, phone number and/or email address. To supplement your farmer-references you may include non-farmers who can speak to your strengths for this position (for example an extension agent, a market manager, or someone else who knows you and your farming community).
Send this application by email to email@example.com (if possible, as a PDF attachment) by February 10. Kindly put “Local Network Organizer” in the subject line. Applications will be reviewed starting January 24. No phone calls please.
Certified Naturally Grown is committed to equal opportunity for all, and contracts without regard to race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation or physical disability.
This announcement and the positions advertised here are supported by the Farmer’s Market Promotion Program (FMPP) Grant Program, Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, under Award No. 12-25-G-1179. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.