Eastern Massachusetts: Massachusetts Farm to School Project seeks Technical Assistance Consultant

7 Jun

The Massachusetts Farm to School Project, a statewide grassroots effort, is expanding our technical assistance to farms, institutions and wholesale distributors in eastern and southeastern Mass. The Project, now in its seventh year, facilitates sustainable purchasing relationships between farms and institutions, coordinates Mass. Harvest for Students Week, and promotes maximum consumption of locally grown foods in schools and other institutions.

Brief Job Description:
Working closely with our Senior Technical Assistance Specialist, the consultant will identify and communicate with Mass. farmers, institutional food service directors, and distributors in the eastern and southeastern parts of Massachusetts; provide assistance to farmers wishing to profit from direct sales to institutional buyers or indirect sales through distributors; provide technical assistance to distribution entities seeking to improve their locally grown food purchasing, sales, and delivery systems; provide individual assistance to school and other institutional food service buyers in procuring and promoting locally grown foods; become familiar with corporate management companies’ oversight of food service in institutions as needed; make presentations to appropriate organizations or events; assist with Project workshop promotion and facilitation; assist with Project research as needed, including research about institutional sales and distribution strategies for farms that wholesale; and maintain collaborative relationships with staff and members of agriculture or institutional food service-related government agencies, trade organizations, and non-profits.

Experience working with the Massachusetts food distribution industry, institutional food services, or the agricultural industry in Mass. is required. This position requires excellent interpersonal, communication, and business skills. Experience with public speaking and accurate professional writing is preferred. Consultant should be well versed in Mass. geography in order to determine which farm-distributor institution connections are feasible. The territory covered by the consultant will be south of Rt. 128 and the Turnpike and east of Rt. 395.

The consultant must provide her/his own work space in eastern Mass. and be able to work at our main office in Amherst (approx 2 hours from Boston) twice a week during the initial orientation period, and at least once a month thereafter. Consultant must have a wifi-enabled computer for use in the Amherst office, as well as reliable transportation and a telephone.  Please note that currently all individuals providing services to the Mass. Farm to School Project are consultants.

This position will average 28 hours per week, for a total of 1456 hours per year; $24/hour to start; $25/hr after probationary period, plus $.45 per mile travel reimbursement.  Schedule is flexible.  Funding has been secured for the first year, thanks to the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and the Mass. Society for Promoting Agriculture.

Please email resume, letter, and three references to lauren@massfarmtoschool.org. Application deadline is June 10, 2011. No phone calls, please. See www.massfarmtoschool.org for more information about the Mass. Farm to School Project.

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