Office Location: Northwest RSDP region, U of M, Crookston Extension Office preferred.
Reports to: Executive Director, Extension Northwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership
Application Deadline: October 10, 2022
The U of M Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) is a program of the University of Minnesota Extension. Citizen-driven University Partnerships based in five regions throughout greater Minnesota work to foster active citizenship, achieve sustainable development (focusing on natural resources, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and food systems and resilient communities) and create a vital relationship between the citizens of the State and their land grant university. For over 25 years, the Regional Partnerships have been working with communities to build sustainable local food systems, with a portfolio of projects numbering over 500. For more information about the Regional Partnerships, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWAGNTh1j2s&t=7s
PURPOSE OF THE POSITION:
This position focuses on the Northwest (NW) Regional Partnership sustainable agriculture and food system project area. This person will serve as a point person for community-driven NW food system projects, including working with partners, coordinating NW food system work group meetings, and leading NW food system planning and program efforts. This position will also work with the statewide RSDP sustainable agriculture and food systems team by providing work and leadership on the U of M Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships sustainable agriculture and food systems rural grocery store project portfolio. This position also provides long term leadership and program development for statewide sustainable agriculture and food systems suite of projects guided by multi-regional priorities and by harnessing relevant trends in sustainable agriculture and food systems.
Provide field leadership for two grant funded projects (achieving project deliverables, tracking and reporting on project outcomes, initiating and coordinating backhaul arrangements involving local farms, rural grocery stores, and wholesale warehouses; and building rural grocery store owner and managers capacity to access resources and other issues impacting the sector)
Support the NW RSDP Executive Director by leading the NW sustainable agriculture and food system program area.
Manage the portfolio of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems (SAFS) projects in the NW Region
Work with RSDP Director of SAFS to develop, write, and lead sustainable agriculture and food system grants and projects
Provide staffing to the NW RSDP Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems work group, manage incoming ideas and requests for support, support community partners in submitting proposals, support the work group and board in vetting projects and making decisions on which projects to support
Provide support to other RSDP Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems regional work groups as needed
Conduct ‘inreach’ to the University to identify, engage and work with University of Minnesota faculty and staff to support community projects
Build relationships with a wide range of community members and organizations in the area of SAFS
Work with statewide sustainable agriculture and food system staff to coordinate and implement regional priorities in the Northwest Region as they relate to statewide efforts
Serve on a statewide sustainable agriculture and food system team representing the Northwest Region and grant funded efforts
This is an annually-renewable academic professional (P/A) appointment. Renewal each year is contingent on funding, program needs, performance and results.
Travel throughout Minnesota and neighboring states is required to perform the responsibilities of this position. Personal means for traveling is required with reimbursement made in accordance with University policy.
Four-year degree in disciplines including, but not limited to, agricultural sciences, business and economics, community development, regional planning, design and public health.
Ability to apply knowledge of agricultural production and food systems, community engagement, and research, planning and/or design skills to proposed and ongoing efforts
Three years of professional experience working on integrated projects with diverse stakeholders in a participatory process on topics like food systems, environment, community development, natural resources, or related disciplines
Professional experience in local foods and sustainable agriculture initiatives, for example Extension, supply chain, production, wholesale distribution, and retail management.
Ability to build and maintain professional networks with diverse stakeholders associated with agriculture and local foods networks
Project management skills
Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access
Strong oral and written communication skills
Ability to effectively work with undergraduate, graduate students, and faculty from a variety of disciplines
Valid driver’s license and access to vehicle with required insurance.
Ability to travel throughout Minnesota and neighboring states to include evenings and overnight stay.
Must have reliable internet if/when working outside of assigned office locations
Ability to sit for prolonged periods of time working on computer with frequent keyboarding
Attendance at evening or weekend meetings/events
Personal cell phone to be used, as needed, for work purposes and published in the Extension public staff directory.
This position is not eligible for employment visa sponsorship
Must be able to submit proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit a completed religious/medical exemption and agree to comply with the University’s testing requirement.
Masters degree, including from fields listed above
Experience with meeting facilitation
Program design skills
Qualitative and quantitative research skills
Leadership development skills
Experience with interdisciplinary and community-engaged scholarship
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.